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Frost & Sullivan Acknowledges Inova Semiconductor’s Commitment to Providing the Best Ambient Lighting Solutions to the Automotive Industry


The smart LED driver from Inova provides sophisticated calibration features helps create unique lighting signatures, enable users to change the color of illumination, and employ dynamic lighting effects at no additional costs


LONDON, U.K. — June 26, 2017 — Based on its recent analysis of the automotive ambient lighting LED controller IC industry, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Inova Semiconductors with the 2017 European Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Leadership. Inova’s Automotive Pixel Link (APIX) platform has proven extremely popular among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier I suppliers for meeting their demand for high-resolution in-car video applications. Collaborating with Dominant Opto Technologies, NXP, TE Connectivity, and Pforzheim University, Inova developed an all-new in-car light emitting diode (LED) lighting system that drives down costs, simplifies control, and expands the functionality of LED lighting and display solutions.

Inova’s expertise in the APIX communications standard has enabled it to build an efficient   communications protocol with only 2 Mbps that allows each of up to 4.096 LEDs in a string to be individually addressed. In the latest APIX3 products, this technology is capable of offering data transmission at speeds of up to 12 Gbps for transmitting uncompressed videos to displays. The high-performing system has found enthusiastic acceptance among numerous premium car manufacturers, such as BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo, Bentley, Rolls Royce, as well as Alfa Romeo.

“In its in-car lighting solution, a tiny controller is built into the LED package along with the red, green, and blue (RGB) LED and uses a daisy-chain. This makes it theoretically possible to create an LED strip containing 4,096 LEDs,” said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Kamalesh Mohanarangam. “Inova expects that a string of up to 30 LEDs will meet customers’ requirements, but the next generation of ambient lighting systems will have RGB LEDs, and the same LEDs will be used to produce different colors.”

The smart LED driver from Inova boasts sophisticated calibration features that ensure that every LED will render the same color and brightness over the full temperature range. Additionally, a bidirectional communication system allows the OEMs to address each LED separately and analyze the diagnostic data of individual LEDs.

By partnering with other value chain participants, Inova has managed to leverage the strengths of these individual partners. For instance, for creating a new-age, in-vehicle LED lighting system:

  • Inova provides the chips
  • NXP delivers the microcontroller and software for the ambient lighting solution
  • Dominant Opto Technologies builds RGB LEDs with Inova’s controllers
  • TE Connectivity acts as the system integrator
  • LucieLabs, an Internet of Things start-up from France, provides the application software that will allow users to create unique lighting effects for the car simply over a smartphone

“Going forward, the luxury segment cars are expected to feature up to 300 LEDs in ambient lighting and the system must be equipped with diagnostic functionalities to ensure compliance with safety requirements,” noted Kamalesh Mohanarangam. “Also, the three RGB LEDs of the module will form a ‘pixel,’ which, at 24-bit resolution, can be set to more than 16 million colors. With Inova’s high-speed communication protocol, the lighting effect can be processed in true video speed, thus creating a new level of lighting displays in cars.”

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers with a focus on improving the return on the investment that customers make in its services or products. The award recognizes the company's inordinate focus on augmenting the value that its customers receive, beyond simply good customer service, leading to improved customer retention and ultimately customer base expansion.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.


Inova Semiconductors launches mezzanine card for APIX automotive video development using Intel FPGAs


Easy-to-use card cuts time to market

Nuremburg, Germany, March 13, 2017 – At the Embedded World exhibition, Inova Semiconductors today announced a new high speed mezzanine card for Intel® Cyclone® V FPGA boards.

The new transceiver card has been co-developed by Inova and the Intel Programmable Solutions Group, and enables engineers to easily set up hardware for testing and system development with the APIX2 automotive video interface. It can be connected to any Intel FPGA development board with a High-Speed Mezzanine Card (HSMC) connector, which enables system development with Intel FGPAs and System-on-Chips (SoCs). A design example has been developed for receiving and merging APIX2 camera video streams and sending them over an APIX2 link, and will be available at the Intel Design Store.

APIX2 is Inova’s SerDes (serializer/deserializer) technology for video and data communication in vehicles. It provides high-speed differential data transmission over a quad twisted pair (QSTP) cable, with bandwidth up to 3Gbps. APIX2 is the second generation of the proven Automotive Pixel Link (APIX) standard, and is ideal for automotive display and camera applications.

Michael Hendricks, director for the Automotive business in the Intel Programmable Solutions Group, said, “The APIX2 HSMC add-on card enables the interfacing of cameras and displays to Intel FPGAs via long-reach APIX2 interfacing, thus enabling the development of feature-rich next-generation cockpit experiences.”

