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Dialog Semiconductor’s Rapid Charge™ Technology Adopted in LeTV’s Market-First USB Type-C Smartphone Charging Adapter

Dialog Semiconductor plc, a provider of highly integrated power management, AC/DC power conversion, solid state lighting (SSL) and Bluetooth® Smart technology, announced that Le Mobile & Information Technology (Beijing) Co’s recently launched smartphones, the Le Max and Le 1 Pro, ship with power adapters that contain Dialog’s iW1780 ( +iW626 ( Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 adapter chipset.
Founded in 2015, Le Mobile & Information Technology (Beijing) Co is a subsidiary under LeTV Holdings. Le Mobile ... Read more Read more

element14’s Sudden Impact challenge comes to a close

element14’s Sudden Impact Wearable Design Challenge has finally come to a close, following months of design and innovation. When we first launched this programme in October 2014, we set out to challenge our online community of more than 350,000 design engineers and technology enthusiasts to find out how wearables can provide crucial, real-time insights to prevent serious injuries in contact sports.

By:Dianne Kibbey,
Global Head of Community,

The wearable health market is presently at a crucial stage, with more than 250,000 health-related devices shipping over the next five years alone, according to one report from IHS.

In recent years, revelations about the long-term effects of concussion-related injuries have caused many observers to question whether heavy-contact sports such as American football will survive, as NFL in particular has come under fire for
concealing the severity of such issues for
far too long.
Therefore, with support from Analog Devices, Tektronix and Electrolube,
element14 equipped 12 finalists with the technology needed to create solutions that could potentially be used on athletic fields across the world.
Each completed design was thoroughly tested by the School of Computing, Creative Technology and Engineering at Leeds Beckett University.
They considered each design’s effectiveness, durability, replicability and – most importantly – the ability to provide coaches, athletes and medical professionals with critical diagnostic information before it’s too late.
After much consideration, element14 and Leeds Beckett chose US-based Cosmin Iorga as the winner.
Cosmin’s ‘wearable impact and health monitor’ features a helmet unit that measures impacts upon a player’s head, body temperature, tilt, and global positioning, for use in a variety of sports. Miniaturised brainwave measurement technology and an electrocardiogram chest module wirelessly send alerts about the player’s brain and heart activity to an Android smartphone app, which can be used by coaches on the sidelines to remotely monitor the wellbeing of athletes.

Over the course of this challenge, we looked at how Cosmin and the other participants tackled design challenges including: measuring vital statistics, conforming to medical guidelines, managing power and wirelessly relaying data in real time.

Ravi Butani of India took home runner-up honours for his real-time player monitoring system. Other notable entries that were tested and praised by the Leeds team for their advanced techniques included:

• Real-time coach and athlete monitoring system from US-based Austin Horning
• Sudden impact helmet and uniform sensor system by Dragan Knezevic in Serbia
• Helmet-mounted ski monitor from Hendrik Lipka in Germany
• Helmet-mounted trauma monitor and heart reactor by Douglas Wong from Canada

We’re proud to have taken the lead on an initiative that athletes and consumers alike want to see addressed. However, for all of the progress these individuals made there is still work to be done. Of the 3,500 adults surveyed worldwide in our “Engineering a Connected World” study, 68 percent believe that healthcare technology should remain technology development’s top priority.

We believe the electronics industry can play a critical role in empowering engineers to accelerate the pace at which they help develop technology that the population at large values.

For more information on the 12 challengers and the inventive solutions they built to improve sports safety, visit
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Win a Microchip MPLAB® Starter Kit for PIC24F from EP&Dee!

