Fujitsu Graphics Controller Enables Hi-Tech Dashboard in Futuristic Artega GT Sports Car

Langen & Nurnberg, February 26th 2008 - FME's MB86R01 graphics controller codenamed 'Jade' plays a crucial role in enabling a state-of-the-art instrument panel in the futuristic Artega GT sports car.

Artega is not only the name of the car but also of the company, set up by Klaus Dieter Frers, CEO of paragon. The idea was to design a sports car for the future that is able to take advantage of the latest technologies without any of the brand expectations and history that can restrict well-known and established manufacturers. The entire car is crammed with technological advances, with a reconfigurable LCD instrument panel utilising FME's 'Jade' graphics controller.

The instrument panel consists of a high-resolution, illuminated 10.2-inch colour display with 800 x 480 pixels and a digitally controlled dual-pointer analogue instrument with a high-quality metal clock face acquired from the luxury watch segment. This displays engine speed and road speed on one axis and is a patented world first.

There is a trend developing in the automotive industry to move away from the mechanical pointers and gauges that we are all accustomed to in favour of graphical representations of these shown on LCDs. It has been found, however, that while appreciating the benefits that this new technology has to offer, drivers still prefer a traditional look and familiar layout.

In the Artega GT, the instrument panel has one large central mechanical gauge with all the other instruments rendered graphically by 'Jade' and projected onto the LCD. This requires a controller able to produce sophisticated 3D graphics - right down to the shading around instruments - to make them look like a mechanical gauge.

This is a typical application for 'Jade'. As an SoC, 'Jade' is not just a graphics controller, it also contains the ARM 9 CPU, a fully synthesisable processor with a Jazelle® technology (Java(TM) Acceleration) enhanced 32-bit RISC CPU, 16kB instruction cache, 16kB data cache, 16kB ITCM, 16kB DTCM and a memory management unit (MMU). In reality this makes 'Jade' a single-chip graphical sub-system, which can be controlled externally just by sending it information, for example, display the oil gauge with value x, y, z. This single-chip unit can calculate all the necessary information, produce the graphics and feed the display. The result is an impressively realistic 'mechanical-look' instrument panel that can be configured to meet individual customer specifications.

Introduced in 2007, 'Jade' was the first device in a new family of graphics controllers aimed at high-end embedded automotive graphics applications and the first Fujitsu System-on-Chip (SoC) to integrate the powerful 32-bit ARM926EJ-S(TM) CPU core with the company's successful graphics processor 'Coral PA'.

Based on Fujitsu's proprietary 90nm CMOS process technology, 'Jade' is optimised for applications requiring high CPU performance combined with sophisticated 2D/3D graphics features. Target applications include on-board and mobile navigation systems, graphical dashboard systems, HUD (head up display) units, rear seat entertainment, point-of-sale terminals and industrial control panels.

Fujitsu's Coral PA processor provides sophisticated features for embedded graphics applications, such as in-car infotainment systems, which require more display and rendering functions. These features include a rendering engine for 2D/3D graphic acceleration functions, a geometry processor supporting floating point transformations for smooth graphics animation and a dual-display capability (2 x RGB digital output) that enables independent contents to be shown on two connected screens.

Packaged in a 484-pin BGA, the device requires a supply voltage of 3.3V (I/O), 1.8V (DDR2), 1.2V (Internal) and is designed to operate over a temperature range of -40 to +85°C.

Further features include an ETM9 (medium) and JTAG ICE interface, 8-channel DMA and 32-bit timers. Core frequency is 320MHz (generated by on-chip PLL). On-board peripherals include a unified DDR2 memory interface supporting 320Mbps (up to 128MB), a parallel flash/SRAM host interface with decryption engine, parallel ATA, SD-Card, CAN, Media LB, USB 2.0 (Host and Function), ADC, DAC, I2C, I2S, PWM, SPI, UART, GPIO and an external interrupt.

Other key features include:

A texture mapping unit (up to 4096 x 4096)
Bit-Blt Unit (up to 4096 x 4096)
Alpha Bit-Blt and ROP2 functions
6 layers of overlay display (Windows)
Alpha plane and constant alpha value for each layer
Dual digital video input (various formats including YUV,RGB, ITU656)
Video scaler (up/down scaling)
Brightness, contrast, saturation control for video
Built-in alpha blending, anti-aliasing and chroma-keying

Display resolutions from 320 x 240 up to 1024 x 768 are supported.

Availability and Support

For application development support and functional evaluation, a number of evaluation boards are available from Fujitsu, together with a stand-alone starter-kit for all graphics controllers, which enable the evaluation of the features and application building. Source code for various application examples, application notes and the Fujitsu Graphics API is included.

Hailed as a sports car for all who believe in automotive innovation, the Artega GT can be found on FME's stand (Stand 314, Hall 12) at Embedded World.

About Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe

Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe (FME) is a major supplier of semiconductor products. The company provides advanced systems solutions to the automotive, digital TV, mobile telephony, networking and industrial markets. Engineers from design centres dedicated to microcontrollers, graphics controllers, mixed-signal, wireless, multimedia ICs and ASIC products work closely with FME's marketing and sales teams throughout Europe to help satisfy customers' system development requirements. This solutions approach is supported by a broad range of advanced semiconductor devices, IP and building blocks.

For more information, please see:

Issued on behalf of:

Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe
Pittlerstrasse 47
63225 Langen
Tel: +49 (0)6103 69 00
Fax: +49 (0)6103 69 01 22

Contacts: Jim Bryant

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