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A FPGA BASED SOLUTION TO LCD DIGITAL AUTOMOBILE DASH

Utsav Drolia
MIT, Manipal utsavdrolia@gmail.com

Aamil Raza Shakri


MIT , Manipal aamilraza@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
Automotive electronic designs are experiencing a major paradigm shift with shorter design cycles and increasing digital electronic content. Over the next five years, the electronic systems in the automotive space are projected to grow at 7%, but the pace of Programmable Logic Device adoption is projected to grow at a much faster rate of 45%.The central nervous system of the car is an Automotive Dashboard which displays all informational parameters pertaining to safe driving and vehicle navigation. The technological advancement in this digital age demands fast processing and attractive instruments with an ease of use. With the established market of touch screen and hands-free the analog dashboards look obsolete and monotonous. The instrumentation system requires to monitor all key functions. This paper discusses not only the innovative idea of exploiting the parallel processing of FPGA based Digital Display but also make it fancier to be used in commercial market. The paper deals with incorporating several features of displaying crucial parameters for safe car driving , use of GPS for its navigation and touch screen enabled various flashy display. The hands free feature based on speech processing can also be exploited for several purpose of display change , music and viewing other parameters in detail. The display to be mounted on the steering wheel always stays erect as it is based on graphic rotation counter to the steering wheel motion. The main advantage is that it can be reconfigured.

INTRODUCTION
The current automobile dash display cluster consists of analog/digital dials and gauges. Traditionally, the real-time outputs from the instruments such as speedometer, odometer, etc. were obtained mechanically and displayed using analog drivers. However, with the digitization of these data inputs, stepper motors and LEDs replaced meters and gauges. The whole setup is made in a housing and fitted into the dash of the car. Doing this provides little flexibility to the driver to change the positions of the gauges according to his convenience or to view any extra parameters that he wishes to see. To do any of these tasks he will have to remake the complete dash. A developed product must cater to different vehicle and user requirements and support use of different sensors without any major changes. These limitations render the traditional solutions costly. To avoid this we make the whole dash on an LCD screen. This way the dials and gauges can be reconfigured to be placed as per the driver. He can choose what to display on the dash and what not too as it is a programmable display module. The current dashes are not very easily read, that is, the driver has to look at the pointer and at what speed or RPM it is pointing to even if he just wants a rough idea. Pointer type meters suffer from this disadvantage. By using an LCD to display the dash we can make it more perceptible and easy to read by using progressive bars and natural

color codes. Hence, giving a quick estimation of the current status of the car. As an example- we can make the whole screen flash in Red incase of any critical emergency. This is not possible for traditional dashes. Traditional dashes are completely noninteractive and monotonous. For example, the user cannot check mileage directly or keep a tab of the amount of fuel used which is essential for the user to do. All of this and more can be achieved by an LCD digital dash. The whole dash can be configured to suit the kind of carsports car, luxury sedans, of offroaders. Hence the monotonousness of the traditional dashes can be done away with.

system. The various sensors fetches the real time data of different parameters like RPM, speed , oil temperature, tyre pressure,fuel etc.The sensors: The signals from the sensors are fed on to the Arduino board. The coding for the Arduino kit is done on the Arduino software package. The Arduino receives the signal and processes it to send data serially to the NIOS II Embedded Evaluation kit via RS232. The coding on the Arduino kit is as under: TEST CODE ON ARDUINO SOFTWARE // include the SoftwareSerial library so you can use its functions: #include <SoftwareSerial.h> #define rxPin 6 #define txPin 8 #define ledPin 13 // set up a new serial port SoftwareSerial mySerial = SoftwareSerial(rxPin, txPin); char i=0; int sensor; unsigned char sensor1; unsigned char sensor2; unsigned char start=255; void setup() {// define pin modes for tx, rx, led // pins: pinMode(rxPin, INPUT); pinMode(txPin, OUTPUT); pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT); // set the data rate for the //SoftwareSerial port mySerial.begin(9600); Serial.begin(9600); } void loop() { sensor=analogRead(5); sensor1=map(sensor,0,1023,0,254); sensor=analogRead(0); sensor2=map(sensor,0,670,0,254);