The MPLAB® Starter Kit for PIC24F (DM240015) Intelligent Integrated Analog is a comprehensive development kit featuring the PIC24F “GC” family of 16-bit microcontrollers. This family features advanced integrated analog which reduces BOM cost, lowers noise, and has faster throughput.
The board demonstrates these features of the PIC24 FJ128GC010 Microcontroller: direct LCD drive, 16-bit Sigma-Delta ADC, 12-bit Pipeline ADC, 10-bit DAC, Op-Amps, CTMU, DMA, USB, and XLP low power consumption.
The demonstration code includes: LCD display including scrolling text with icons, Sine wave audio output, Light Sensor, Temperature Sensor, Resistive Sensor, Watch Crystal based Time display, mTouch ™ User Input Control with Visual Feedback, Bar Graph display of sensor and microphone input, and data logging of 16-bit ADC data to USB drive. The board also features an analog connector designed to insert into a breadboard for easy access to analog peripherals, and an expansion area for adding RF connectivity. The board features an analog header, allowing clean analog signals to be accessed, preserving signal integrity. To complement the header, the board also features on-board sensors such as light sensor, potentiometer, microphone, temperature, and capacitive touch.
Additional features include USB Host and Device support, RF expandability, audio output via headphone jack, and on-board debugger/programmer.

• 16-bit Sigma-Delta Analog to Digital Converter
• 12-bit Pipeline 10 Msps Analog to Digital Converter
• 10-bit 1 Msps Digital to Analog Converter (2)
• Operational Amplifiers (2)
• Comparators (3)
• Voltage References (3)
• Charge-Time Measurement Unit (CTMU)

For the chance to win a MPLAB® Starter Kit for PIC24F Demo Board, log onto: and enter your details in the entry form.
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Win a Microchip PIC24FJ256DA210 Development Board!

Win a Microchip PIC24FJ256DA210 Development Board from EP&Dee.

The PIC24FJ256DA210 Development Board (DM240312) is a low cost and efficient development board to evaluate the features and performance of the PIC24FJ256DA210 with integrated graphics, mTouch™ and USB. The development board comes with a Graphics Display Truly 3.2 240x320 Board (AC164127-4) in order to complete the 2-board setup. It has a Microchip display connector V1, and allows developers to match with any of the listed 3.2, 4.3 TFT display, or the graphics prototype board available by Microchip.

• PIC24FJ256DA210 16-bit microcontroller
• Capacitive touch pads and switches
• Microchip display connector V1
• USB connectors (embedded host/device/OTG)
• PICtail™ Plus Modular expansion slot
• RS-232 serial port and associated hardware
• Debug connectors supporting MPLAB ICD-3, MPLAB REAL ICE and MPLAB PICkit-3
• Graphics Display Truly 3.2 240 × 320 Board

The development board also provides a complete interface to MPLAB ICD-3, MPLAB REAL ICE, and MPLAB PICkit-3 Emulator and Debugger.

For your chance to win a PIC24FJ256DA210 Development Board from Microchip, please visit: and enter your details in the entry form.
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Every day is “Prime Day” for hot-selling Kinetis MCUs

July 15 is behind us. If you are like me, you had that day marked on your calendar ever since Amazon first announced their one-day shopping event that promised to include more deals than Black Friday. As expected, many of the deals that Amazon offered were around electronic devices – things like robot vacuum cleaners, wearables, tablets and
toys. Hopefully, while you were busy filling your cart with bargains, you also remembered to think about the technology that drives these cool electronics devices, microcontrollers, of course! From an ultra-low power MCU designed into a smart watch to a high-performance MCU designed into your home automation system – the Kinetis MCU portfolio consists of multiple series of products powering the next greatest innovations.

Kinetis K series is based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4 core and designed for scalability, performance efficiency, integration, connectivity, communications, HMI and security. Kinetis K series MCUs offer industry-leading low-power and significant BOM savings through smart on-chip integration. Target applications are things like gaming consoles, medical devices and home controls.

Kinetis L series is based on the ARM Cortex-M0+ core. These ultra low-power, ultra small scale MCUs are super easy to use with leading scalability and integration. They’re ideal for Internet of Things (IoT) edge nodes and other battery-powered devices like wearables and portable devices.

Kinetis E series is also based on the ARM Cortex-M0+ core and is designed for applications that require high robustness to EMC/ESD, and/or full 5V IO capability.
Target applications include appliances, DC fans, and BLDC motors.
The truth is the electronics market is extremely cost competitive. The prices we saw during Prime Day reflected just how cost-competitive electronic devices can be. As MCUs are the brains inside these smart products, it only makes sense that the MCUs be as cost competitive as possible. Which is why Freescale had its own version of Prime Day, recently lowering the prices (MSRP) of hundreds of Kinetis MCUs that now start as low as just $0.39 (USD) for 10Ku quantities.

