ROHM, a Japan based semiconductor solution provider has
for the first time introduced ‘Panel Chipset solutions in the Indian market to bring in
safety function to Next-generation Auto motives including Two wheelers . The chipset
has been designed to drive and control automotive LCDs, including larger high resolution
monitors used for navigation and the instrument cluster. The expanded line-up is
compatible with functional safety measures for speedometers, side mirrors, and other
The increased use of LCD panels in next generation vehicles for the instrument cluster,
navigation, electronic mirrors, and other systems, with larger, higher resolution displays,
calls for an increase in the number of driver and controller channels. This makes system
configuration and operation verification more difficult, favouring chipset solutions. In
applications such as electronic mirrors, malfunctions can lead to serious accidents and
functional safety is required.
ROHM is providing energy efficient power and safety solutions for automobile and has
recently developed a chipset designed to drive and control automotive LCDs, including
larger high-resolution monitors used for navigation and the instrument cluster. ROHM’s
revenues from this Panel-chipset solution is projected to hit US$100 million by 2021,
with a CAGR of 13% with present US$60 million.
"The automotive industry in India is one of the prime drivers of the Indian economy. This
industry’s R&D is an integral part of enabling manufacturing and innovations in India.
ROHM introduces the latest technology in Panel-Safety which had huge market success
in Europe and Japan. ROHM is convinced that this new automotive Panel-Chipset is
necessary for the Indian market as it will enhance both safety and comfort.” said Daisuke
Nakamura, Managing Director, ROHM Semiconductor India.
“ROHM Semiconductor India is working towards enabling innovations in the Indian two-
wheeler market. We are now working with key Indian two-wheeler OEM and Tier1, to
customize this solution for the Indian market. A fully functional digital LCD panel can
display much more useful information than the mechanical and semi-digital panels. We
are working very closely with both conventional OEM’s and for e-bikes to define the
application in India.” said Britto Edward Victor, Head, Design Center, ROHM
Background and Solution
With the advent of the Smartphone, LCD panels are now the de facto user-interface. This
fundamental innovation has brought some major advantages and the users are
accustomed to using this interface.
And, in recent years the adoption of LCDs in vehicles for the instrument cluster/meter,
navigation, electronic-mirrors, and other systems have risen significantly, while the
growing number of applications has increased the demand for larger and higher
Unlike consumer-displays which may sometimes freeze, automotive-panel displays vital
information to the driver relating to vehicle parameters (Speed, Engine-conditions, Turn-
indicators, etc.,), and images from cameras (rear-camera, side-mirror cameras, etc.,)
whose malfunction leads directly to human-safety on the roads.
To achieve these high-safety needs, it is necessary to increase the number of LCD-driver
and controller channels. However, this makes system configuration and verification
complex, strengthening the demand for an integrated Panel chipset solution. In addition
to this, applications like electronic-mirrors where malfunctions can lead to serious
accidents functional safety are required.
ROHM’s new Panel chipset integrate a gamma correction IC, timing controller (T-CON),
source driver, and gate driver for driving HD/FHD class displays (the highest resolution
currently on the market), along with a power management IC (PMIC) to ensure optimum
operation. Each IC is designed to share information as needed, for the supporting
functional safety in devices of displays. This chipset ensures high reliability for LCD
monitors used for side mirrors and speedometers.
In addition, chipset optimization allowed ROHM to cover a wide range of specifications
while at the same time integrate a key Fail detection function in the timing controller to
verify operation, making it possible to configure high-resolution LCD panels.
Key Features of automotive Panel-Chipset
1. The world’s first automotive chipsets that support functional safety in LCDs
Each IC configured in the chipset integrates a function for detecting the expected failure
mode. As a result, it is possible to detect panel failure and confirm and provide feedback
on information such as input signals to the LCD as well as peeling/destruction of the LCD
driver. Supporting functional safety contributes to the prevention of serious accidents
caused by the malfunction of monitors for the speedometer, side mirrors, and other
For example, the driver may not notice that the screen for the side mirrors has frozen in
the case no object is detected at the time, presenting a danger that can lead to serious
injury if someone suddenly were to go behind the car while the car is moving. To prevent
this ROHM delivers functional safety that can detect if the screen is frozen.
2. Easily configure HD/FHD class high-resolution LCDs
ROHM chipsets are designed to cover a wide range of specifications, making it possible
to easily configure high-resolution HD/FHD class LCDs.
In addition, the timing controller is equipped with a Fail detection circuit for verifying
chipset operation. And the setting of each output in the power management IC can be
changed by simply rewriting the internal register value. This reduces development
resources while contributing to common board designs.
Functional safety includes safety measures (concepts for ensuring safety) that minimize
risk by adding functionality such as monitoring and protective equipment. In the
automotive market, functional safety minimizes risk to an acceptable level in order to
prevent bodily injury in the event of malfunction due electronic system failure. There is
even an international standard for automotive functional safety (ISO26262).
Meanwhile, protection functions frequently referred to in ICs are functions that ensure
the safety of the IC itself by monitoring for internal malfunctions and damage.