Shinichi Asano
Shinichi Asano
Principal Specialist
Published: September 24, 2020

This time, I would like to introduce the efforts of the instrument cluster system through our in-vehicle automotive semiconductor solution.

The instrument cluster system is what informs the driver of important driving information such as speed and telltale. And, it is a mandatory system for safe driving and is therefore mounted in all mainstream vehicles.

Currently, the driver assistance function and autonomous driving development are progressing rapidly, causing the number of connections between the instrument cluster and various sensors, information, and control devices to increase. This is leading to an increased amount of information that the instrument cluster has to display and realize, including complex visualization information on nearby vehicles while driving. At the same time, from the safety point of view, the need for increased visibility is increasing, and it is necessary to render graphics smoothly. Now, fully digital cluster systems rendered by automotive LCD displays become standard, and system evolution continues onward from there.

  1. Cluster digitalization can support increased safety-critical content and provide more user convenience. For example, it is possible to concurrently show a local map via smartphone connection and to safely warn drivers using a Driver Monitoring System (DMS).
  2. Furthermore, integrated cockpit system growth is accelerating due to continued focus on CASE (Connected Autonomous Shared Services & Electronic)

In summary, an instrument cluster system needs to keep robustness even though the system integration will be considered.

Current solutions are using system isolation implemented by a hypervisor system and developing highly robust systems across all applications.

Renesas can realize a simpler solution to provide benefits such as high performance, low cost and high robustness.

R-Car Gen3 has two types of CPU and GPU. And it can isolate the cluster system using a highly robust core (CRx) that includes a dual lock step operation, and a cluster GPU with over 10 years of history and performance in production instrument cluster systems.

  1. Therefore, it is possible to easily isolate the instrument cluster from other systems such as IVI without a hypervisor. Of course, a hypervisor is needed for an integrated cockpit system that has multiple applications and complex operations, and it can utilize this CPU/GPU isolation technology for an instrument cluster easily with a hypervisor solution. 
  2. It is possible for cluster systems to quickly bring up the display, sound and camera using simple RTOS on the CRx real-time core.
  3. It is possible to realize a high-performance system with each CPU and GPU operating simultaneously.
  4. With the above techniques, It is possible to utilize the same cluster software completely from low-end to high-end systems with the R-Car H3/M3/M3N/E3 lineup.

We are always addressing developing, proposing and providing suitable solutions that are optimized for performance, functions and system cost to customers.

Please look forward to Renesas' system technology for automotive.

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