Membership not required
To buy Kinetis MCUs, you do not need to be a member of a particular club or group. Students, hobbyists, and customers alike can purchase Kinetis MCUs online at or through any authorized Freescale distributor. And you don’t have to rush, as our updated pricing is more than just a one-day marketing ploy. Most folks will also want join our Kinetis MCU community to access the latest information and general support.

Not sure where to start?
Check out the entire Kinetis MCU portfolio at While you won’t see words like “lightning deals” or fancy icons to show where prices have been slashed, you can still shop with confidence knowing that pricing was adjusted on more than 500 of our most popular Kinetis devices – making the Kinetis MCU portfolio even more competitive than ever before. So, if you are familiar with Kinetis MCUs but thought that it was out of your design price range before – now is the time to have another look. And if you are new to Kinetis, there is no better time to jump into your design ■

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Wireless design challenges in the fast-growing M2M market

By Stefano Moioli, Director Product Management Cellular, u-blox AG
and Thomas Nigg, Senior Director Product Strategy Positioning, u-blox AG

The rate of growth of machine-to-machine (M2M) connections now far exceeds new connections between people and very soon there will be many more machines than people connecting over cellular networks, as shown in the GSM Association forecast illustrated in Figure 1. These machines include security systems, meters, robots, vending stations, asset trackers and emergency call systems. The variety is growing by the day, as are the silent conversations between millions of machines exchanging data 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no human intervention.

Figure 1: The growth of M2M communications (Source: GSM Association).
At the same time, it’s becoming cheaper and easier to connect to the Internet and even mass produced computing devices are able to gather and process ever-larger volumes of data.
The one potential bottleneck to greater M2M connectivity, the fact that all 4 billion+ IP version 4 addresses are already allocated, has been removed with the introduction of IP version 6.
This supports 2 to the power of 128 addresses, more than enough for every grain of sand on Earth to have its very own address. It’s perhaps no surprise then that LTE, the fourth generation of mobile networks (4G), is designed to deliver services such as data, voice, and video over IP version 6.
To join the M2M networking revolution, all that’s needed is to embed machines with small, economical (wireless) modems. Where location, speed or navigation information needs to be established, the machines also need a GPS (Global Positioning System) or GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receiver. Both components, with an antenna, can fit easily in a device much smaller than a mobile phone. (GNSS is the standard generic term for satellite navigation systems that provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage. It includes GPS(United States), GLONASS(Russia) , Galileo(Europe), Beidou(China) and other regional systems.
When thinking about how to equip a machine with communications capability, you need to start by thinking about the needs of the application. Factors such as product longevity, geographical network coverage or future-proofing to take account of future wireless network upgrades, 2G to 3G to 4G etc., are all important considerations.
Here are some of the product features you need to consider when selecting wireless modems:

1 Battery life is critical
The time between battery charging or replacement is critical to the success of some products. A container-mounted tracking device, for example, may be required to run for several days if it’s being shipped by air or road, and up to several weeks if shipped by sea. Battery life must be adequate to support these timescales.
Mobile phones are typically expected to run for 2 or 3 days on a single charge. As a result, consumer expectations for the operating life of health and fitness devices will be similar. When comparing modem and GNSS receiver specifications in these applications, both the operating and standby current consumption are important, so are power-saving functions. The latter may include auto-wakeup features and intelligent power-saving modes such as the ability to log data autonomously without waking the host processor. Ideally, components should only wake up when needed.

2 Mobility demands multi-standards compliance
Global mobility is increasing for people and goods, so it is important to consider where a modem needs to function today and where it may be required to work in the future: GSM is supported by four main frequency bands worldwide, UMTS by 6 and LTE over 30.
An electricity meter is usually static whereas a resource management system may be required to work in all regions of the world and should include either a quad-band or dual-band GSM modem (depending on the location), or 6-band UMTS modem.

