Entertainment on the move by mzo16564

VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 5

									                                                       Entertainment on the move
                                                       Entertainment is the killer application of     150,000 new customers a month and
                                                       consumer electronics in vehicles. Ever         both have big plans for new services be-
                                                       since the first AM vacuum tube radio was        yond audio programs, including providing
                                                       factory-installed in a luxury vehicle in the   sports scores, stock quotes, weather, as
                                                       early 1930s, entertainment has led the         well as real-time traffic data. Delphi is a
                                                       introduction of consumer electronics (CE)      leading provider of satellite radio hardware
                                                       in the transportation industry. Over the       in both the OEM and aftermarket arenas.
                                                       past 68 years the auto industry has ad-            Entertainment for rear-seat passengers
                                                       opted FM reception, transistor radios,         goes even further. The rear-seat audio/
                                                       electronic tuning, cassette and CD play-       video system is gaining so much popular-
                                                       backs, and multi-speaker, multi-channel-       ity in the market that it is paving the way
                                                       amplifier premium audio systems.                for a variety of video entertainment in
                                                           During the “technology bubble” pe-         cars. But the next wave of rear-seat enter-
                                                       riod (1998-2001), many industry experts        tainment in cars is “live TV.” When that
                                                       predicted the next CE “killer app” in ve-      happens, passengers will have an unprec-
                                                       hicles would be mobile Internet.               edented level of choices for in-vehicle
                                                       Although mobile Internet is still a dream,     entertainment.
                                                       significant new entertainment applica-              The available TV services in the U.S.
                                                       tions such as rear-seat DVD video, satel-      today are analog terrestrial broadcast,
                                                       lite digital audio broadcast, and MP3 ra-      limited digital terrestrial broadcast, and
                                                       dio have exploded in the automotive and        Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS). The TV
                                                       commercial vehicle markets.                    broadcast systems, whether terrestrial or
                                                           Satellite radio has achieved more than     via satellite, are all designed for home
                                                       2.5 million subscribers and is one of the      applications with stationary reception;
                                                       fastest-growing CE technologies.               reception becomes quite challenging
                                                       Currently, XM and Sirius are signing up        when the technology is placed in a mov-
                                                                                                      ing vehicle.
                              Delphi teamed with                                                          To receive DBS programs in a moving
                               Motia to develop a                                                     vehicle requires an antenna with suffi-
                          planar satellite antenna                                                    cient gain that can be pointed in the pre-
                           aperture with a slotted
                            waveguide design for
                                                                                                      cise direction to consistently track the
                                 live TV in the car.                                                  satellite as the vehicle changes direction
                                                                                                      and attitude. Suitable aftermarket satel-
                                                                                                      lite antennas have been on the market
                                                                                                      for about eight years; however, these
                                                                                                      units are relatively bulky—vertical height
                                                                                                      on the order of 10 in (254 mm)—and
                                                                                                      expensive ($3000 to $5000), so the ap-
                                                                                                      plication rate for them is low and mostly
                                                                                                      limited to RVs, motor homes, and com-
                                                                                                      mercial vehicles. Beyond meeting the
                                                                                                      basic requirements of a functioning an-
                                                                                                      tenna system, the number one key to
                                                                                                      enabling broad market penetration and
                                                                                                      capturing the minivan and SUV market is
                                                                                                      a low-cost and low-profile antenna that
                       Antenna                                                                        can be easily integrated into the vehicle’s
                  installation in
                  the roof of an
                                                                                                      roof structure.
                   SUV with the                                                                           Over the past several years, Delphi has
               radome in place.                                                                       been working to realize a satellite TV re-
                   The system is                                                                      ception system that can be integrated
                 thin enough to
                fit between the                                                                        into the roof of a vehicle. Delphi adopted
               roofline and the                                                                        a hybrid design that mechanically steers
             interior headliner.                                                                      the antenna beam in azimuth while using
44 JANUARY 2005   aei
Current infotainment system architecture with “connected discrete
components” in a typical mid- to high-end vehicle. Besides taking up a    The future premium integrated infotainment system architecture
lot of valuable space, there are redundant packages and functions in      promises lower cost, less system complexity, and simpler vehicle
this arrangement.                                                         packaging.


