We recently released the video below on our new automotive camera solutions, the VG6768, a 2.5 megapixels rolling shutter imager. The image sensor is a great way to implement an electronic rear-view mirror, for example, since it is natively immune from LED light flicker and motion artifacts. Traffic signs, car lights, and digital signage no longer appear as distracting flickers on the user’s screen and its 60 frame-per-second capture, HD resolution, as well as its 145 dB HDR capabilities, rather than the traditional 120 dB, offer a much crisper, more intricate, and more accurate picture for a better and safer user experience. It’s also a symbolic step because it’s the level of performance many car manufacturers were waiting for before designing these solutions for their mainstream models.
Our new imager will work with traditional standalone ISPs, and our goal is to offer flexible sensors that fit in the broadest range of designs possible, but teams looking to benefit from a fuller solution can choose our STV0971 DSP. The fact that we offer the image sensor and ISP exemplifies our holistic approach to the automotive industry which focuses on helping engineers create applications. It’s common in the industry to start with a specification sheet and a list of requirements. However, when customers visit our website, they can first decide the type of system they want to create, and the features they want to offer, rather than merely looking at technical specifications or a list of devices. This approach can help designers take a step back and better look at the entirety of their work. Let’s see how this top-down approach can inform design decisions.
The New Practical Car: Body and Convenience Applications
Body control modules (BCM) don’t often jump out to drivers since they manage services that people often overlook like wipers, windows, seat positions, climate control, or locks, among others. These are increasingly critical if manufacturers want to differentiate a vehicle from the competition. With the advent of NFC, customizable domes, seat profiles, and presence detection, these modules get more complex and crucial. The arrival of USB Type-C Power Delivery and Head-Up Displays also lead the modernization of our dashboards and in-vehicle peripherals. The video below helps decision makers and designers understand the portfolio and its impact. For instance, our NFC products are already in vehicles, like the Mercedes E-Class, and grabbing an inexpensive STM8 Nucleo board and our X-NUCLEO-NFC05A1 can be the beginning of an excellent NFC interface for a vehicle.
The Electric Car: Electro-Mobility Applications
Another popular application revolves around electro-mobility. The rise of Silicon Carbide (SiC) MOSFETs and SiC Diodes already transformed the car industry, and some of these devices are on the road. The properties of these new materials enable the creation of modules that were previously impossible or too costly. For instance, traction inverters are now much smaller, efficient, and faster thanks to the material properties of SiC. We also offer the power devices, microcontrollers, and protection components to facilitate the design of a vehicle control unit (VCU) that receives information from various sensors and use it to impact the motor’s behavior, influence the charging system or optimize the car’s performance.
The Talkative Car: Telematics and Networking Applications
A new trend in the automotive industry is transforming the car into a hub of connectivity. Vehicles are now receiving Firmware Over-the-Air updates, they are becoming personal hotspots for Wi-Fi devices, and V2X means that the car of tomorrow will be even more talkative. Our Telemaco3 (STA1195) and Telemaco3P (STA1385) processor offer the connectivity, computational throughput, and secure modules to perform all these tasks. We also provide development boards to help engineers shorten their prototyping phase. It’s also a very symbolic application because it draws on our expertise in security, sensors, microcontrollers, RF, and many of our core businesses, to offer something truly unique.