SAN DIEGO -- Japan's Renesas Technology Corp. has outlined its microprocessor roadmap in the telematics market, tipping a pair of chip technologies for future low- to high-end cars.
The company announced the separate SH-NaviJ and SH-NaviX series of chip technologies, both of which are aimed for the 2009 time frame. Both are also based on the company's 32-bit SuperH processor. The SH-NaviX is geared for the high-end car market, while the SH-NaviJ is designed to bring affordable car navigation systems for low- to mid-range vehicles.
At present, Renesas (Tokyo) sells a line of processor devices for car information terminals. Both are based on the 32-bit SuperH processor and operate at speeds at 400- and 600-MHz, depending on the product.
Renesas did not provide the specifics for SH-NaviX. But it did roll out the first SH-NaviJ device, dubbed the SH77721. Based on the 32-bit SuperH processor, the device ''aims to boost the sales of navigation products by facilitating the downward migration of compelling feature points that previously couldn't be achieved,'' said Paul Sykes, MPU marketing manger at Renesas Technology America Inc. (San Jose, Calif.).
The total automotive MCU market is presently worth in the region of $5.5 billion per year, according to Strategy Analytics. Freescale, Renesas Technology, and NEC Electronics are the top 3 MCU suppliers to the automotive industry with a combined share of 60 percent.
According to the Semicast, the global market for automotive semiconductors is forecast to grow from $20 billion in 2007 to just over $30 billion in 2015. Continued semiconductor demand is expected in each of the main areas of the vehicle, such as the powertrain, body electronics, comfort electronics and infotainment.
Meanwhile, Renesas' SH77721 makes use of a 32-bit, 333-MHz processor. The device has 2D and 3D capabilities needed to create recognizable objects in maps and distinctive icons in the graphical user interface (GUI). The 2D graphics library follows the specification that is GDI-Sub compliant with Microsoft's Windows 1 Automotive 5.0 Service Pack 2.
The device also includes a USB v2.0 interface, SD card host interface, a GPS baseband processing module, FM multiplex decoder, and a CAN in-vehicle LAN interface. To decrease chip size, the device has fewer channels for the sound interface, DMAC and SCIF.
The SH77721 device uses only one DDR2 SDRAM chip, instead of the four external DDR1 memory chips required by the previous SH7770 SH-Navi device, thus enabling reductions in system costs.
The SH77721 is housed in a 440-pin BGA package (23- - 23-mm). This package is more than 50-percent smaller than the SH7770's 520-pin (33- - 33-mm) BGA, saving circuit board space. The device is $47. It will begin sampling in Q4 2008.