Research Area: Multicore for Real-time Embedded Applications
Authors: Saikiran Kannan, Vijay h, krishnamaraju, mohan d
Faculty mentor: Mrs.ajina
Name of the Institution: Sir M Visvesveraya Institute Of Technology
A Multi-function display (MFD) is a small screen (TFT, DOT MATRIX or LCD) in any
Vehicle [cars here] surrounded by multiple buttons that can be used to display
Information to the Driver in numerous configurable ways.
MFD's are part of the digital era of modern cars. The advantage of an MFD over
Analog Display is that an MFD does not consume much space in the vehicle. All
Information is displayed on the MFD screens.
Many MFD's display the navigation route, speedometer, fuel rate, moving map,
Weather radar, and traffic Information all on the same screen. One way of making
Information situation-based is to use TFT displays.
Like no other type of display, these liquid crystal screens offer a high level of visual
Quality, flexibility and configurability.
An MFD works with the help of CAN (controller area network) which synchronizes all
The communications between the multiple devices in a car. An MFD involves 3 main
1. Multi Media system
3.body security system
4.Power train system
Multi Media system involves the audio devices, multimedia functionalities,
Bluetooth Connectivity, SD card functionalities etc..these things are supported using
sdars,RDS [radio digital systems], ADC[analog to digital converter] for radio's,Digital
signal processors and others.
It also Includes the navigation system [using GPS(global positioning systems)] that
displays The road map.
The input is through a HMI [human machine interface] unit that converts the
Input accordingly and displays accurate output. An MAS-K [multi audio system
Controller] is used to manage audio outputs. All these things are connected and
Embedded to a microcontroller which controls the operations.Microcontroller is also
used for basic functionalities and memory.
Cluster [or DIS (driver information systems)] system involves displaying of
Speedometers, fuel rates and various other fields of display. it has a
separate ECU for control, and in many high end cars advises optimum speed limits to
The driver and communicates with CAN. Initiates and controls climate control in a
Car, regulates AC level etc..it was analog in older generation cars, now digital.
Body security systems are those that take care of the overall security of the cars,
That includes features like antilocking facility, theft safety, airbags etc..
All these use the platform of Multicore processing, using multi thread concepts using
Power train system is basically used as an engine control unit that involves
functions like fuel injection,tyre pressure monitoring system, gear shifting controls
An information display system:
1. Front housing with glass cover
2. Rear housing with integrated electronics and liquid-crystal display
3. Connector for the LVDS data line 4
4. Connector for the onboard power supply
1 Multi-Audio System Controller
2 Central Information Display CID
3 Loudspeaker, front left
4 Loudspeaker, front right
5 Loudspeaker, rear left
6 Loudspeaker, rear right
7 Audio amplifiers
8 CD changer
9 Telephone control unit (e.g. Telematic Control Unit TCU)
10 GPS aerial
11 Radio aerial in the rear window
12 Connection to other control units on the KCAN, E.g. light module (dimmer)
14 Instrument cluster
15 Safety and gateway module SGM
16 Dynamic stability control (DSC)
17 Steering column switch cluster SZL
The automotive industry of cars is roughly divided into three segments:
Low end segment, middle level segment, high end segments.
In a low end segment car, generally we have an analog cluster display and a
Separate audio display system that are independent of each other. There is no
Navigation systems might use an 8-bit microcontroller. Audio system has an
LCD[liquid crystal] Display.
In a mid section car, generally there is an digital cluster with basic displays, and a
separate audio display that works with a microcontroller. it has an DOT-MATRIX
display. Generally does not contain a navigation system.
In high end cars, you generally had every available option with a network connection
Between the audio and the cluster display supporting USB and BLUETOOTH
Functionalities. a 3-d TFT display interface with navigation options.
To avoid 2 different display systems MFD's came into existence, but it was only
Possible in high end cars that used a 32-bit microcontroller and a TFT display
System. Also no network was possible in middle or low end cars due to the high cost
Involved. Even in high end cars, the MFD's always were susceptible to many errors
and malfunctions due to Large chunk of data handling and high electronics involved
that also increased the cost effectiveness, which asked too much from the
Microcontroller. Also, the usage of individual hardware units and processors for each
Different section involves higher cost and unwanted complexity.
Thus there is a need for a Single robust hardware terminal with limited amount of
Electronics that can operate with a RTOS [real time operating system] in a graphical
Interface in a cost-effective manner.
A display menu:
1. Display settings
2. Brightness of the Head-Up Display
3. Brightness of the Control Display (= Central Information Display)
Offset Deviation of brightness from middle position
A need for a MFD that works on a common platform, that is cost-effective
and has a single display unit.
In dot matrix and lcd displays, high end or 3-d graphics are very difficult to be
deciphered, hence we need every segment of cars to have a MFD that is cost-
effective, has more memory, less electronics involved and a common platform to
work upon. So here instead of a single micro-controller we take into use a SPGA
Chip [e.g. altera series] for graphical interface of nios core and a 32 bit
microcontroller. We optimize this unit in such a way that the microcontroller
synchronizes with FPGA and the whole hardware unit is hosted in a single board that
runs on an RTOS platform [specific to automotives: pro-osek, QNX]
- Large chunk of data handling is possible in input and outputs.
2. Performance at user level - Basically displays with lot of options / animated real time screens. (Without affecting 1)
3. Low cost - For emerging markets like India, cost of these units shall be cheaper to get
(you can see the same in all markets that everyone is trying to manufacture small cars - that's paradigm shift happening).
(Without affecting 1 and 2)
4. Lower engineering turn around that involves less electronics used.
5. Threading involved in a very efficient way.
Due to the increase in the memory interfacing and hardware, the RAM is increased
which enhances the rate of data transmission and data load. Lot of options to choose from
and accurate real time information's mean high efficiency data displays that do not impact data transmission rate.
With Asia becoming a hub for various automakers, cost efficiency is very important.
Low cost vehicles with good display supports can greatly enhance the auto markets.
Hence these MFD's will surge the sales of every segment cars. Low electronics used,
the whole hardware component on a single board greatly reduces the engineering turn-around
that makes it highly cost effective and simple.
Scope for future work (if any):
Many Big Software firms are currently working on a technology which is a
Type of OS [operating system] that is exclusively for automotives, that uses Intel
Atom core platform on a single board. All the display details will be on one display
interface that resembles a mini laptop/notebook which uses very limited amount of
hardware reducing the number of microprocessors used, with enhanced GUI
[Graphical user interface].
Thus, the future in automotive display systems is very promising and has
lots of new technologies to be unearthed using the above given possibilities
as the basic ideas. Also using above mentioned ideas we can improve and
Embed real time applications for a Multicore.
References: Google, British library [Bangalore], bmw-asia, merecedes-munich magazine.
Acknowledgements: our sincere thanks to,
Mr. srikant [Chennai], Mr. Harish prabhu [Chennai], Mr. Srinivasan [Bangalore], Mrs. Ajina [MVIT], And to our wonderful parents.