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How to Power the Automotive TFT-LCD Displays of the (Not-so-Distant) Future

The automobile of the future will be equipped with multiple displays. Find out about current display shortcomings and how they can be addressed.

electronicdesign.com, Dec. 21, 2018 – 

With the rapid evolution of driver information technology, we can expect the automobile of the future to be equipped with multiple displays, possibly a dozen per car or even more. These "infotainment" displays will include an instrument cluster, a central information display, mirror replacement displays, and optionally, multiple entertainment displays for the rear seats.

While the size and resolution of automotive displays have grown, their electronics have become more complex yet limited in both PCB size and cost. One example of increasing complexity is found in the array of power rails that bias the TFT-LCD (thin-film transistor liquid-crystal display) panel and power its backlight. Another example is the stringent level of diagnostics required for display systems that relay safety-relevant information to the driver.

This article reviews the shortcomings of a typical power-management solution for evolving automotive infotainment clusters. It then provides a solution to the size problem while facilitating the dynamic orchestration of the complex protocol required to operate the display while meeting automotive safety levels.

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