National Semiconductor, which we might not hear from all that much longer, since it’s becoming part of Texas Instruments, announced this week that Audi will include National’s FPD-Link III Ser/Des automotive infotainment chipset in the 2012 Audi A3.
Other Audi models are expected to get the current-generation chipset, though there was no specific word on which models or when. National says earlier FPD-Link devices are currently in use across the Audi vehicle lineup.
National says its chipset “enables vivid graphics and content-protected high-definition (HD) video to be distributed throughout the vehicle, creating a movie theater-like experience for passengers.” I want one of those.
The chipset allows uncompressed HD video, as well as audio, clocking, and encrypted key exchange, to be distributed over a single twisted pair cable from the vehicle’s Multi Media Interface (MMI®) central processing unit to high-resolution displays “spread throughout the front and rear of the vehicle.” That can include driver-assist video cameras and a navigation screen as well as passenger entertainment.
National also says its FPD-Link III technology is one of only a few to be accepted by the Digital Content Protection (DCP, LLC), the licensing body for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) as an approved HDCP technology. Blu-ray movies or 3D map data should be safe from hacking.