3 Certified modems accelerate product approvals
Any cellular network device, whether for GSM, UMTS or LTE, needs regulatory, industry and operator certification. It significantly simplifies and speeds up the certification process if the modem embedded in the device is certified.

4 What you need today may be different tomorrow
While GSM/GPRS networks are perfectly capably of handling the small volumes of data transmitted in remote metering applications, GSM bands are already being considered for re-allocation to 3G and 4G services. To save the expense of future it can be a good idea to design with future technology standards in mind. Today, this means designing with UMTS/HSPA or LTE modems, or at least future-proofing your hardware to make upgrades easier.

Figure 2: Nested design techniques optimize design cost and facilitate easier hardware upgrades.

Nested design simplifies technology upgrading

Cellular M2M technologies are in continuous evolution and, when designing a new device enabling cellular connectivity, it is of essence to take into consideration its upgradability to newer technologies in order to optimize the design cost. Here, there is layout compatibility across the entire range of cellular modems (GSM, UMTS, CDMA and LTE). With this approach, a single printed circuit board layout can be used for all end-product variations ensuring an easy migration between cellular technologies and module generations, also thanks to the AT command compatibility within the different modules

5 Bandwidth requirements rarely decrease
The bandwidth demand of tracking applications only goes in one direction – upwards – so it’s important to consider the lifetime costs of your connection. Choose your modem based on what it may need to do 3-5 years from now, or at least choose one that makes upgrades as easy as possible.

6 Automotive special needs
In vehicle-mounted systems, temperature, humidity and vibration can be extreme. AEC-Q100 qualified devices manufactured in ISO/TS 16949 certified sites will ensure reliable, long-life operation. Qualification tests for each component should conform to ISO16750: “Road vehicles – Environmental conditions and testing for electrical and electronic equipment”. This applies to vehicle-mounted devices and industrial devices that operate in demanding environments such as ships or railcars.

7 Emergency call systems are growing in popularity
Increasingly, cars are fitted with systems that automatically report accidents or aid recovery after theft. The US, Europe, Russia and Brazil have established initiatives to support such systems and that will increasingly be required by government mandate. For these applications, and example of which is shown in Figure 3, an “In-band modem”, is often needed. It sends data over the modem voice channel in a similar way to a fax machine sending data over the telephone lines. It’s needed because operators prioritize voice over data in mobile networks. In the event of an accident, the voice channel becomes the crucial link for transmitting data to emergency services.
Check that your proposed solution supports in-band modems on both 2G and 3G networks.

8 Assisted positioning in urban environments
In cities or other urban environments where satellite may be blocked by tall buildings, the drop-out of positional overview can be overcome by calling up a remote A-GPS server. This is a simple process that downloads a few bytes of satellite orbital data from the Internet using a wireless modem. With this aiding data, visible satellites need only be visible for a few seconds to calculate a position, and not the full 30 seconds it takes to receive an entire 1500 bit satellite frame.

Figure 3: In-band modems are required for emergency call systems like these so that data is transmitted over prioritized voice channels.
Check that the positioning (GPS) receiver vendor offers online assistance with guaranteed availability and that this covers the geographic regions of interest. Client software should support the service transparently and the positioning receiver and wireless modem should both have an interface to support the service. It’s also increasingly important that the service is available for both GPS and GLONASS.

9 Dead reckoning support to extrapolate positioning data from sensors
Satellite signals can be supplemented with Dead Reckoning support, which extrapolates location and speed based on data from vehicle sensors, as illustrated in Figure 4. This approach helps determine vehicle position in tunnels or other locations where satellite reception is temporarily unavailable. It’s useful in vehicle-based telematics, including insurance tracking systems, where it accurately records position, heading and velocity.
Check that positioning receivers are automotive-grade, support Dead Reckoning and can be plugged into the vehicle CAN bus to acquire the data. Also, will they interface directly with vehicle sensors such as gyros and odometers and does the vendor offer an evaluation environment to speed product development.

Figure 4: Dead Reckoning extrapolates position data from vehicle sensors, including gyros and wheel tick sensors.

