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EETE APRIL 2013

Volvo combines cyclist detection with full auto brake At the Geneva Motor Show, carmaker Volvo introduced an innovative electronic safety feature: An intelligent image recognition system that detects cyclists and, in the case the cyclist swerves out in front of the vehicle, automatically applies the brakes. The feature enhances Volvo’s present technology that can detect pedestrians. All cars equipped with pedestrian detection will also incorporate the new cyclist detection starting in May 2013, the company said. The systems combines data of a camera in front of the rear-view mirror and a radar sensor integrated in the vehicle’s grille. The radar detects objects in front of the car and determines the distance between car and object. The camera data are used to identify the type of object - cyclist or pedestrian - or even unmoved objects such as garbage cans or pollards. Thanks to the dual-mode radar’s wide field of vision, pedestrians and cyclists can be detected early on. The innovative algorithm of the image-processing computer makes it possible to identify the moving pattern of pedestrians and cyclists. The auto brake system requires both the radar and the camera signal to confirm the object. In the case of an imminent collision, the system applies full brake power and, if necessary stops the car. The technology also recognizes other vehicles in the same lane and proceeds accordingly. Volvo www.volvocars.com AUTOMOTIVE SAFETY Automotive emergency call system reference design Texas Instruments has introduced a complete reference design that provides designers all the analogue and embedded processing integrated circuits required for automotive emergency call (eCall) systems. Featuring the TPA3111D1-Q1 high efficiency mono Class D audio amplifier and the TPS43330-Q1, single-boost, dual synchronous buck controller with ultra low quiescent current, TI’s automotive eCall reference design offers a lowcost solution that is scalable for other automotive applications, such as telematics, stolen vehicle tracking and HEV/ EV sound generation. It also incorporates the TLV70033- Q1 voltage regulator with low quiescent current and the MSP430F2232 16-bit ultra-low power microcontroller. The design delivers 10W of output power into 8 Ω with greater than 90% efficiency, with enhanced EMI suppression to improve sound immunity. The TPS43330-Q1 pre-boost circuit supports automotive start/stop and boosts back-up battery supply voltage, allowing operation down to 2 V at the input. Combined with the Class D amplifier’s wide supply voltage range of 8 V to 26 V, the components in this reference design can be powered by a single-cell LiFePO4 battery. Texas Instruments www.ti.com Renesas samples Flash MCUs with 40 nm leading-edge geometries In order to meet the demand for MCUs in applications requiring higher level control, high reliability, functional safety and security, chipmaker Renesas is currently developing a splitgate flash memory circuit technology for on-chip flash memory Microcontrollers (MCUs) in 40 nm geometries. The technology also features the industry’s fast random access speeds. The technology also enables higher memory capacity integrated into MCUs. Renesas now announced to start shipping samples of automotive Flash MCUs that adopt both the new leading-edge 40nm process for Flash MCUs as well as the new split-gate metal-oxide nitride oxide silicon (SG-MONOS) Flash memory in Q2/2013. Key features of these technologies include faster memory content read-out and high rewrite durability. The higher memory speed is owed to the fact that the sense amplifier used to read the data in a memory cell can largely cancel the offset voltage. The rewrite durability is based on a current-adjusting mechanism in the memory cell during the write and erase process, effectively reducing the voltage stress applied to the cell. Using these new technologies, Renesas has prototyped both 4 MB program storage flash memory and a 64 KB data storage flash memory fabricated in a 40nm generation process, running at over 160 MHz with a readout speed of 5.1 GB/s. Leveraging these new technologies, Renesas has now verified a 33% characteristics improvement. In data storage flash memory, this technology achieved 10 million rewrite cycles, a critical issue in automotive MCUs, even under the high-temperature conditions of Tj = 170°C. Renesas www.renesas.eu. Gesture and proximity sensing ICs enable next-gen automotive HMI Touchscreen and voice control were yesterday. The next big thing in user interfaces - in the car as well as in other application fields - is proximity detection and gesture control. Melexis has designed a family of ICs that enable design engineers to implement innovative humanmachine interfaces that utilize these approaches. The MLX75030 and MLX75031 optical gesture and proximity sensing ICs feature Melexis’ proprietary integrated ambient light suppression, proven electro-magnetic compliance, a small footprint and flexible system architecture. The 4x4mm chips come with two simultaneously operating light measurement channels which can detect the active optical reflection from a target. The integrated, ambient light suppression makes these channels highly tolerant to background light interference. Two additional channels are available to measure ambient light. On system level, the ICs should be complemented by one or two LEDs and photodiodes, of any type, for active light detection. The MLX75030 allows external switches to drive the LEDs up to 1 A peak current, while the MLX75031 integrates the LED drivers to minimize external component count. Ambient light can be detected with up to two independent photodiodes. A measurement rate of up to 700 Hz per channel allows smooth interface response times. Melexis www.melexis.com/hmi www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe April 2013 26


EETE APRIL 2013
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