Automotive-grade FPGAs with SERDES

June 28, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Lattice Semiconductor's AEC-Q100-certified automotive family, the LA-LatticeECP3, includes 6 devices and delivers programmable technology that can be used for all classes of automobile as well as automotive aftermarket products.

The automotive-qualified LA-LatticeECP3 FPGA family provides a versatile programmable platform that includes SERDES. The power optimised SERDES uses half of the power of comparable multi-protocol SERDES. The devices also include powerful digital-signal processing, high-density on-chip memory, programmable DDR3 memory interfaces, and offers up to 35K look-up tables (LUTS). The LatticeECP3 family includes up six banks of configurable I/O and four 3Gbps SERDES to link automotive based networks, components and technologies.

“Vehicle designers want to differentiate by enabling safety and electronic features found in luxury cars to a universe of affordable automobiles,” said Gordon Hands, Director of marketing for low density products at Lattice. “This is limited by the availability of cost effective devices to enable this deployment. LA-LatticeECP3 devices leverage our experience in the mobile consumer space to deliver the programmable performance, size, and power necessary to immediately deploy advance automotive electronic technologies that can be used in all cars.”

In packages as small as 10 x 10mm, the LA-LatticeECP3 Automotive FPGA family allows designers to implement optimised driver assistance systems such as the replacement of side mirrors with high resolution camera systems. Lattice provides its HDR-60 Video Camera Development Kit so engineers can develop solutions in areas such as collision avoidance, driver assistance, infotainment and telematics. In addition to providing increased safety the elimination of mirrors improves automobile aerodynamics to dramatically increase fuel efficiency.

The range of solutions now possible using the LA-LatticeECP3 FPGA family also includes cost effectively extending the number of sensors throughout the car by enabling power efficient pre-processing for a distributed system. These new devices also enable advanced cloud based, high resolution infotainment systems and in-cabin integration of mobile devices such as smartphones that can be deployed throughout all classes of vehicle.