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    Instrument clusters meet infotainment to make all-digital cockpit a reality

    The car cockpit is poised to integrate with the larger computing ecosystem

    By Majeed Ahmad | May 23, 2017

    Image courtesy of Blackberry

    “No other technology segment is influencing the future of mobility more rapidly than cockpit electronics,” says Sachin Lawande, president and CEO of Visteon, a Tier 1 supplier exclusively focused on automotive cockpit and instrument clusters technology.

    An all-digital cockpit is becoming a primary interface with a single system-on-chip (SoC) catering to both instrument cluster and infotainment systems while providing a unified driving experience across multiple displays in the car’s cabin.

    And, the automotive industry is coming to terms with the integration challenges in unifying the instrument cluster with safety, connectivity, and convenience features that were previously implemented individually in multiple systems.

    Take TI’s Jacinto family of processors—based on ARM® Cortex®-A15 cores for automotive applications—that supports a variety of digital cockpit applications, including digital instrument cluster, head unit co-processing for infotainment, informational ADAS, head-up display and more.

    These automotive processors are already powering infotainment systems such as Ford SYNC 3®, Volkswagen MIB-II, and SAIC-Alibaba Internet Car. And now they are promising to combine the infotainment center stack with the digital instrument cluster while running two operating systems: a high-level OS and safety OS capable of implementing the ASIL-B certifications.

    Sensing the need for two operating systems running safely on a single SoC that is powering the digital cockpit, BlackBerry QNX has unveiled the SDP 7.0 software platform that safely isolates the infotainment system and graphics. So, infotainment system can safely re-start without affecting the instrument cluster.

    That shows how the car cockpit environment is poised to integrate with the larger computing ecosystem that is spearheading the move toward automated driving and connected cars worlds.