Industry’s First Automotive Chipsets with Functional Safety in Next Gen Vehicles

ROHM, a Japanese semiconductor supplier, foray's  into the Indian "e-Cluster for Two-wheeler Bikes" market, with the TFT Panel-Chipset Solutions, that provides functional safety support for speedometers, side mirrors, and other vehicle systems

 ROHM, a Japan based semiconductor solution provider has for the first time introduced ‘Panel Chipset solutions in the Indian market to bring in safety function to Next-generation Auto motives including Two wheelers . The chipset has been designed to drive and control automotive LCDs, including larger high resolution monitors used for navigation and the instrument cluster. The expanded line-up is compatible with functional safety measures for speedometers, side mirrors, and other vehicle systems.

The increased  use of  LCD  panels in next generation vehicles for the instrument cluster, navigation, electronic mirrors, and other systems, with larger, higher resolution displays, calls for an increase in the number of driver and controller channels. This makes system configuration and operation verification more difficult, favouring chipset solutions. In applications such as electronic mirrors, malfunctions can lead to serious accidents and functional safety is required.

ROHM is providing energy efficient power and safety solutions for automobile and has recently developed a chipset designed to drive and control automotive LCDs, including larger high-resolution monitors used for navigation and the instrument cluster. ROHM’s revenues from this Panel-chipset solution is projected to hit US$100 million by 2021, with a CAGR of 13% with present US$60 million.

Background and Solution

With the advent of the Smartphone, LCD panels are now the de facto user-interface. This fundamental innovation has brought some major advantages and the users are accustomed to using this interface.

And, in recent years the adoption of LCDs in vehicles for the instrument cluster/meter, navigation, electronic-mirrors, and other systems have risen significantly, while the growing number of applications has increased the demand for larger and higher resolution displays.

Unlike consumer-displays which may sometimes freeze, automotive-panel displays vital information to the driver relating to vehicle parameters (Speed, Engine-conditions, Turn-indicators, etc.,), and images from cameras (rear-camera, side-mirror cameras, etc.,) whose malfunction leads directly to human-safety on the roads.

To achieve these high-safety needs, it is necessary to increase the number of LCD-driver and controller channels. However, this makes system configuration and verification complex, strengthening the demand for an integrated Panel chipset solution. In addition to this, applications like electronic-mirrors where malfunctions can lead to serious accidents functional safety are required.

ROHM’s new Panel chipset integrate a gamma correction IC, timing controller (T-CON), source driver, and gate driver for driving HD/FHD class displays (the highest resolution currently on the market), along with a power management IC (PMIC) to ensure optimum operation. Each IC is designed to share information as needed, for the supporting functional safety in devices of displays. This chipset ensures high reliability for LCD monitors used for side mirrors and speedometers.

In addition, chipset optimization allowed ROHM to cover a wide range of specifications while at the same time integrate a key Fail detection function in the timing controller to verify operation, making it possible to configure high-resolution LCD panels.

Key Features of automotive Panel-Chipset

The world’s first automotive chipsets that support functional safety in LCDs

Each IC configured in the chipset integrates a function for detecting the expected failure mode. As a result, it is possible to detect panel failure and confirm and provide feedback on information such as input signals to the LCD as well as peeling/destruction of the LCD driver. Supporting functional safety contributes to the prevention of serious accidents caused by the malfunction of monitors for the speedometer, side mirrors, and other systems.

For example, the driver may not notice that the screen for the side mirrors has frozen in the case no object is detected at the time, presenting a danger that can lead to serious injury if someone suddenly were to go behind the car while the car is moving. To prevent this ROHM delivers functional safety that can detect if the screen is frozen.

Easily configure HD/FHD class high-resolution LCDs

ROHM chipsets are designed to cover a wide range of specifications, making it possible to easily configure high-resolution HD/FHD class LCDs.

In addition, the timing controller is equipped with a Fail detection circuit for verifying chipset operation. And the setting of each output in the power management IC can be changed by simply rewriting the internal register value. This reduces development resources while contributing to common board designs.

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