electronic steering in elevation. Significant      tertainment system is 8 in (203 mm) or          CD changer mechanism because of the
advances have been made in vehicle at-            less, it does not require a super-high bit      complex mechanical moving parts and
titude sensing, satellite discrimination          rate to generate a viewable image in cars.      high warranty concerns. In its place can
techniques, and sensor fusion to achieve          There also has been tremendous progress         be a mass storage device to hold digital
sufficient accuracy for the system to track        in the development of video compression         music files, which can be realized with
a geo-stationary satellite from a moving          standards as well as special post-process-      either an automotive-grade HDD or a
vehicle.                                          ing techniques to further reduce the bit        flash memory. Products featuring a com-
    Delphi teamed with Motia to create a          rate needed to produce an acceptable            bination of radio, CD player, and a 20-GB
planar slotted-waveguide antenna that             image quality.                                  HDD are being developed. These systems
was demonstrated in an SUV at the 2004                The market has embraced satellite-          serve as an audio entertainment jukebox
Consumer Electronics Show. The vehicle            based audio features, and streaming vid-        with the capability to copy, store, and
uses multiple 7-in television screens with        eo is the logical next step in this evolution   play back an entire CD/MP3 music library.
wireless headsets for rear passengers.            of vehicle entertainment. Delphi has            It also includes a time shift feature that
Each of the passenger positions can select        teamed with Sirius in showcasing the mo-        allows the user to stop, play, and store
between satellite TV, DVD, and video              bile TV capabilities using a Sirius Satellite   AM/FM or satellite broadcasts in their
games.                                            Radio stream. A Delphi/Sirius receiver sys-     entirety for later playback. The consider-
    The companies devised a scheme to             tem decodes the digitally compressed            able mass storage capacity can be further
integrate the antenna system without              video stream and plays it back on the           partitioned for sharing with vehicle diag-
affecting headroom, safety, or aerody-            rear-seat entertainment system. The simu-       nostics and navigation applications.
namics. The goals were to make antenna            lated streaming video (for the demonstra-           Wireless connectivity is yet another
installation similar to that required for         tion) is being shown alongside real-time        key trend. Delphi’s wireless local area net-
putting in a sunroof, and to make the             satellite audio programming to provide          work (LAN) radio uses IEEE 802.11 tech-
integration transparent to the consumer           listeners satellite TV programming and/or       nology allowing data to be transmitted at
while providing a true “original equip-           radio.                                          speeds of up to 54 Mbps without wires
ment” appearance. The mechanical ma-                  The best part of streaming video over       over hundreds of feet. The network con-
neuvers of the antenna associated with            SDARS is that it can be easily integrated       nects the vehicle’s in-dash radio to per-
beam steering did not add any percep-             into car manufacturers’ programs. Unlike        sonal computers, enabling users to down-
tible noise into the passenger compart-           satellite TV, there is no need to change        load and play licensed audio files or re-
ment or electromagnetic interference to           the antenna; the only addition is a video       trieve audio newspapers, books, or other
other vehicle systems in the design.              decoding box. However, the SDARS ser-           content and download the information
    Bringing digital satellite TV to cars is      vice provider will need to put in addition-     into the vehicle.
the ultimate feat in mobile entertain-            al video-coding hardware plus some                  Wireless LANs are packed with almost
ment, but it will require substantial com-        modification of its channel lineup.              unlimited potential in areas like high-val-
mitment from the vehicle manufacturers                The Internet music download and             ue entertainment transfer, keeping main-
to allow for roof structure modification,          swapping practice popularized the MP3           tenance records, getting real-time traffic
in addition to a sophisticated reception          media format. A number of portable MP3          information, or even allowing consumers
system.                                           players in the market feature hard disk         to control home appliances in the drive-
    During the past two years, the idea of        drives (HDD) with 20-GB capacity or             way. It could also enable the vehicle to
transmitting highly compressed video sig-         more. It is only a matter of time before        access a growing number of “hot spots,”
nal through the SDARS (satellite digital          HDD becomes an integral part of the ve-         such as gasoline pump kiosks, for music
audio receiver system) channels has been          hicle entertainment system as well.             and movie purchases in addition to a host
under study. The rationale is that because            One key development in the automo-          of other commercial transactions.
the display size for a typical onboard en-        tive industry is the desire to eliminate the        Future systems will be based on pow-
                                                                                                                             aei   JANUARY 2005 45
erful computing platforms such that, with      solution promises lower cost, less system        Now that the CE industry has popularized
the same set of hardware, the system will      complexity, and simpler vehicle packag-          various entertainment options and for-
be able to handle a variety of media for-      ing.                                             mats, it is up to the auto industry to offer
mats, including CD/DCD-R, MP3, DVD                 The automotive industry needs to con-        the same experience to consumers in
audio, DVD video, and DTS (digital the-        tinue to leverage the CE industry as a           their cars.
ater system). Unlike the current “con-         whole, and the entertainment and com-
nected discrete components” architec-          puter industries in particular, to keep ve-      Information for this article was provided by Thomas Puza,
ture, the future integrated infotainment       hicle entertainment systems affordable.          Jeffery Jones, and Huan Yen of Delphi Electronics &
                                                                                                Safety.




