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CES 2017 So the stakes are high, and many companies are already playing hard. There were important announcements from two of the most established chip suppliers in the auto sector, NXP and Nvidia – the former particularly closely watched because it will soon be part of Qualcomm.
Its launches reminded the industry how strategic an acquisition it will be, bringing significant depth and breadth to its new parent’s auto offering, surrounding the core Snapdragon modem/processor with many other car-related chips, and adding valuable connections with the car industry and its channels.
CES - Launch - NXP - Software - Radio
The main CES launch by NXP was a software defined radio (SDR) solution for IVI systems called the SAF4000. This claims to be the world’s first one-chip system covering all global audio broadcast standards, including AM/FM, DAB+, DRM(+) and HD. The primary benefit is to slash hardware costs, as car radio systems generally require bulky circuit boards and six separate integrated circuits – whereas the SAF4000 is the size of just a fingertip. Other companies provide a single RF front end to all these standards, but this is the first to deliver an entire system-on-chip (SoC), rather than offloading some of the processing to a device CPU.
This is part of NXP’s wider push to simplify the connected car device ecosystem by replacing multichip systems with compact RFCMOS chips, which will drive down costs and encourage mass uptake. That will complement Qualcomm’s existing presence in some Android Auto IVI systems, as well as its constant drive towards greater integration.
Step - Multichip - Discrete - RFCMOS - Solution
“The step from multichip discrete to a one-chip RFCMOS solution is a true quantum leap for the industry,” said Torsten Lehmann, general manager Car Infotainment and Driver Assistance at NXP. “One-chip means a significantly smaller hardware footprint, easier development and simple worldwide integration with the ability to receive multiple different digital, as well as...
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