Fujitsu rolls graphics controller with improved APIX2 interface

March 02, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe has expanded its automotive graphics controller range by a highly-integrated, single-chip graphics. The MB88F334 'Indigo2' has been equipped with integrated APIX2 interface that has been optimised for automotive applications such as instrument clusters, central display and entertainment systems and next-generation head-up displays.

What makes Fujitsu's new controller unique is the high level of throughput it achieves for copy-protected image and control data. In combination with data transfer via Ethernet, the controller is turned into a purpose-built, yet flexible component for demanding, in-vehicle graphical applications.

At the heart of the MB88F334 'Indigo2' lies the serial APIX2 interface from Inova Semiconductors – an interface capable of shuttling image and control data between control unit and display at 3 Gb/s. This new standard in image and peripheral data throughput meets the requirements of the very latest in-vehicle display applications, especially where improved performance is needed while keeping implementation costs low. Other features include an option for transmitting video data using HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) encryption in order to protect copyright, plus Ethernet communication via APIX.

Additional peripheral functionality such as stepping motor control, pulse-width modulators, ADCs, I2C, UARTs and a sound generator are also integrated into the MB88F334 'Indigo2'. With these features, the component covers all of the peripheral functions required by a display subsystem. Typical applications for these interfaces include dashboard display instrumentation, background lighting control, LEDs, sensors and on-board communication.

Since the MB88F334 'Indigo2' requires no external memory, it makes a key contribution to optimising material costs for centralised data displays and other display-based systems. Graphics processing is based on the line buffer principle, which eliminates the need for expensive (internal or external) frame buffer storage. In addition, the integrated flash storage can also be used to store icons without requiring external components. To further reduce system costs, direct display connections via LVDS, RSDS or TTL, 5V automotive interfaces and an analogue front end for the APIX2 link are also part of this solution.

Other features of the MB88F334 'Indigo2' include integrated storage, automotive I/Os, the QFP housing and an extended operational range (-40°C to 105°C), which significantly reduces the number of external components and thus system costs.

The embedded pixel engine