By Robert Blake, Altera CorporationJanuary 17, 2008 -- pldesignline.com
FPGAs offer flexibility to handle the explosion in electronic content in today's automotive systems
The number of microcontrollers (ìCs) in automotive electronics systems continues growing with each model year. Microcontrollers power many electronics functions in today's automobile—the typical number in luxury models, for example, is well over 100 and counting.
Those numbers account for existing systems. But in the future, greater numbers will go toward improved GPS-based navigation systems, as well as in newer stability management, by-wire braking and steering, collision warning, voice recognition, Internet access, night vision, and collision avoidance systems, as well as many others.
Virtually every auto electronics application shown in figure below requires a ìC, and those applications continue to expand dramatically. Each model year, automakers offer more sophisticated electronic systems to deal with vehicle safety, telematics, and infotainment. Increasing costs are paralleling these newer applications, as well. Auto electronics currently account for 22% of a vehicle's cost and are projected to increase up to 40% by 2010.
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