METHODOLOGY
The main nerve centre of the whole system to be implemented is going to be an FPGA device. This is chosen due many reasons. First, it is completely be made within the FPGA itself. Thirdly, true parallel processing can be obtained by the FPGA hence if high amount of data is to be displayed it can be done easily. Hence it can support high resolution LCD modules. Data acquisition and display requires several steps and protocol to be followed. FPGAs are better suited than DSPs or ASSPs (application specific standard products) to perform these computationally intensive algorithms because they can handle multiple instructions in a single clock cycle. reconfigurable and new designs and systems can be burnt onto the device again and again several times. Secondly, whole systems such as microcontrollers, fast scatter-gather DMAs, a video pipeline, LCD controller an many such peripheral devices can Fig 1 shows the systematic arrangement of the Data Acquisition

mySerial.print(start); mySerial.print(sensor1); mySerial.print(sensor2); mySerial.print(sensor1); mySerial.print(sensor2); delay(100); }

Fig 1 When communicating with various micro processors one needs to convert the RS232 levels down to lower levels, typically 3.3 or 5.0 Volts. Serial RS232 communication works with voltages -15V to +15V for high and low. On the other hand, TTL logic operates between 0V and +5V . Modern low power consumption logic operates in the range of 0V and +3.3V or even lower. MAX 232 is used to achieve this serial level conversion. The Nios II Evaluation Kit, Cyclone III Edition is composed of the Cyclone III FPGA Starter Kit and an LCD/VGA HSMC daughtercard. Cyclone III Starter Board: Cyclone III EP3C25F324 FPGA .Blaster circuitry allowing download of FPGA configuration files via your USB port Power and analog devices from Linear Technology

Switching power supply LTM4603EV-1 Switching and step-down regulators LTC3413, LT1959 Memory 32 Mbytes of DDR SDRAM 1 Mbyte of synchronous SRAM

800 x 480 resolution 24-bit CD-quality audio CODEC with line-in, line-out, and microphone-in jacks Connectors SD card Serial connector (RS-232 DB9 port)

LCD daughtercard: o Color LCD touch-screen display

(The data shown above is available on the Altera website)

Fig 2 Cyclone III EP3C25F324 FPGA is programmed using the Quartus II software which is developed by Altera Corp. for synthesis ,analysis and developing their designs.A standard design is provided with the Kit which can be further worked upon to desired results. The Nios II IDE is based on the GNU C/C++ compiler and the Eclipse IDE, and provides a familiar and established environment for software development.Before building a hardware platform an application can be prototyped by running on the board. The signals received from the RS232 port is processed and segregated in different parameters, which were originally acquired. The graphics for the LCD is designed and coded in the NIOS II IDE. Many of the functions are readily available but are required to be activated. The graphics can be coded in C/C++ and displayed

portraying the various real time data available.

FURTHER GROWTH
The system can be further worked upon to envelope GPS and infotainment features.

Real time data acquired from various sensors is displayed on the screen with Flicker-free graphics. The display escapes the monotonic presentation of analog static dials to dynamic attractive digital features.

RESULT ANALYSIS

CONCLUSION
System flexibility is an important design consideration now a days. With the introduction of FPGA based solution for automotive purpose will increase the flexibility unlike the earlier Application specific Standard Products. The system can further be enhanced with several features like car navigation, car departure warning , tire pressure, night vision,speech processing, GPS etc.Moving from a set of mechanical controls, such as dials, sliders, and buttons, to a graphical touchscreen will be more user-friendly and interactive.. The developer will no longer be limited to a fixed family of settings limited by the number of dials on the front panel.Menus will allow infinite user-configurable options. Sophisticated graphics look to play a bigger role in making driving safer and more enjoyable. Displays and circuitry for the demanding automotive environment will enable instrument clusters and center stacks that provide high-performance graphics. With low cost and shooting reliability FPGA based automotive display will be a major advancement in the growing automotive electronics market.

Nios II Embedded Evaluation Kit, Cyclone III Edition, Manual on software and hardware, Altera corporation Tapan A. Mehta ,Sr. Strategic Marketing Manager ,Altera Corporation . How FPGAs Enable Automotive Systems Online help from Altera Support and Altera forum www.niosforum.com www. techonline.com www.automotivedesignline.com ieeexplore.ieee.org/ www.wikipedia.com

REFERENCES
Embedded Design Handbook,Altera Corporation