MediaTek Taps Into GMSL SerDes Technology for Automotive Infotainment Solution

March 30, 2020

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


When you step inside one of today's newer cars, you'll likely be served a veritable buffet of entertainment and information options. Music and movies, vehicle performance metrics, safety features, and more are delivered by sophisticated car infotainment systems. Analyst firm MarketsandMarkets anticipates that the global in-vehicle infotainment market will reach US $54.8 billion by 2027, up from US $24.3 billion in 2019.

Automotive infotainment systems consist of:

  • Digital instrument cluster, replacing traditional analog gauges such as the speedometer and odometer
  • Integrated head-unit, a touchscreen mounted on the dashboard that serves as the system's control center
  • In-vehicle sensors, including proximity, gesture recognition, and cameras that, when integrated with the infotainment system, delivers safety information
  • Connectivity via GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth® modules
  • Operating systems to support connectivity and other functions
  • Network protocol support such as CAN and LVDS, which enables microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other without a host computer
  • High-end DSPs and GPUs for multiple displays

Automotive Infotainment SoC with Multi-Display Support

For Hsinchu, Taiwan-based MediaTek, the automotive market is a core focus and automated driving is its next frontier. The global fabless semiconductor company is behind the Autus in-vehicle infotainment system, which provides information for auto sensors, entertainment content, navigation, and more.

A part of its automotive portfolio is the Autus I20 (MT2712), a high-performance, hexa-core infotainment system-on-chip (SoC) with a flexible interface and multi-display support. The Autus I20 features four high-efficiency Arm® Cortex®-A35 processors along with two high-performance Cortex-A72 processors. Working with an Arm Mali-T880 MP4 GPU and up to 4GB of LPDDR4/DDR4, the Autus I20 provides multimedia processing and a flexible video/audio interface to support various rich applications across in-vehicle infotainment displays.

MediaTek's Autus 120 SoC-based reference design, which supports automotive surround-view applications, uses Maxim GMSL SerDes technologyMediaTek’s Autus 120 SoC-based reference design supports surround-view applications in vehicles.

To enable the Autus I20 SoC-based reference design to support surround-view applications, MediaTek sought SerDes link solutions as well as power management ICs. The company found its answer in Maxim automotive ICs:

With the MAX9286, MediaTek gained a solution that provides 15m transmission distance, as well as a spread-spectrum feature that mitigates electromagnetic interference (EMI). The high-current buck converter, with its dynamic voltage scaling capability, allows MediaTek to change the output voltage via I2C to accommodate different DDR types.

"MAX9286 is highly integrated and can support up to four camera links. This compact integration takes up less space on the mainboard and also reduces the bill of materials cost for customers," said MediaTek Corporate Vice President JC Hsu.

This blog post was adapted from the original MediaTek testimonial. Learn more about GMSL SerDes ICs for infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) from resources including white papers, blogs, and design solutions.

Additional Resources