With the rise of scalable compute platforms and networked displays, the
automotive industry is in the midst of a massive tech-driven transformation,
and fully connected cars are becoming the norm. Fueled by the latest
innovations in display, infotainment and telematics technologies, the
two-wheeler industry is following suit, and smart, connected two-wheel
vehicles are paving the way.
A Growing Market for Smart, Connected Two-Wheel Vehicles
The two-wheeler market includes motorcycles of all classes and sizes, from
large touring machines to commuter bikes to smaller, entry-level motorcycles
and motorized scooters. Most motorcycles and scooters are powered by
traditional internal combustion engines (ICE). Electric vehicle (EV) models
also are becoming increasingly popular due in part to rising fuel prices and
the higher cost and complexity of maintaining ICE-powered vehicles. The EV
segment continues to launch compelling two-wheel models across a broad range
of prices, many with excellent performance and longer range for commuters.
Two-wheel vehicles are easy to ride and maneuver on congested roads while
offering the benefits of higher fuel efficiency, lower carbon emissions and a
fun, economical mode of transportation. Given these benefits, the two-wheeler
market continues to expand globally, with tremendous growth potential in the
years ahead. In 2021, the two-wheeler market saw growth in most world regions,
especially in Asia. According to
research from the Imarc Group, the Indian two-wheeler market reached a 15.2 million unit volume in 2021
and is forecast to exceed 42 million units by 2027. China’s rapidly growing
two-wheeler industry is now the world’s largest, with more than 200 companies
manufacturing motorcycles in addition to joint ventures with leading brands
such as Honda, Suzuki and BMW.
Similar to the automotive market, motorcycle and scooter manufacturers
introduce faster, safer, more advanced models each year, laden with new
tech-driven features that enhance the rider experience. A prime example: the
advent of thin-film transistor (TFT) displays, replacing the old-school
speedometer/tachometer cluster and other digital and analog instruments.
We’re all familiar with TFT displays on our smartphones, handheld video games,
PC monitors and automotive infotainment systems. The latest TFT displays for
two-wheelers integrate and present an array of vital rider information at a
glance: road speed, engine RPMs, fuel level and efficiency, engine and ambient
temperature, gear-shift indicator, tire pressure, traction control and
i.MX RT1170 crossover MCU Demo
Rider safety, convenience and comfort are key concerns when it comes to
designing TFT displays for two-wheelers. The underlying interface, processing,
communications and telematics technologies are similar to automotive
infotainment system designs.
As one of the leaders1 in system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for automotive infotainment, NXP
offers a broad portfolio of applications processors, microcontrollers (MCUs),
software and tools to help developers create the next generation of TFT
displays for the two-wheeler market.
Two-Wheelers Get Rolling with a Leading Infotainment Processing Platform
The application of NXP's
i.MX RT series of crossover MCUs
in two-wheelers is on the rise, enabling new rider information, comfort and
safety features, similar to car infotainment displays. Two-wheeler handlebar
controls don't have the space to accommodate multiple displays, so the primary
TFT display must showcase and communicate all information and navigation
features in a simple, uncluttered way.
NXP’s i.MX RT crossover MCUs enable two-wheeler TFT displays to take center
stage for communication between the rider and vehicle’s drivetrain, safety and
telematics systems. Consider the possibilities:
A two-wheeler display screen with built-in navigation makes city
route-finding more convenient and accessible than from an attached
Remote vehicle diagnostics and telematics features enable over-the-air (OTA)
updates to be pushed directly to the motorcycle or scooter rather than
requiring the rider to bring the vehicle to a garage for a manual update.
Sensors linked by a CAN bus relay real-time vehicle operating conditions at
a glance, from tire pressure to fuel level.
Smartphone connectivity over Bluetooth enables on-screen call notification,
giving the rider the option to stop, park and answer or reject the call.
Smart helmet connectivity over Bluetooth can also provide audio navigation
capabilities to the rider and accept voice commands. While not a core
feature, these audio/video playback capabilities are an added benefit in
two-wheeler display designs.
Today’s infotainment systems integrate telematics, navigation, and
wireless communications in the most seamless ways possible. Through
vehicle-to-everything communications (C-V2X), cars and two-wheelers alike
can share real-time information with other vehicles and traffic management
systems and coordinate safety-critical actions and maneuvers to avoid road
Two-wheeler TFT displays can support new and innovative applications such as
receiving real-time vehicle information, locating the nearest public parking
spaces and gas or EV recharge stations, sharing service updates and alerts,
locking and unlocking motorbikes remotely, enabling hands-free smartphone
access, tracking/recovering stolen vehicles and much more.
In today’s on-demand digital world, vehicles need a stylish yet simple way to
convey complex information to drivers. Knobs, buttons and analog gauges are
giving way to intelligent touch screens and 2D/3D high-resolution color
displays with realistic visual renderings. NXP's i.MX crossover MCU portfolio
provides cost-effective processing and control solutions for a wide range of
display applications, scaling from entry level to high-end hybrid displays.
i.MX RT Crossover MCUs Bring Advanced Technology to Two-Wheelers
While NXP's i.MX 6 and i.MX 8 series of applications processors have been
widely adopted in the automotive market for years, most recently, NXP's
i.MX RT crossover MCUs
are gaining traction in displays, instrument clusters and telematics systems
for low-end cars and two-wheelers. i.MX RT crossover MCUs offer the best of
both worlds for vehicle displays: the high performance and integration of a
microprocessor with the lower cost, ease-of-use and real-time functionality of
NXP has leveraged years of experience in the automotive market to develop
crossover MCUs with compelling capabilities:
High-performance real-time processing based on power-efficient Arm®
Cortex®-M CPU cores
Feature-rich human-machine interface (HMI) and connectivity options with
artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (AI/ML) capabilities
Cost-effective memory expansion and a highly integrated design enabling an
- AEC-Q100 qualification for automotive designs and product longevity
Software, AUTOSAR MCAL services, tools and comprehensive ecosystem for ease
Compliance with the automotive safety integrity level (ASIL) hazard
classification scheme, defined by the ISO 26262 functional safety standard
for road vehicles
i.MX RT Crossover MCUs for Automotive Applications
As a core competency, NXP values functional safety, especially for the
automotive market. The i.MX RT1170 and i.MX RT1180 crossover MCUs are quality
managed (QM) rated devices, offering the ability to support ASIL-B solutions
using additional hardware.
From easy-to-use software tools to ecosystem partnerships, design enablement
is one of the most critical aspects for selecting a processing platform and
developing a solution. NXP and its ecosystem partners provide comprehensive
enablement that enables developers to get started quickly and to transition
rapidly into full product development—all the way to mass production.
The MCUXpresso suite of software and tools
provides a unified experience across the NXP general-purpose and crossover MCU
The i.MX RT1170 crossover MCU
is the first auto-qualified i.MX RT product with a temperature range from -40
to +125 °C. This feature-rich MCU has two high-performance core platforms and
best-in-class multimedia features. The i.MX RT1170 SoC has a 2D GPU that
supports vector graphics and the OpenVG library. In addition to the RGB
display and parallel CMOS sensor camera interface, the i.MX RT1170 crossover
MCU supports MIPI CSI and DSI, giving the developer more options to select the
proper display and camera solution. Currently in pre-production, the i.MX
RT1180 crossover MCU will cater to low-end telematics with its five 1 Gb port
time-sensitive network (TSN) switch.
Designing Two-Wheeler TFT Displays for the 21st Century
- 2021 AUTO Semi Market Shares from Strategy Analytics