Embedded Technology Invades the North American International Auto Show

Posted on January 30, 2014 by Susie Gao

Last week in Detroit, more than 800,000 automotive executives, industry experts and enthusiasts gathered in Detroit for the annual North American International Auto Show, one of the world’s largest automotive shows. Coming on the heels of CES where the show floor was oozing with car technology and advancements around autonomous vehicles, infotainment and digital displays, it should come as no surprise that this theme was also very present in Detroit at the show.

Automakers today enable motorists to perform a variety of functions that increase both safety and convenience through advanced embedded technology. From controlling your in-vehicle temperature from your phone to alerting 911 when you’re in a crash, it’s all possible from most every major manufacturer. Over the last two weeks, we saw even more developments and examples of how this technology is taking shape.

For example, Hyundai showed off its 2015 Genesis, complete with a 9.2-inch touchscreen display screen in the dash that uses its next-generation Blue Link telematics and infotainment system. Also on the floor was the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which is available with a multitude of features including stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance and prevention, lane keep assistance and self-driving –parking capabilities. The vehicle is equipped with the latest iteration of the COMAND controller for the vehicle’s infotainment system.

While there’s still work to be done, it’s clear that autonomous vehicles and digital displays are priorities for the auto industry. Demand is being driven by consumers who continue to place an increasing value on in-vehicle connectivity. As such, the market for advanced embedded electronics technology is rapidly expanding and it relies on the innovation and flexibility that Flash memory-based embedded systems solutions can deliver.

Unlike traditional devices like the smartphone, automobiles have a much longer lifespan and performance, density and supply needs must be met over the life of the vehicle. Spansion solutions are easily scaled as code and data requirements expand and they provide electronic OEMs maximum design flexibility. Also, much like our smartphones, consumers want precise and quick graphics processing in their in-car display technology. Speed starts at the chip level and Flash memory is crucial in this effort. Spansion’s FL-S serial NOR, for instance, provides the highest achievable graphics data transfer rates from SPI flash, up to 160MB/s in double data rate QuadSPI mode.

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Spansion’s broad portfolio of NOR and NAND Flash memory address specific performance, reliability and longevity requirements for a variety of automotive applications including telematics, powertrain, infotainment, configurable TFT (thin film transistor) displays for clusters and ADAS applications. These intricate systems are built upon complex embedded systems, which rely on tightly managed sensor, communication and processing components integrated with highly reliable memory devices.  Flash memory delivers critical operating code data to system processors with the lowest initial latency, highest data integrity and fastest data throughput to enable these systems.

While this technology still has a ways to grow, as an industry, it’s critical that we evaluate the successes of it to date as we look to embrace it further through developments that will deliver even more connected cars. For more on Spansion’s automotive efforts, visit our website.

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