Semiconductor Engineering: FPGAs Drive Deeper Into Cars

by Madelyn Miller, On Jul 19, 2018

FPGAs Drive Deeper Into Cars

uly 9th, 2018 – By Ann Steffora Mutschler

Automotive OEMs are leveraging programmability for algorithms, evolving safety standards, and marketing differentiating features.

FPGAs are reaching deeper and wider inside of automobiles, playing an increasingly important role across more systems within a vehicle as the electronica content continues to grow.

Discrete FPGAs have long been used in the auto segment, starting with the instrument console and entertainment features (collectively called infotainment), and moving into driver assistance. “Altera was winning a huge number of sockets in sensor fusion for LiDAR, sonar and radar, and FPGAs are perfect for that,” said Ty Garibay, CTO at Arteris IP. “You can bring the data on each interface in a different format, merge it, and spit it out on the other end. So FPGAs are almost universally used in every high end car for things like 360-degree view. When you get too close to parking lines, there is no dedicated SoC that is able to do that. These run at almost 30 frames per second. Altera and Xilinx had almost all of the rear-view camera market.”

He noted that FPGAs also are cost-efficient for automakers because while the sensor technology may evolve, the entire FPGA doesn’t need to be requalified.


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