Chip enables development of CIS

Specialised chips will be needed to handle the variety of interfaces in next-generation Car Information Systems. Hitachi Semiconductor thinks it has hit on the answer.

Next-generation Car Information Systems (CIS) will integrate a plethora of functions, including service information, entertainment, road map display and route navigation systems.

In order to do this, system developers will need to unify a variety of interfaces on a single chip. CAN-bus (Controller Area Network) systems, for example, will need to be integrated with entertainment related busses such as MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport). Such devices will also need to provide the high processing capability necessary for handling large volumes of data.

The Hitachi HD64404, a companion chip to the company’s Super H family of processors, simplifies CIS development by incorporating a variety of such standard interfaces all on a single device. These include an HCAN2 (Hitachi Controller Area Network) in-vehicle network interface, an I2C interface for connecting audio equipment, an audio CODEC interface and Hitachi S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) for connecting an audio chip, and Hitachi SPI interface for connecting a DSP or similar device. In addition, a MOST interface provides support for fibre-optic networks.

The device also features a built-in graphics processing engine, an advanced version of Hitachi’s Q-series top-end Q2SD (Quick 2D Graphics Renderer with Synchronous DRAM) which includes additional graphics functions. It operates at speeds of 100 MHz and is compatible with the Q2SD’s instruction set, allowing Q2SD programs to be used. It also supports a Bit BLT (Bit Block Transfer) and Raster Operation, with support for an 854 x 480 WVGA screen resolution.

Two kinds of external bus, a PC standard PCI bus and a dedicated SH-4 bus, are provided for connecting an SH-4 device, depending on the system configuration. For its internal bus, a dual-bus-type structure is employed that comprises a register bus for various interfaces and peripheral functions and a high-speed pixel bus for transferring large volumes of data.

In addition, the device’s graphics memory can be used as system memory, enabling the number of external memory parts to be reduced.

The HD64404 is available in a small 352-pin TBGA package. Sample shipments will begin in February 2002.

Operating systems for which support is planned include Windows CE, VxWorks, and QNX RTOS v6.

The chip has already been selected by in-vehicle equipment manufacturers Delphi Automotive Systems and Siemens VDO Automotive AG of Germany.