Socionext Inc. has licensed APIX3 technology from Inova Semiconductors for its next generation of smart display controllers.
This opens another chapter in a long-standing success story which began in 2007. Socionext was the first manufacturer to license the APIX interface for its smart display controller and a number of other products and subsequently was also the first licensee of APIX2 and APIX3.
Socionext has continuously expanded its portfolio of display controllers and SoCs with APIX interfaces over the years, thereby covering the need for ever more networked and more sophisticated display architectures in vehicles. With this in mind, the fourth generation of smart display controllers has already been developed with the designation SC172x. The first samples will be available by 2Q 2022. For the first time, the extended features of the fourth generation also include a repeater function where several graphic controllers can be cascaded. This enables new architectures such as panoramic displays in the dashboard where there is a clear trend towards ever larger or multi-display applications. Moreover, new functionalities such as Local Dimming and Warping-on-the-fly will be implemented in order to support more demanding requirements and to achieve system integration.
The new smart display controllers will be used in vehicles from 2025/2026 and will continue the success story of the partnership of more than two decades between Socionext and Inova Semiconductors.
APIX licensed products from other manufacturers and Inova Semiconductors’ own products, means there are around 150 million chips with APIX interfaces currently in use in the vehicles of numerous manufacturers worldwide. Well over 50 million of them are from Socionext alone, which has played a very important part in the great success of APIX.
“Socionext has successfully integrated APIX technology into its smart display controllers and other products over several generations, so that it is now fair to speak of a de facto standard,” said Koichi Yamashita, Corporate Senior Vice President, Head of Automotive Business Unit of Socionext. “Thanks to the high flexibility and the scalable bandwidths, a wide variety of applications can be served in the car – from inexpensive, simple information displays through to sophisticated infotainment systems to safety-relevant instrument clusters.”
“With over 150 million parts sold, we have established APIX technology in the market with licensed partners like Socionext,” emphasises Robert Kraus, CEO of Inova Semiconductors. “In addition to the performance and scalability of APIX technology, the decisive factor for success is the availability of a complete ecosystem: semiconductor modules from several manufacturers, together with all other important components such as cables, connectors, evaluation boards and test solutions. And, the promise of our APIX partners that all components of the APIX ecosystem will function with one another without restriction. Together with very good application support (without it, the complex designs in the Gbps area are impossible) we ensure that systems in vehicles work reliably. This is what ultimately counts for the acceptance and sustainable success of a sophisticated technology; no standard can achieve that.”