Issue: Jun 2007


Toshiba Announces Next-Generation Graphics Display Controller for Automotive TFT LCD Panels



by Lenny Case

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC)*, a committed leader that collaborates with technology companies to create breakthrough designs, today announced the expansion of the Toshiba family of automotive graphics and display controllers with a new system-on-chip (SoC) targeted at instrument-cluster applications ranging from back-up camera displays to full-size, reconfigurable instrument clusters. Designated TX4964FG, the new single-chip solution drives and manages the small-size thin-film transistor (TFT) LCD panels increasingly found in instrument clusters in medium- to high-end automobiles. The highly integrated device integrates the CPU, hardware-graphics engine, TFT LCD panel controller, digital-camera interface and frame-buffer memory in a compact 176-pin QFP package. Its 4 Mbytes of embedded DRAM eliminate the need for external RAM ICs, thereby reducing system-level power and contributing to the small footprint.

"Toshiba took an innovative system approach and developed the new IC to support growing demand from vehicle manufacturers to reduce the system cost, complexity and component count of implementing TFT displays in sizes that typically range from 3-inch to 5-inch and with up to VGA resolution," said Shardul Kazi, vice president of the ASSP Business Unit at Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. He said that center-stack displays are gaining acceptance for navigation systems as drivers accustom themselves to using them and reap the benefits of having needed information inside the dashboard in the driver's focus zone.

The TX4964FG replaces four ICs and reduces design complexity through the integration of a powerful processor, an advanced graphics display controller with dedicated accelerator functions, and a comprehensive range of on-board peripherals and interfaces. The new SoC features Toshiba's low-power, high-performance MIPS-based(TM) TX49/L4 64-bit CPU core operating at 120 megahertz (MHz). An integrated graphics display controller together with specialized accelerator engines deliver graphics processing and display-control capabilities. Dedicated hardware engines for cluster graphics can deliver up to 32-bit RGBA colors. The graphic accelerator enhances the display output and offers high-quality anti-aliasing to ensure smooth graphics display. The frame grabber works with a wide variety of input data formats; it captures and processes video images and supports applications such as rear-view monitoring.

Highlights of the TX4964FG include the following:
-- Built-in 64-bit Toshiba TX49/L4 core, a 64-bit MIPS I, II, III
Instruction Set Architecture- (ISA-) compatible processor core with
additional instructions
-- Core operates at 120MHz maximum operating frequency
-- Integrates 8 Kbytes instruction cache and 8 Kbytes data cache

-- Integrates 4 Mbytes of embedded DRAM

-- Features a unified memory architecture with a high-performance quad-bus
structure with separate busses for the CPU, video, graphics and
graphics-acceleration functions

-- Features a graphics display controller with 8-bit alpha blending on all
operations to enable very high quality displays

-- Has graphics accelerator engines providing hardware acceleration for
flexible transformation operations and for rotation and scaling
operations

-- Has a frame grabber for video capture

-- Has several peripheral controllers, including a 3-channel external bus
controller, a 4-channel DMA controller, interrupt controller, serial
I/O consisting of a 2-channel UART and a 2-channel enhanced serial
interface, and a 2-channel CAN-bus controller

-- Has 1.2 volts (V) core-supply voltage, 2.5V and 3.3V I/O supply voltage
and low-power dissipation estimated at 1.0 watt

-- Operates in automotive/industrial temperature range of -40 degrees C to
85 degrees C ambient temperature

-- Manufactured in 90nm process technology

-- Housed in a 176-pin QFP package with 0.5mm pin pitch

Pricing and Availability


Samples are scheduled to be available in the third quarter of 2007 with volume production scheduled to begin in 2008. The device is priced at $25.00 each in 10,000-piece quantities.

For a product brief, please visit: http://www.toshiba.com/taec/components/ProdBrief/07D05_ASSP_ProdBrief_Fl.pdf

About the Toshiba Graphics Display Controller Family and Automotive Semiconductor Solutions

The growing Toshiba family of automotive graphics and display controllers has been architected specifically for driver-information systems and reconfigurable information clusters. They deliver realistic emulation of analog instruments and can render complex graphics to combine the best analog-instrumentation characteristics with displays of critical driving information. Each single-chip graphics-display processor has been optimized for a particular display range and capability. All of them use a common CPU architecture that allows sharing of system software, common graphics architecture to allow re-use of highly optimized applications and unified memory architecture to reduce cost while increasing performance.

Toshiba is a leading provider of semiconductor solutions to the automotive industry. Its products enable the automobile to become an integral part of the owner's digital world. Combining dedicated automotive expertise with Toshiba consumer and networking knowledge creates high-quality, leading-edge solutions that meet the needs of worldwide automobile manufacturers. Through engineering innovation, new products are being developed and deployed in the automotive sectors of entertainment/information, body/chassis and safety/security. In each sector, solutions are offered that deliver the highest levels of integration, increased functionality and proven quality. Whether it's CD-MP3 chips that support popular compression and sound field formats, RF transceivers/receivers with the industry's best sensitivity, high-fidelity audio power amplifiers or integrated RISC and CISC processors, Toshiba system-level solutions reduce costs, design cycles and enhance reliability. For more information, please visit: automotive.toshiba.com.

Through proven commitment, lasting relationships and advanced, reliable electronic components, Toshiba enables its customers to create market-leading designs. Toshiba is the heartbeat within product breakthroughs from OEMs, ODMs, CMs, distributors and fabless chip companies worldwide. A committed electronic components leader, Toshiba designs and manufactures high-quality, flash memory-based storage solutions, discrete devices, displays, medical tubes, custom SoCs/ASICs, digital multimedia and imaging products, microcontrollers and wireless components, that make possible today's leading cell phones, MP3 players, cameras, medical devices, automotive electronics and more.

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. is an independent operating company owned by Toshiba America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, Japan's largest semiconductor manufacturer and the world's fourth largest semiconductor manufacturer (iSuppli, World's Top Semiconductor Supplier Rankings in 2006). For additional company and product information, please visit http://www.toshiba.com/taec/.

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