Mission critical auto apps get makeover- infotainment gets personal

Mission critical auto apps get makeover- infotainment gets personal

Like everything else in today’s world, our cars are getting smarter. The growth of the worldwide auto market is steady, yet the demand for more microprocessors in automobiles continues to escalate as more MPUs are needed to power instrument clusters, infotainment systems, telematics units, vehicle connectivity gateways, and smart antennas and camera systems found in the latest models of cars and trucks.

The announcement of the NXP i.MX 8X family of applications processors at Embedded World this week is particularly important for the automotive market, as this highly versatile i.MX family addresses numerous processing needs within the vehicle, all with a greater focus on safety and security required by next generation platforms.

Automotive safety is an area that significantly benefits from the new i.MX 8X solution. NXP has built new capabilities into the new i.MX 8X are intended to safeguard and sandbox mission critical operations with the use of a dedicated security processor within the products, as well as advanced hardware supporting the latest cryptography standards, such as AES, flashless SHE, elliptical curve cryptography, and secure key storage.

From a design standpoint, we have greatly enhanced the level of advanced integration built into the solution. The amazing level of advanced integration found in the i.MX 8X will allow OEM design engineers to scale their designs with fewer components, which empowers design teams to reduce their overall development and maintenance costs and reuse as much hardware and software as possible.

Smarter Family, Better Driving Experience

What all of this essentially means to the automotive market is that OEMs can design safer and better performing cars that improve the driving experience for their customers.

The new i.MX 8X family includes all-purpose applications processors based on ARM® Cortex®-A35 and Cortex-M4 cores that function as both a connected multi-media device and industrial controller. This solution has a high level of features integrated onto one chip, such as hardware accelerated graphics and video, high performance DSP, dedicated security processor, and more. The architecture supports real-time processing as well as industry standard open operating systems, enabling secure cloud connectivity and improved overall power efficiency.

Safer Screens Edge Out Mirrors

The new i.MX 8X safety enhancements are intended to ensure that mission-critical applications are always accessible to the driver – even during a main system failure, which has not been previously architected into the i.MX family up until now.

NXP’s new SafeAssure ASIL-A and B ready features found in the i.MX 8X solution are intended to provide constant accessibility of critical data on a display in the event of a primary CPU or GPU failure. NXP will also be delivering a roadmap of SafeAssure software products to allow system designers to easily integrate advanced safety technology into their designs.

The SafeAssure features are also critical to new vision technologies currently being built into cars and commercial trucks, such as the cameras that are now beginning to replace external side mirrors. Removal of the mirrors improves the aerodynamics of the automotive and reduces overall fuel consumption. These new display screens showing surrounding views of the car are mission critical to the driver, making i.MX 8X especially important to this growing trend as it is intended to provide always-on camera functionality for the driver.

Personalizing Infotainment

From an infotainment standpoint, our new video and audio decoding technology in i.MX 8X will play a large role in helping consumers customize their own infotainment experience in economy cars using their smart phones, which has become increasingly popular as more people prioritize technology investments over high-end cars.

Drivers will be able to future-proof their infotainment experience with the upgraded video decoding technology in the chip, which will now also support H.265 decoding to future proof infotainment designs.

Built with a high-level of integration to support graphics, video, image processing, audio, and voice functions, the adaptable i.MX 8X product family will play a pivotal role in reshaping tomorrow’s vehicles with safer technologies and improved driver experiences.

As the embedded complexity and performance demands behind the scenes continues to increase for OEM automotive designers, NXP is focused on architecting new solutions to help our customers have access to the most scalable and integrated solutions available. The easier NXP can make the embedded design process, the smoother the driving experience will be in tomorrow’s cars – it’s as simple as that.


Dan Loop
Dan Loop
Dan Loop is the Director of Automotive Global Product Marketing at NXP Semiconductors. He is responsible for the worldwide business development team supporting the i.MX applications processor product line for the automotive market. Dan has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and MSTC degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

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