Infotainment system enhances in-car interaction

7th January 2015
Barney Scott

Aiming to enhance the way that consumers interact with their vehicles, Texas Instruments and Ford have collaborated to produce the Ford SYNC 3, a communications and infotainment system. The SYNC 3 incorporates TI’s OMAP 5 processor, a member of the Jacinto automotive processor family, the WiLink 8Q single chip, combining WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GNSS, power management and FPD-Link III Serialiser/Deserialiser (SerDes).

Together the TI devices provide enhanced voice recognition and navigation, quality hands-free Bluetooth connectivity, WiFi enabled software updates and enhanced driver interactivity. TI's industry-leading technology enables Ford's SYNC 3 to be faster, more intuitive and easier to use for the driver.

As a member of TI’s Jacinto processor family, the OMAP 5 platform delivers unparalleled performance and improved user experience compared to other offerings available on the market today, according to TI. Leveraging the latest ARM Cortex-A15 multicore CPUs and Imagination Technologies PowerVR graphics cores, together with the highly-integrated WiLink 8Q wireless connectivity solution, Ford can offer a snappy UI and high quality multimedia alongside a premium connected car experience with WiFi, Bluetooth and accurate navigation data. To deliver high-definition video and audio to the colour touch screen, TI’s FPD-Link III SerDes wired connectivity chipset provides the high-speed connection.

The OMAP 5 processor’s excellent 3D graphics acceleration creates a lifelike HMI experience, boasting ultra-responsiveness for today's modern displays. A more conversational voice recognition experience is enabled through the use of high-performance, multicore ARM Cortex-A15s paired with TI’s optimised memory interconnect technology.

The Jacinto family provides scalability and flexibility to meet the needs of the SYNC 3 platform, designed to evolve features in line with driver demands. With ample performance ‘under the hood,’ Ford SYNC 3 leverages the WiLink 8Q’s WiFi capabilities to enable consumers to seamlessly update software over the air, at home; more in line to processes consumers use with smartphones and tablets today.

TI has been providing automotive ICs for over 30 years and, with more than a decade focused on infotainment, is in an excellent position to provide Ford with an automotive qualified platform. The WiLink 8Q family leverages TI's history of delivering high-performance, robust and easy-to-use integrated connectivity solutions including leading Bluetooth and WiFi coexistence technology and cutting-edge GNSS location performance. TI’s power management solutions provide the functions necessary to minimise system-level power consumption, and the display and high-speed video interconnect technology of the FPD-Link III SerDes chipsets offers a wide range of interfaces and resolutions for processors and displays.

“When Ford selected TI as a strategic partner in the development of this innovative system, we saw this as an opportunity to work with an industry leader to leverage our long standing history in automotive. Through our expansive technical support we were able to quickly deliver a game-changing product Ford customers will use today,” said Curt Moore, General Manager, Automotive Processors, TI.

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