NEC Electronics expands LSI lineup for automotive infotainment systems
NEC Electronics has announced the availability of new system-on-chips (SoCs), the EC-4260 (NaviEngine®-MID) and EC-4250 (NaviEngine-mini) for use in automotive infotainment systems. The devices are said to have the performance, peripheral set, and software ecosystem necessary to meet the demands of high-performance applications such as navigation, infotainment and telematics systems.
NEC Electronics first introduced the EC-4270 (NaviEngine) with four embedded CPU cores in 2007. The EC-4260 with three CPU cores and EC-4250 with two CPU cores are now also available along with the EC-4270 to support the expanding market of car-navigation systems, particularly in Japan, Europe and the U.S. The EC-4260 and EC-4250 are the first members of NEC Electronics’ new EMMA™ Car series of automotive system LSI devices.
As the demand for new features in automotive infotainment systems grows at a fast pace, there is a need for high CPU performance and for power consumption is required. NEC Electronics’ EC-4260 and EC-4250 SoCs address these needs with a multi-core approach. Using three ARM-11™ cores from ARM Ltd., the EC-4260 SoC operates at 1440 MIPS (at 400 MHz), while the EC-4250 performs 960 MIPS using two ARM-11 cores. NEC said that basing these devices on an industry-standard core gives design engineers access to a wide array of software elements, which will shorten design time and lower software development costs. The multi-core architecture also supports a symmetrical multi-processing (SMP) mode, in which a single version of the operating system (OS) is running on multiple cores and tasks are dynamically allocated to cores at runtime, maximizing the utilization of available processing power.
NEC Electronics’ new devices also include a graphics processing unit (GPU) for 2D/3D imaging. The EC-4260 SoC enables 2D/3D imaging and supports OpenGL ES and OpenVG specifications. The EC-4250 enables 2D imaging and supports the OpenVG specification. These features provide graphics software compatibility, contributing to faster time-to market for system designers.
The new products have a development environment to serve the needs of automotive customers. It includes support for a variety of protocols, such as USB, MOST, CAN, I2S and I2C. An audio routing engine has sample rate conversion capability. Rounding out this offering is a suite of software to support quick development, including evaluation boards, in-circuit emulator, on-chip debugger, middleware, and operating systems, all compatible with those of the EC-4270 SoC.
Pricing and Availability
The EC-4260 and EC-4250 devices are currently available for samples, priced per unit at US$140 and US$70 respectively. Mass production is planned for 2010 and is expected to reach 100,000 units per month by 2012. More information about NEC Electronics’ EMMA Car product offerings can be found at http://www.necel.com/automotive/en/assp/.
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