Standardized telematics from Fiat, Microsoft
Fiat Auto and Microsoft formed a col-
laborative partnership to develop the first
modular, entry-level, end-to-end telemat-
ics system for the automotive industry.
Beginning this year, all new Fiat models
will be launched either ready for or al-
ready equipped with this telematics solu-
tion, which can be incorporated by other
automakers as well.
    Nowadays, telematics systems are
based on closed concepts: Telematics,
navigation, entertainment functions, etc.
are combined in single hardware units
with fixed HMIs (human machine inter-
faces). Each manufacturer offers its own
solution in terms of functional integra-
tion, system scalability, and services. This   The new telematics solution from Fiat and Microsoft ABU is standardized to allow other
                                               automakers to base their telematics offerings on the same platform.
situation leads not only to high develop-
ment and debug costs, but also to high
prices. Despite low penetration in the         also to drive down development and pro-          navigation functionalities but also vehicle-
past, telematics still holds a great deal of   duction costs and to facilitate telematics       based services such as tele-diagnosis, ve-
promise for automakers and service pro-        offerings at an attractive price with a con-     hicle tracking, and data collecting for cus-
viders in the future—if the price and busi-    vincing business model.                          tomer relationship management, vendor
ness model are right.                              To be more successful than previous          relationship management, insurance
    To develop a more flexible and cost-        telematics offerings of the auto industry,       companies, and fleet management.
attractive telematics platform, there are a    the new platform from Fiat—code-named                Only some of the elements of Fiat’s
number of aspects to consider. For ex-         “Convergence” for the uniting of con-            future telematics platform were thought
ample, it is obvious that customers will       sumer and automotive electronics—need-           to be obtainable, whereas other essen-
use more and more consumer and per-            ed to have the following characteristics:        tials were too costly, not available, or
sonal devices, functions, and services         • Standardized, modular, and open to             needed interminable development cycles,
(such as mobile phones, navigation, or         entry-level solutions                            resulting in a long time-to-market.
location-based offerings) in mobile sce-       • Integration of consumer and personal           Meetings with the Microsoft Automotive
narios, including in their vehicles. At the    devices for matching customer needs as           Business Unit (ABU) marked a fundamen-
same time, it is very difficult for the auto-   well as avoiding additional costs for the        tal change.
motive industry to predict the needs of        car manufacturer                                     Microsoft ABU demonstrated to Fiat a
customers influenced by the rapidly             • An optimal HMI to strengthen the dis-          prototype of an entry-level telematics
changing consumer electronics (CE) mar-        tinctive factors of the car manufacturer         hardware box (code-named “T-Box”) de-
ket. Hence, flexibility of a new future         • Inexpensive, easy to understand and            signed for the Microsoft “Windows
telematics platform is important, because      use, and extensible.                             Automotive” platform. Using automotive,
CE evolve faster and cheaper than prod-            With the Convergence project, Fiat           consumer, and Internet standards such as
ucts in the automotive market.                 aimed to allow the customer to use his or        CAN bus, Bluetooth, and Web services,
Automakers also are not able to keep up        her own consumer devices (mobile                 Microsoft ABU was working in its labs on
with CE in terms of costs, resources, and      phone, PDA, etc.) in a safe, effective, and      a new standardized telematics solution
technologies involved.                         efficient way—even while driving—as               that could be integrated with a variety of
    Standards are the best way not only to     well as to install a standard telematics         vehicles, devices, and services.
integrate consumer and personal devices        device in cars and light commercial ve-              Together with the “Connected Car”
with the electronics of the vehicle, but       hicles that provides not only safety and         technologies from Microsoft ABU, the
46 JANUARY 2005   aei
                          Modular Levels for Telematics Solution
  Level       Functionality                                                                                       voice-controlled, with support for many
   C1         Infotainment device that combines the capabilities of playing music, Bluetooth hands-free           different languages.
              phone kit, and tele-diagnosis. Support for advanced speech-recognition as well as text-to-              For convenient, wireless communica-
              speech capabilities are also provided.
