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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

Get Rolling with NXP Infotainment NXP

(Source: Oleg -

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. According to research from Fortune Business Insights1 the global two-wheeler market was USD 110.82 billion in 2021, is expected to reach USD 121.49 billion in 2022, and is projected to grow to USD 217.94 billion by 2029. 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: speed, engine RPM, fuel level and efficiency, engine and ambient temperature, gear-shift indicator, tire pressure, traction control, and navigation (Figure 1).

Figure 1: i.MX RT1170 Crossover Microcontroller (MCU) Demo with Embedded Wizard GUI Technology (Source NXP Semiconductors)

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.

Two-Wheelers Meets a Leading Infotainment Processing Platform

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. Infotainment processing solutions, such as the NXP i.MX Crossover MCU portfolio discussed in this post, enable two-wheeler TFT displays to take center stage for communication between the rider and vehicle’s drivetrain, safety, and telematics systems by supporting the following capabilities:

  • A two-wheeler display screen with built-in navigation makes city route-finding more convenient and accessible than from an attached smartphone.
  • 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 condition 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 hazards.

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.

i.MX RT Crossover MCUs Bring Advanced Technology to Two-Wheelers

As one of the leaders 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.

The i.MX Crossover MCU portfolio from NXP provides processing and control solutions for a wide range of display applications, scaling from entry-level to high-end hybrid displays. The NXP i.MX RT crossover MCUs are gaining traction in displays, instrument clusters, and telematics systems for low-end cars and two-wheelers. These devices 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 an MCU.

NXP’s i.MX RT Crossover MCUs deliver the following 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 optimized BOM
  • AEC-Q100 qualification for automotive designs and product longevity
  • Software, AUTOSAR MCAL services, tools, and comprehensive ecosystem for ease-of-use
  • Compliance with the automotive safety integrity level (ASIL) hazard classification scheme, defined by the ISO 26262 functional safety standard for road vehicles

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 (Figure 2). The MCUXpresso suite of software and tools provides a unified experience across the NXP general-purpose and crossover MCU product portfolios.

Figure 2: i.MX RT Crossover MCUs for Automotive Applications (Source: NXP Semiconductors)

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 1Gb port time-sensitive network (TSN) switch.

Designing Two-Wheeler TFT Displays for the 21st Century

In today’s on-demand digital world, vehicles—especially two wheelers—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. All-in-one TFT screens began debuting in selected motorcycle and scooter models as recently as 2020, and now these advanced rider displays are a must-have feature for today’s latest two-wheelers. Leveraging NXP’s broad portfolio of crossover MCUs and enablement solutions can help designers accelerate two-wheeler TFT design.

Shweta Latawa authored the Infotainment Goes Two-Wheeling blog, which is repurposed here with permission.


Shweta Latawa
Automotive Segment Manager - Edge Processing, NXP Semiconductors
Shweta Latawa is the automotive segment leader for real-time products for edge processing at NXP. Based in Austin, Texas, Shweta currently leads automotive marketing and the adoption of i.MX 93 applications processors, i.MX RT1170 crossover MCUs and other NXP products. She has also led successful end-to-end execution of some of the most complex products in NXP’s digital networking products, handling R&D operations and governance, corporate strategy and business transformation, as well as design engineering for NXP (and formerly Freescale and Motorola). She holds a Master in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Engineering from Thapar Institute in India.


  • 1. Fortune Business Insights. “Two-Wheeler Market Size Worth USD 217.94 Billion, Globally, by 2029 at 8.7% CAGR.” GlobeNewswire, November 7, 2022., forecast%20period %20from%202021%2D2029.

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