10 Indoor positioning is possible by combining satellite and cellular data
Where an approximate indoor position needs to be established, combining a satellite receiver with a wireless modem overcomes the problem of satellite signals being blocked by walls or other obstructions. This hybrid solution exploits the visibility of 2G or 3G cells because GSM or UMTS signals easily penetrate walls. Where the boundaries of visible mobile cells are known, an approximate position can be calculated from knowing where the cells overlap. This approach needs a wireless connection to an external service, similar to assisted positioning. Check that your positioning receiver and wireless modem supplier can offer such a solution, that it’s proven and whether it provides an online service. It’s also important to establish that the accuracy of the system is adequate.

11 Positioning system compatibility
Until recently, GPS was the only system you needed to consider. Now, there’s Russia’s GLONASS, Japan’s QZSS, China’s BeiDou and Europe’s Galileo to consider. Compatibility with GPS plus at least one other satellite system will be needed to increase system reliability and accuracy, and to fulfill regional government mandates for compatibility with their own systems. Parallel operation that uses two systems simultaneously may be part of the specification. An example is Russia’s new ERA-GLONASS vehicle emergency call system that requires GLONASS compatibility. Look for GPS/GNSS receivers that provide multi-GNSS support and provide parallel GPS/GLONASS or GPS/BeiDou reception.
These are just some of the considerations when adding wireless connectivity to M2M products. Remember that many new standards, both wireless and positioning, are in transition. It’s important to consider the operation of your product over its lifetime and which markets your products will to serve. Also consider whether it’s important to include design support for next-generation performance and network coverage, or opt to design for easy upgradeability of your products in the field ■

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The path toward augmented reality with Renesas R-Car family

The combination of powerful 3D graphics, outstanding computer vision capabilities and optimized video capture to form single chip SoC solutions is key to the success of future parking assistance solutions that include surround view systems using multiple cameras. The second SoC generation from Renesas, called R-Car, aims at providing the appropriate solution to enable ready to use advanced 3D surround view applications and offer the driver an immersive and safe experience.

Key words: ADAS, 3D surround view, 3D graphics, computer vision, image recognition, structure from motion, Ethernet AVB, video compression, low latency

Author: Simon Oudin, Senior Marketing Engineer, Renesas Electronics Europe


Surround view monitoring will become a common functionality in cars. This feature is part of the parking assistance system. From a niche market first driven by Asian car makers, it has become an option offered by the majority of car manufacturers, with the consequence of a higher requirement in terms of driver experience and solution scalability.
Renesas, as a lead SoC vendor for infotainment and ADAS applications, is already a major player for supporting surround view requirements in their early phase. Today, Renesas provides a new generation of SoC to answer global market needs with a scalable and innovative approach.


The purpose of surround view monitoring is to display a panoramic view of the car’s immediate surroundings. This representation, at 360 degrees with 2D perspective from the sky, is called “bird view” or “top view”. The different views are stitched together thanks to the correct geometric alignment of the cameras. The brightness and colour of the different cameras’ videos are modified for the harmonization of the surround view [1] [2].
Nevertheless, displaying only this representation does not generally help the driver during the parking process. To facilitate this manoeuvre, additional information can be shown to the driver as 2D overlays or rear view [1]. A complementary approach is to improve the driver apprehension of the distances with
a 3D representation of the car’s surroundings. The target is to use 2D cameras around the car to create a 3D comprehensive representation of its immediate vicinity with a 3D generated car as a driver perspective reference. It should reflect a realistic representation of the distances to nearby elements (pedestrians, cars and buildings). The 3D sphere perspective should dynamically change according to the car movement. The model car has to be properly integrated in the overall scene with light or reflection on the model car [2].

This level of application drives the performance required in terms of 3D graphics and computer vision in an automotive embedded platform. Renesas created the SoC family called R-Car in order to enable this level of applications. The second R-Car generation was first officially released in March 2013 and supports a wide variety of applications, such as connectivity, entertainment expansion and ADAS. This family provides outstanding performance with optimal power consumption capabilities [3] and a common API for reducing customer development efforts. From this family, two devices support surround view application: the R-Car H2 and the R-Car V2H.