                                                                                                                  tions with personal devices inside the car,
    C2        Designed for off-board navigation purposes, where small pictograms in the multifunction             the Bluetooth standard was selected, while
              display of the instrument panel show the route to destination. This level includes a GPS receiver   outside communication is made via Global
              and dead reckoning support.                                                                         System for Mobile Communications
                                                                                                                  (GSM). For location-based services, GPS is
    C3        Opens the possibilities for key off-vehicle services—e.g., advanced theft protection—or
                                                                                                                  used, and communication with the vehicle
              comprehensive tele-diagnosis processes. A GSM/GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) module
              provides “always-on” capabilities for sending and receiving higher-capacity information.            electronics is done via the CAN bus stan-
                                                                                                                  dard. Standards are welcome to reduce
                                                                                                                  risks and development costs for automak-
telematics solution can be easily extended                come in different variants (starting at a               ers. With these standards, customers can
by services even years after the vehicle                  very basic level and ranging to a higher-               use their personal devices in the vehicle to
has left the production plant. This opens                 equipped unit with more features, de-                   listen to music that’s stored on a tiny USB
the possibility for a service-oriented busi-              pending on the type of customer and the                 stick or to use a Bluetooth-enabled mobile
ness model; offerings from different pro-                 planned usage) and give flexibility in terms             phone, for example.
viders can be integrated in individual so-                of benefits and price. Another appealing                     Regarding the hardware side of the
lutions. For Fiat, this aspect was impor-                 factor of this approach is the possibility of           joint development, Fiat and Microsoft
tant. With “bConnect,” the Italian car-                   retrofitting; the solution is prepared to                ABU defined a standard hardware refer-
maker already had its own service-provid-                 grow step-by-step along with customer                   ence design, and a Tier 1 supplier does
ing company with complete call-center                     demands.                                                the production of the telematics units
capabilities that operates throughout                         Fiat and Microsoft ABU defined three                 based on these specifications. During the
Europe. Other car manufacturers, which                    modular “convergence” levels for their                  manufacturing process, these units are
could also use the telematics platform                    multifunction telematics solution: C1, C2,              delivered to the Fiat production plants
from Fiat and Microsoft ABU, could then                   and C3 (see chart). Each of these levels                and assembled in vehicles like other con-
incorporate these services into their own                 includes the functionality of the previous              trol units. The telematics platform will
customized offerings without the need to                  one and makes use of the instrument pan-                only be available as an original-equip-
fully build up a service-providing infra-                 el that’s already inside the vehicle (supple-           ment feature because it is so deeply inte-
structure.                                                mented by two or three switch buttons),                 grated with the vehicle.
    Fiat and Microsoft ABU worked to-                     thereby avoiding a cost-intensive extra
                                                                                                                  Information for this article was provided by Giorgio
gether on a modular design that can                       display. For safety reasons, all levels are             Audisio of Fiat Auto.



Ultracapacitors could extend 14-V systems
Ultracapacitor maker Maxwell                                  Automakers are currently taking dif-
Technologies is taking aim at high-end                    ferent approaches to meet maximum
vehicles loaded with electronic features,                 power demands. Some have employed
providing standard modules that can pro-                  two 14-V batteries. Others sometimes
vide a temporary boost when many elec-                    shed power, cutting the supply to non-
tronic functions are operating simultane-                 critical items so that there is enough
ously. The technology will help automak-                  power available to keep critical comput-
ers provide functions that otherwise                      ing networks running without crashes.
might not be feasible with 14-V power                         “If they are trying to adjust the seat
sources.                                                  and it stops, or their radio or wipers stop
   The modules pack six of Maxwell’s                      working momentarily, the people who                     A 15-V Maxwell Technologies module can
new D-cell-sized ultracapacitors into stan-               have paid $40,000-100,000 for their cars                provide power for up to 15 s, then recharge
dard modules that provide 15 V. These                     are going to complain about having inter-               quickly to meet peak demands.
packages can provide bursts of power                      mittent features,” Smith said.
when the vehicle’s battery and charging                       The modules provide power in short                  like parallel parking, this recharges fairly
system fall short. That can bridge the gap                bursts. The cells deplete in about 15 s.                quickly, so you can do 20-30 steering in-
until higher-voltage systems are required                 But that is typically all that is needed to             puts,” Smith said. The modules are al-
to boost overall power capabilities.                      keep systems running. “This provides a                  ready designed into production vehicles
   “This is a life extender for 14-V sys-                 power boost, filling in the gaps when                    in model year 2008, he added.
tems. The problem should have been                        there are heavy loads,” Smith said.                         The D-cells in the package each pro-
solved by 42-V systems, but that’s been                       He noted that one of the few times                  vide 50-60 Farads at 14 V, which is
delayed,” said Richard Smith, Executive                   that power demands will remain high is                  enough energy for electronic power
Vice President of Strategic Business                      during parking. “Most steering conditions               steering or boosting other subsystems.
