Intel makes a push for the auto market

May 29, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With the announcement of a platform for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) solutions, Intel has thrown its hat into the ring of the quickly growing automotive electronics market. Along with the roll-out of an embedded platform customised for this type of applications, the chipmaker announced a number of collaborations with players in the automotive and software industries as well as R&D activities.

Hitherto notably absent from the automotive business, Intel now appears to have been lured by the sheer size and growth of this market. But with cars becoming an increasingly important variety within the Internet of Things scenario, the company apparently could not afford to stand aloof. Rightly recognising in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems as the main gateway to the car, the company now introduces an IVI platform along with the necessary ecosystem of middleware and development kits.

Aiming at IVI systems that integrate driver assistance system functions, the platform is based on a current Atom SoC implementation with integrated graphics, capable of conducting image processing and delivering high-resolution 3D images to the associated display screens. To our knowledge an industry first, the platform runs under Tizen, the open-source Linux flavour developed along with major automotive OEMs and customised for deployment in cars.

Future versions of this platform will be optimised for applications related to autonomous driving. To foster such developments across the industry that contribute and accelerate developments in this arena, Intel announced to invest an undisclosed amount into ZMP, a Tokyo-based startup company dedicated to developing technologies related to autonomous driving.

The company also conducts research on intelligent traffic technologies that help to avoid accidents and increase the safety in road traffic. These activities are centred in Intel's Automotive Innovation and Product Centre in Karlsruhe (Germany) which has been established two years ago.

Currently, Intel collaborates with a number of OEMs in the development of IVI and telematics systems. Examples are BMW - the Bavarians are utilising Intel technologies in their Connected Drive navigation system. Nissan uses these technologies in the touch screens of its Infiniti Q50 model. With Jaguar Land Rover's Portland research lab, Intel collaborates in the area of automotive internetworking and cloud connectivity. Toyota uses Intel technologies to enable innovative usage models for the integration of mobile devices within the car, thereby focusing on the development of