R-Car H2 is the first device released in March 2013 and tailored to integrated cockpit solutions with the 3D surround application. For this utilisation, we first need to consider 3D graphic engine performance requirement. We should particularly pay attention to the two parts of the scene: the texture mapping of the 2D camera images on a 3D sphere and the 3D car representation.
The polygon count of the scene depends on the deformation of the 3D sphere and the rendering effects on the car model. For better rendering, the graphic engine must be able to process a significant polygon count in a short time. Moreover, as the
application can use different shader programs for one scene, the graphic engine must come with a powerful shader engine. Those performance requirements must be supported by a high GPU frequency, which will allow fast data processing. All these performance aspects justify Renesas’ decision to integrate an outstanding 3D graphics engine in R-Car H2. Indeed, its 3D graphic engine provides similar performance than the latest iPad Air 3D graphic engine.


The sensing of the scene in 3D is the other important aspect required to provide easy to understand content. This can be achieved with two techniques. The first is human-like stereo vision, although it has the disadvantage of double the camera cost and integration effort. The other option is to create the Structure from Motion (SfM) of the car, thus providing stereo vision over time. Renesas has implemented vision-dedicated hardware accelerators into the R-Car family to power this algorithm on the four cameras in real-time, meeting both performance and low power consumption requirements.
The SfM algorithm issues a list of flow vectors representing the motion of the vehicle and surrounding objects. The next non-trivial task is to find the car’s egomotion by calculating the essential movement from flow vectors and matching the majority of them. From this fundamental matrix, flow vectors can be sorted corresponding to static and dynamic objects in the surroundings. Static object flow vectors directly provide the distance of the object inversely proportional to the flow length.

Figure 1: SfM algorithm implemented in R-Car H2. Outcome of SfM algorithm running on one camera with R-Car H2 (above). 3D model of the environment based on SfM process outcomes (below)
Figure 1 (a) shows an example running on R-Car H2. The circles represent the static feature points which are the outcomes of the structure computation. The colours correspond to the clustered objects which are then fed back to the model deformation. Those can then be used to adapt the 3D model of the environment in real time as shown in Figure 1 (b). Finally, a realistic representation of the car environment is created based on this 3D model mapped with the 3D sphere generated by the graphic engine.

The R-Car family also includes the R-Car V2H, which provides a unique video path approach from the camera video acquisition over the Ethernet network down to the display interface.
This pipelined approach not only releases the requirements to the rest of the system (e.g. overall latency, memory bandwidth and CPU intervention), but also drastically reduces the software development complexity for the system maker.

Figure 2: Surround view video path on R-Car V2H with Ethernet input
Figure 2 shows this special video path of the R-Car V2H. There is no external memory access from the four cameras demultiplexing to the geometric video transformation and each hardware accelerator is dedicated for one camera.
System cost reduction is a main aspect contributing to the higher adoption of the surround view. Cabling is a non-negligible portion of that. In the past year, two approaches have emerged to reduce current LVDS based surround view systems [4]. One uses Ethernet over an unshielded twisted pair, the alternative being an update of LVDS to cost-effective coaxial cables. Both approaches lead to a similar system cost. However, the Ethernet solution not only helps system cost reduction but also offers flexibility for future applications. For example, with the increasing adoption of drive recording systems, new features like multi-channel simultaneous video recording could be supported with very limited impact on costs, as only the SD card interface would be required. The other benefit of Ethernet over LVDS lies in the standardized approach from both MAC levels with AVnu Alliance and PHY level with Open Alliance.


One of the main aspects requiring careful design is latency – in the transport including compression and decompression, as well as in the processing chain. Indeed, the overall latency from camera capture to display should be below 100ms in order to enable real-time perception to the driver.
Currently, cameras run at a frame-rate of 30 frames/sec. When using the global shutter, the sensor cells charge during the exposure time and all at the same time.

