Dual core MCU targets 3D auto displays

September 07, 2011 // By Phil Ling
Toshiba Electronics Europe (TEE) has launched a dual ARM core display controller for automotive applications requiring high-end 3D graphics with typical resolutions of WVGA and beyond. As well as reducing the complexity and component count of next-generation hybrid instrument clusters, Capricorn-H features a special algorithm that will allow designers to deliver 24-bit performance from lower cost 18-bit displays.

Suitable for typical display sizes up to 12.3”, the new Capricorn-H is a compact and highly integrated IC that incorporates all of the functions, peripherals and connectivity needed for high-quality 2D and 3D graphics output and TFT panel control. 

Capricorn-H combines two ARM Cortex-A9 cores with a dual output, five-plane graphics display controller (GDC), built-in 3D and 2D graphics engines, and 2MByte of embedded SRAM to support high-performance graphics operations.

In addition to the display outputs connectivity includes a 3-channel, Full CAN transceiver, a MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) Media-LB interface to support automotive multimedia applications, and I2C, I2S and USB interfaces.

The integrated 3D high-end graphics engine supports dual programmable shader pipeline architecture. Graphical implementations of dials, rapidly rotating pointers and other animations is further simplified and enhanced by the 2D graphics engine that offers high-performance rotation, transformation and scaling functions.  Toshiba’s Capricorn-H is the first device in the company’s Capricorn family to feature a ‘Magic-Square’ IP algorithm.

The Magic-Square IP module incorporates a high-performance dithering unit that makes it possible to realise perfect dithering of 24-bit graphics on an 18-bit display. As a result designers can choose lower cost, 18-bit displays for their applications without sacrificing graphics quality. The product is supplied in a BGA516 package and engineering samples are available now and is the latest ARM Cortex-A9 multi-core device to be supported by the QNX Neutrino 6.5.0 Realtime Operating System (RTOS).