Product capabilities

The APIX2 High Speed Mezzanine Card can simultaneously stream multiple digital video signals, as well as 100 Mbps bidirectional Ethernet data traffic and SPI control data, over robust APIX cable connections into and out of a FPGA.

The two on-board Inova INAP375RAQ receiver devices accept video streams with resolutions of up 1600x600 pixels and refresh rates of up to 100Hz. Their flexible video interface is configurable to handle one or two independent video streams each, which gives a total of up to four video input streams.

The on-board Inova INAP375TAQ transmitter can send 18- or 24-bit video with a resolution of up to 1600x600 pixels, 24-bit color depth and refresh rates of up to 100Hz to a display using the OpenLDI digital video interface.

The card’s RJ45 10/100 Ethernet port enables it to send and receive data traffic over the APIX2 link of the transmitter and receiver #1, via a Media Independent Interface (MII). It can also be used to send IP video traffic over the APIX2 links.

In camera applications, the cameras can be powered remotely through Power over APIX (PoA) using the card’s power regulator.

Additional features

The APIX2 transmitter device includes an HSD® (High Speed Data) connector for a QSTP cable, as well as an LVDS interface via the HSMC connector from the FPGA.

Each of the two APIX2 receiver devices include an HSD® (High Speed Data) connector for a QSTP cable. There is a parallel video interface of each receiver to the FPGA via the HSMC connector.

The new card also features an SPI port and STATUS pin connected to the FPGA.

The mezzanine card will be available in Q1 2017.

It will be on display at the Embedded World exhibition, Nuremburg, Germany from March 14-16, 2017. Inova is at Hall 4A, Booth 424.


ISELED Alliance welcomes IoT innovator Lucie Labs as new member


The Internet of Things platform comes to the automotive LED alliance

Nuremburg, Germany, March 14, 2017 – ISELED, the open alliance formed to create innovative LED-related products and solutions for the automotive market, announces that Lucie Labs has joined it as a new member.

Lucie Labs will take its place alongside the founding partners of the ISELED Alliance: Inova, Dominant Opto Technologies, NXP, TE Connectivity and Pforzheim University. It will complement the solutions of existing ISELED members by contributing its IoT software platform, including firmware, a software development kit (for iOS and Android) and a cloud environment.

The ISELED Alliance is developing LED-related products and solutions based on an entirely new in-car LED lighting concept, which integrates a smart LED driver with three color LEDs into a tiny package. This drives down costs, simplifies control, and expands the functionality of LED lighting and display solutions.

Robert Kraus, CEO at Inova Semiconductors, said, “The synergies between ISELED members and Lucie Labs will ensure full interoperability of Lucie Labs’ solution in the automotive market, and fast-track its synthesis into motor vehicles by offering a fully integrated solution.”

Yan Lee-Dajoux, CEO and co-founder of Lucie Labs, said, “We are honored to have joined the ISELED Open Alliance and are truly excited about implementing our IoT Platform to further advance this modern in-car ambient lighting solution; I have no doubt that ISELED will be a great success.”

Lucie Labs is a French Internet of Things (IoT) startup that creates, develops and distributes tools and technologies via its IoT software platform. It enables its customers to transform traditional items into smart, connected, interactive and useful objects, and generates data that can be used to create a new generation of predictive services.

By integrating the Lucie Labs technology into the ISELED Alliance solution, new ambient lighting possibilities focused on creating a holistic user experience are made possible. For example, ambient lighting can be used in multiple new use cases: convenience and comfort, entertainment and infotainment, safety and security, branding and design, and communications and interconnectivity.

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About the ISELED Alliance

The ISELED Alliance develops LED-related products and solutions based on a new in-car LED lighting concept, which integrates a smart LED driver with three color LEDs into a tiny package. This drives down costs, simplifies control, and expands the functionality of LED lighting and display solutions. Founding members are Inova Semiconductors, Dominant Opto Technologies, NXP, TE Connectivity and Pforzheim University.

About Lucie Labs

Lucie Labs is a leading player of the digital transformation from traditional objects to connected objects. Lucie Labs, a French IoT startup, creates, develops and distributes tools and technologies via its IoT Platform that enable its customers to transform traditional objects into smart, connected, interactive and useful objects.

Data generated by the new connected objects enables Lucie labs to create a new generation of services using machine learning: predictive services. Part of the French Tech ecosystem, accelerated by 2 major French accelerators, Orange Fab and Allianz Accelerator, Lucie Labs have clearly positioned themselves as leading innovators of the Internet of Things revolution.