Figure 3: Latency for video transportation and geometric transformation
Then the imager starts to output pixel by pixel. Consequently, the last pixel is sent around 1 frame (33ms) after the capture. This is the first frame delay, which cannot be reduced. The other incompressible delay is for the display, where pixels must all be transmitted before they can be displayed, again around 33ms. Finally only 33ms remain to perform the rest of the tasks described in Figure 3.
The first item of the chain is the data transmission. The Ethernet protocol does not provide dedicated mechanisms to ensure low latency transport and camera synchronization. This is why Renesas introduced the first Gigabit Ethernet MAC with advanced AVB hardware support in the R-Car family [5]. This specific implementation provides the necessary hardware to reduce CPU load and optimize the overall compressed video reception. Some specific mechanisms have been implemented as intelligent packet decapsulation and camera video filtering. The multi-view camera applications are part of the AVnu Alliance AVB Automotive profile with fast start-up, low latency (maximum delay of 2ms) considerations for camera video [6].
The first multi-camera systems with Ethernet used low latency Motion JPEG (MJPEG) compression. This technology is based on the well-known JPEG standard widely used in consumer digital cameras. Nevertheless, the impact on quality video with this technology could limit the vision processing performance [7]. Consequently, Renesas considered H.264 compression technology to be the best solution for camera video transmission [8]. It provides a better compression ratio for improved vision processing performance [7] [9]. It has been also massively adopted in all consumers’ equipment that could be connected to the car through Renesas Infotainment connectivity solution. With the R-Car V2H, Renesas has implemented the first HD multi-channel, H.264 compliant, low latency decoder in an automotive SoC.
The ultimate step to reduce the latency is to decrease the latency in the processing portion. Indeed, traditional DSP based systems require a double buffering approach for the video capture. The R-Car V2H features a dedicated engine called IMR that processes the image geometric transformation on the fly. This feature supports direct streaming from up to 5 low latency video decoders. Thanks to the direct path in R-Car V2H, the overall latency in an Ethernet network is reduced in comparison with a classic LVDS approach, as shown in Figure 3.

The IMR is also capable of using a look-up table (LUT) to modify the viewpoint transformation to a 2D or 3D surround view representation on the fly.

The camera viewpoint can be modified for each input frame, enabling animated transition between the user’s viewpoints. Bilinear filtering is natively supported, providing excellent image quality. Thanks to this approach, the R-Car V2H natively supports 3D surround view with very low memory requirements. The R-Car V2H offers the same image recognition hardware as the R-Car H2. Consequently, it can also enable SfM computation or even pedestrian detection.

Figure 4: 3D surround view demonstration with pedestrian detection based on R-Car V2H
It is capable of detecting pedestrians for each of the four cameras in parallel, using histogram of gradient and support vector machine classification. This feature has been already demonstrated on the R-Car V2H during the Renesas Developer Conference last September in Japan, and at Electronica last November in Germany. Figure 4 shows this proof of concept [10].

In this article, we have presented the trend of automotive multi-camera applications focusing on the 3D surround view for parking assistance systems.
We have also introduced the scalable R-Car automotive SoC family. R-Car H2 is capable of creating 3D comprehensive representation of a car’s immediate surroundings to facilitate parking manoeuvres. In the R-Car V2H, a unique direct Ethernet video path has been introduced with Ethernet AVB MAC and multi-channel H.264 low latency decoder for ultra-low latency video processing and memory bandwidth reduction.
Considering that this application would be part of an autonomous parking assistance system, Renesas has already introduced key features to target an ASIL B at system level ■

[1] Mengmeng Yu and Guanglin Ma, Delphi Automotive “360° Surround View System with Parking Guidance”, May 2014
[2] M. Friebe, J. Petzold, “Visualisation Functions in Advanced Camera-Based Surround View Systems”, 2014
[3] Peter Fiedle, “Mehr Power weniger Leistungsaufnahme”, February 2014
[4] N. Noebauer, “Is Ethernet the rising star for in-vehicle networks?”, September 2011
[5] S. Oudin, N. Kitajima „Das zukünftige Ethernet-AVB Netzwerk“, November 2012
[6] AVnu Alliance White Paper “AVB for Automotive Use”, October 2014
[7] J. Forster, X. Jiang and A. Terzis “The Effect of Image Compression on Automotive Optical Flow Algorithms”. 2011
[8] T. Wiegand, G. J. Sullivan, G. Bjøntegaard, and A. Luthra, “Overview of the H.264/AVC Video Coding Standard”, Juli 2003
[9] T. Nguyen, D. Marpe, “Performance analysis of HEVC-based intra coding for still image compression”, May 2012

Simon Oudin is Senior Marketing Engineer for surround view applications in the newly created “Global ADAS Solution Group” at Renesas Electronics Europe.
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Minimizing Costs for Wire-to-Board Connections - Reutilizing Tried and Tested Technologies

Wire-to-board connections incur high costs when handling large quantities in mass markets. Using the right connection technology, however, such expense can be easily prevented. It's often worth considering the use of tried-and-tested technologies that enable cables and circuit boards to be connected at little cost.