Development.                                              last only a few seconds. For something                  Perhaps one of the key benefits of ultra-
48 JANUARY 2005   aei
                                                                                                >>Concept to Reality
capacitors is their long lifetimes. They        lifetimes. “In many applications like this,
deliver more than 500,000 discharge-            batteries don’t work,” Smith said.
recharge cycles, which usually matches or
exceeds the lifetime of the vehicle. This is
a significant benefit over rechargeable
batteries, which have shorter lifetimes
                                                Recharging takes the life out of them.”
                                                    Ultracapacitors are also expected to
                                                see usage in the trucking industry. “These
                                                are also popular in trucks, where you’ve
                                                                                                    CAN oe
                                                                                                          For CAN, LIN
that are hampered when partially dis-           got huge loads. Some companies are                        MOST, FlexRay
                                                                                                                       TM

charged batteries are recharged. The            constantly monitoring vehicle location
standard package also helps drive down          and operating conditions, while at other
cost. Modules going into harsh under-           times drivers turning on heaters can crash
                                                                                                                                New
hood environments can be encased in             the GPS system,” Smith said.                                                Version
                                                                                                                                    5.1!
aluminum housings.                                  They may also see use in other parts of
    Though autos are a key market, Smith        the transportation industry. “In the off-
is addressing many others. Buses that use       highway market, ultracapacitor modules
braking to recharge batteries are another       can help for cold-weather starting and
market, since they will often discharge and     serve as auxiliary power for forklifts when
recharge the storage unit. That means the       they’re doing heavy lifting,” Smith added.
charge time may be intermittent, requiring                                    Terry Costlow
multiple cycles, which cuts down battery



Discrete memories remain viable
technology                                                                                        Enterprise Wide
As semiconductor manufacturing capa-                                                              Solution from
bilities grow, microcontrollers are holding
more and more memory, particularly                                                                OEM thru Supplier
flash EEPROM (electrically erasable pro-
grammable read-only memory). Although
                                                                                                    Model and Simulate
automotive engineers are driving chip-          Stand-alone memory chips let designers store
                                                                                                    Network Behavior
makers to increase this further, there’s        small amounts of data, often at cheaper costs
still plenty of demand for stand-alone          than memory on the CPU.                             Verify the Module
memory chips.                                                                                       Performance (In-
     Integrated Silicon Solution, Inc.          data, things that change,” Zastrow said.            the-Loop) Against
(ISSI) is addressing the growing need for           Often the EEPROMs are used to store
small amounts of discrete memory de-            settings for something like seat and mir-
                                                                                                    the Model
vices, unveiling a line of serial EEPROMs       ror positions, engine calibration tables,
that hold up to 64 kbytes. ISSI also un-        and radio station settings. They are also       Specific module and network
veiled a family of 256 Mbyte synchronous        used in security systems to store codes, or     behavior problems are identified,
DRAMs (dynamic random access memo-              in other areas where little data are trans-     without question, and with ease in
ry), which are used in radios and in CD/        ferred on the rare occasion that the            the early build stages. Reduces cost
DVD players as buffers to prevent skip-         memory is altered.                              and time delays at 'crunch time'!
ping, among other applications.                     “The chips are typically tied to a serial
     The parts are designed for applications    bus and they’re only written to once in a
in which integrating memory on the CPU          while,” Zastrow said.
is not effective. “A lot of times it’s cheap-       In these applications, small size and
er to use a stand-alone EEPROM instead          low cost are key product requirements.
of embedded flash,” said Lyn Zastrow,            “Most of our chips are 8-pin devices,”
Sales Vice President at ISSI.                   Zastrow said. They typically cost 15 to 50
     For some functions, these discrete         cents, he added. The DRAMs are used in                           USED BY
memory devices simplify system produc-          some of the same applications. They are                         THOUSANDS
tion even though they add a component           also used in telematics for display and                         WORLDWIDE!
to the manufacturing process. Vendors           scratchpad memory, as well as storing
often write data to a microprocessor’s          data in dashboard graphic systems.
flash during production using a single               Though the memories are small and
master system to make sure that each            fairly simple, they are linked to a variety
chip has exactly the same program. To           of systems with many different types of
alter this process for vehicle-specific iden-                                                          www.vector-cantech.com
                                                processors. “They’re used with anything                 Vector CANtech, Inc.
tifiers would be very costly and time-con-       from a 32-bit controller to a little 8-bit              39500 Orchard Hill Pl. Ste 550
suming. “EEPROM is used to store param-         processor,” Zastrow added.                              Novi, MI 48375 USA
                                                                                                        (248) 449-9290
eter-like serial numbers and calibration                                       Terry Costlow
                                                                                                                 Circle 49

								
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