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DESIGN & PRODUCTS AUTOMOTIVE ELECTRONICS Turning cars into mobile devices: MIPI By Ashraf Takla, Thomas Wilson and Christian Tuschen Everyone remembers their first car – how you could go where you wanted to go, moving faster and going longer distances – you were mobile. Yes, our cars made us mobile, but today’s cars are becoming mobile devices themselves. More than a means of transportation, cars are evolving into complete mobile devices - connecting and connected to the internet, transportation grids, and to each other. MIPI specifications are playing an important role in this transformation just as they have played the key role in unifying the interfaces in the most common mobile device of all – the smartphone. The MIPI Alliance was founded with the goal of making it easier and more economical to interface systems in devices like mobile phones. The organization defines interface specifications Fig. 1: Your Car’s Sensor Shield. Courtesy of NXP. that standardize the interfaces of cameras, displays, and wireless modules, between high-speed processors, low-speed sensors, and other chip-to-chip data transfers. Mobile devices are typically small, with components interfaced in a compact, closely coupled way deep inside the device. The transformation of the car to a connected device is occurring from the inside out as well - a perfect setting for leveraging the work done within the MIPI Alliance. The system interface of a smartphone supplier mirror those developing to serve the auto industry. The ability of vendors to create power and performance-efficient interfaces (using MIPI specifications) provide companies in the auto supply chain the same advantages offered to the mobile phone makers and their suppliers. Automotive systems are being connected both wired and wirelessly. This connectivity is becoming the “central nervous system” of the car. MIPI specifications are providing the connectivity between a growing number of mission-critical, informational, and entertainment systems transforming your car into a mobile device. Let’s look at this transformation and how the MIPI Alliance and its member companies are helping to make it happen. In-and-between cars There are a number of macro trends that are defining “use models” where MIPI specifications fit. These trends include the initial deployment and deeper integration of items like: • Telematics and In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) • Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) • Autonomous Driving Systems (ADS) Telematics require interfacing GPS (Global Positioning Systems) with navigation display, including the functions of touch and audio. Driver assist requires camera, radar, Lidar (laser light), image processing, and computer vision interfaces with audio and display for direct feedback. Intelligent Transportation Systems require wireless vehicle to infrastructure, (V2I), vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to everything (V2X) connections, bridging to radio frequency (RF) capabilities that support a number of different wireless (IEEE 802.11p, ac, ah, Bluetooth) and cellular (LTE, GSM) standards. All of these systems and their interconnections become even more critical as we move towards autonomous driving. Interestingly, these connectivity requirements are almost the same as those seen in the most ubiquitous mobile platform – the smartphone. In a smartphone, you have similar interactions between cameras and display, audio, microphone, and gyroscopic, magnetic and light functions, and applications requiring touch or voice-activated inputs. The MIPI specifications that define these interfaces efficiently for smartphones work equally well in the interfaces developed to support these systems in automobiles. And they are being deployed today. Let’s dive deeper into ADAS and see how MIPI specifications are applied. Driver-assist systems are developed to automate, adapt, and enhance vehicle systems for safety and to help the driver drive better. Figure 1 shows a “field of view” representation of ADAS-type monitoring. These systems make up a kind of sensor “shield” around a car providing alerts to the driver or triggering safeguards that take over control of the vehicle to avoid hazards. As seen in figure 1, there are a growing number of sensorbased systems using a variety of sensing technologies. Some of these systems do not transfer large amounts of data; they are sensor detect and alert type transfers of minimal data. However, other systems are capturing large amounts of data in order to handle the transfers efficiently. For example, a camera assist system used for lane detection or traffic sign recognition creates a dense data stream that needs to be transmitted from the Ashraf Takla is President & CEO at Mixel, Inc - www.mixel.com Thomas Wilson is Automotive Radar Product Marketing Manager at NXP Semiconductors - www.nxp.com Christian Tuschen is in charge of Automotive Systems Engineering at NXP Semiconductors. 34 Electronic Engineering Times Europe March 2017 www.electronics-eetimes.com


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