Lattice looks to Drive automotive development with new stack

FPGA firm Lattice Semiconductor this week unveiled Lattice Drive, the sixth in its series of solution stacks, each focused on a particular horizontal or vertical market opportunity, and designed to help accelerate the development of FPGA-based systems and applications to address those opportunities.

As the name suggests, the Lattice Drive is aimed at speeding up the creation of advanced, flexible automotive system designs and applications. Lattice’s first target within the automotive market is in-vehicle infotainment display connectivity and data processing, but Mark Hoopes, director of industrial and automotive segment marketing at Lattice Semiconductor, told Fierce Electronics that Lattice Drive eventually  will tackle ADAS sensor bridging and processing, and low-power zonal bridging applications for driver, cabin, and vehicle monitoring.

“The amount of electronics per vehicle is dramatically going up,” Hoopes said. “And that's because of all the new features and functions they're adding to cars to increase safety… and also to increase the amount of entertainment and infotainment capabilities and displays.” For these and other reasons, there is “a growing need for multiple FPGAs per vehicle,” he added.

“The automotive industry is rapidly evolving and cars are getting smarter than ever with new technological advancements, notably with zonal architectures requiring varied sensors and displays across vehicle models. Now more than ever, manufacturers need solutions that enable them to innovate while maintaining flexibility for future updates,” said Bob O’Donnell, President and chief analyst, TECHnalysis Research, in a statement provided by Lattice. “Lattice software solutions offer a significant benefit to their customers, making it easier for them to integrate Lattice’s low power, small size, and scalable FPGAs into a variety of applications, now include advance automotive solutions.”

Lattice also offers solution stacks aimed at industrial automation, computer vision, wireless open radio access networks, AI, and firmware security, with each stack being launched at a pivotal time in the development of FPGA market opportunities in those segments. The same is now happening with automotive, as more vehicle manufacturers are looking for scalable, low-latency platforms. As Lattice did for those segments it is now offering automotive a stack that includes reference platforms and designs, demos, IP building blocks, and FPGA design tools to accelerate customer application development and time-to-market.

With the initial release of Lattice Drive focusing on in-vehicle infotainment display connectivity and data processing, the stack enables multi-resolution scaling and supports display sizes up to 4K; DisplayPort support up to HBR 3 at 8.1 Gbps per lane; and image/video enhancement with a scalable full array local dimming solution, the latter being key to ensure quality in variable lighting environments, Hoopes said.

In terms of display connectivity, Lattice Drive allows for bridging multiple displays, providing up to 1.5X faster DisplayPort interface than competitive devices in similar class. It also enables the ability to process or co-process data to offload the CPU with up to 75% lower power than competitive devices in a similar class, Hoopes said.