By Albert Culetto, Business Development Manager Passive & Electromechanical Components, Rutronik Elektronische Bauelemente GmbH

Traditional plug connectors consist of two individual elements, and the cable is usually the one that requires more work and therefore more cost, meaning that a two-pin wire-to-board solution can rarely be achieved for less than 15 cents. This is why technology is needed that can establish the connection between the circuit board and cable more easily and more cheaply. Thinking outside of the box is allowed.
The constantly growing lighting market, for example, has some innovative solutions to offer. Developers in this field require low-cost connection technologies to enable them to remain competitive when connecting millions of units, and such designs can now also be seen in other vertical market segments. It's a similar trend to that seen in the automotive and industrial sectors, and in the field of white goods in electronics production – anywhere, where high unit quantities mean that fast and cost-effective production technologies are needed.
Established technologies such as IDC (insulation displacement connectors), spring systems or crimping present interesting solutions. They enable any type of cable (single or standard wire) to be cheaply connected to the PCB.

Fewer Work Steps Using IDC

IDCs or insulation displacement connectors are suitable for insulated copper cables with multiple wires. IDCs in communication technology with no need for soldering, screwing or insulation stripping have been used since the early 1970s. They enable a gas-tight connection to be established that ensures reliable connection even under rough conditions, and the end product can even be encapsulated. Versions without plastic encapsulation are also available where costs need to be saved. Developers here need to specifically observe the AWG (American wire gauge) system used to prevent wire breakage. In mass production, individual wires are compressed using a bit tool or lever press, which causes all of the wires to make contact through insulation-displacement connectors. The benefit of this is that costly work processes such as wire stripping, pre-soldering and crimping are no longer necessary. The IDC zone can be used up to three times, subject to the parameters specified in the data sheet. IDC is well suited to users who wish to permanently connect sensors, motors, fans or supply cables, as well as other peripheral modules.

Spring Systems and Plug-in Contacts

The use of spring systems and plug-in contacts in wire-to-board connections help save a lot of time and therefore a lot of money. They are used for terminal blocks, which are formed by punching or bending a single piece, and stand out in particular with their fast installation. Simplified connections using hooks enable a cable to be connected vertically at costs of less than 5 cents. In production, the contacts can be soldered and assembled during the SMT process. The only additional advance work step is the stripping of the wire insulation. The contact is usually disconnected using a special tool. In vertical systems, you can select from top or bottom entry so that the contact wire sticks out less from the PCB. There are also solutions for flat constructions such as solder lugs, which are designed for switches, motors and modules, or Faston terminals for white goods and automotive applications.

Saving Space Using Crimping without Housing

Crimping has proven its value as a low-cost connection alternative. For example, the automotive industry uses this technique, where the connection is first approved and then the housing is developed, to make billions of connections each year. Omitting this housing enables considerable costs and lots of space to be saved. This reduces shadowing in lamps in LED applications.
The resistance of the connection between the PCB and cable to separation provides high electrical and mechanical reliability. Crimping is mainly used in serial production and is suitable for soldering and assembly in SMT processes.
To find the commercially and technically best solution from the range of connection methods, expert advice is critical. With a team of Field Application Engineers for passive and electromechanical components, Rutronik supports its customers throughout the entire development cycle – from concept development to selection, from prototyping to serial production. Customers benefit from Rutronik's many years of experience and an extensive portfolio in the field of wire-to-board connections.
The distributor also cooperates with manufacturers to develop customer-specific products, enabling the finding of low-cost solutions that meet the diverse range of requirements in the wire-to-board segment ■

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