Can we go yet? Making Road Trips Easier with Instant-On In-Vehicle Experience

By Alberto Troia - 2017-06-20

Nothing is more exciting than a road trip with the entire family. Luggage and toys are loaded in the trunk, kids take their seats in the back, mom or dad takes a seat behind the wheel—everything is ready to go. But when the ignition key turns to the on position, what exactly has to happen for the rear view camera to appear, the movie to start for the kids in the back, the air conditioning to cool down the vehicle—in other words, what does it take for the family road trip to actually begin?

To improve in-vehicle experience, auto manufacturers are focusing on a key feature: instant-on performance. Instant-on performance ensures the rapid start-up of the critical control and safety systems such as engine and transmission control, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) sensors, and digital instrumentation clusters. In addition, instant-on performance provides for a more enjoyable in-cabin experience by giving the driver and passengers quick responsiveness of climate controls, radio controls, and fast connectivity to the web/cloud to obtain traffic, weather, and entertainment.

Upon vehicle start up, the various system applications and programs (to manage the engine, display information in the instrument cluster, display the rear backup camera, etc.) must be loaded from the appropriate system’s nonvolatile memory (NVM). This can be accomplished one of two ways:

  • Store-and-Download (SnD) — the entire application/program is downloaded from the system’s NVM and then placed into the system working memory (RAM) before it runs.
  • eXecute-in-Place (XiP) — an application/program can be run directly from the system’s NVM rather than being first copied into the system RAM.

To achieve true instant-on performance, the applications and programs must be executed directly from the system’s NVM to avoid what can be several seconds or more of time needed to perform a store-and-download operation.

Micron’s Xccela™ flash memory is actually ideal for both  situations. With sustained read throughputs of 400 megatransfers per second (MT/s), an entire 1-gigabit (Gb) device can be read in a mere 0.3 seconds, faster than what can be achieved with NAND and eMMC Flash. Xccela flash enables fast download of applications and programs into system RAM (the store and download method), while its relatively low random-read latency and ultra-fast sequential reads also enables direct eXecute-in-Place (XiP) operation for true instant-on performance.

The ultra-fast read performance (see graph below), low latency, and low pin count interface of Xccela flash memory reduces system cost and saves valuable board space,  while also improving the in-vehicle experience.

NOR and NAND Performance Comparisons

With the adoption of Xccela flash, families can begin enjoying their road trip adventures without any misadventures.

Find out more about our Automotive Solutions and Xccela flash memory.

Allen Holmes

Alberto Troia