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NEC Electronics Expands Lineup of System LSI Devices for Automotive Infotainment Systems

10th November 2009
ES Admin
NEC Electronics has announced the availability of new system-on-chips (SoCs), the EC-4260 (NaviEngine-MID) and EC-4250 (NaviEngine-mini) for use in automotive infotainment systems. The new devices have the performance, peripheral set, and software ecosystem to meet the demands of high performance applications such as navigation, infotainment, and telematics systems. NEC Electronics first introduced the EC-4270 (NaviEngine) with four embedded CPU cores in 2007.
The EC-4260 with three CPU cores and EC-4250 with two CPU cores are now also available along with the EC-4270 to widely support the expanding market of car-navigation systems, particularly in Japan, Europe and the U.S. The EC-4260 and EC-4250 are the first members of NEC Electronics’ new EMMA™ Car series of automotive system LSI devices.

As the demand for new features in automotive infotainment systems grows at a fast pace, there is a growing need for high CPU performance to keep pace. At the same time small power consumption is required. NEC Electronics’ EC-4260 and EC-4250 SoCs address these needs with a multi-core approach. Using three ARM-11™ cores from ARM Ltd., the EC-4260 SoC operates at 1440 MIPS (at 400 MHz), while the EC-4250 performs 960 MIPS using two ARM-11 cores. Basing these devices on an industry-standard core gives design engineers access to a wide array of software elements, which will both shorten design time and lower software development costs. The multi-core architecture also supports symmetrical multi processing (SMP) mode. In this mode, a single version of the operating system (OS) is running on the multiple cores, and tasks are dynamically allocated to cores at runtime, maximizing the utilization of available processing power.

The new devices also include a graphics processing unit (GPU) that realizes excellent 2D/3D imaging. The EC-4260 SoC enables 2D/3D imaging and supports OpenGL ES and OpenVG specifications. The EC-4250 enables 2D imaging and supports OpenVG specification. These features provide graphics software compatibility contributing to faster time-to market for system designers.

The new products also have a comprehensive development environment for serving the needs of automotive customers. For example, for communications, there is support for a variety of protocols, including USB, MOST bus, CAN, I2S and I2C. Also included is an audio routing engine that has sample rate conversion capability. Rounding out this offering is a suite of software to support quick development, including evaluation boards, in-circuit emulator, on-chip debugger, middleware, and operating systems, all of them compatible with those of the EC-4270 SoC. NEC Electronics will collaborate with partner companies to provide full-featured development tools to support the designers to facilitate shorter development cycles.

NEC Electronics remains dedicated to serving the needs of automotive customers, and has developed a wide range of microcontrollers and power management devices optimized for automotive use. Never before has time-to-market been such a critical issue for developers of automotive infotainment systems. Consumers are demanding access to their multimedia content in their cars, just as they now have in their homes, offices and handsets. This announcement illustrates NEC Electronics’ leadership position in automotive infotainment. The company aims to expand its lineup of EMMA Car to suit higher performance and lower power consumption needs.

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