Analog Devices Launches Blackfin Car Telematics Platform

7/10/2003 - Analog Devices, Inc. (NYSE: ADI), a leader in semiconductors for signal processing applications, announced the availability of its new Blackfin® Car Telematics Platform, a comprehensive and open solution which is based on the company’s Blackfin Processor and enables cost reductions of at least 50 percent over current telematics system implementations. In addition, ADI’s Blackfin Car Telematics Platform includes JavaTM support, thereby providing added benefits such as ease of programmability as well as interoperability and compatibility across multiple platforms. Car telematics systems combine global positioning satellite (GPS) tracking and wireless-based services with voice activated control. ADI’s Blackfin Car Telematics Platform enables motorists to perform a variety of functions such as receiving communications for automatic roadside assistance and remote diagnostics, downloading digital audio files and obtaining ‘smart’ transportation information.

“Car telematics systems transform the automobile into a mobile platform that provides communications, safety, computing and multimedia entertainment functions,” said Brian McAloon, group vice president, DSP and System Products, Analog Devices, Inc. “Leveraging our leading signal processing expertise, Analog Devices’ new Car Telematics Platform is based on our flagship Blackfin Processor which was uniquely designed with each of these applications in mind. This combination allows us to deliver a telematics solution which can provide a significant reduction in system cost, enabling telematics to become more mainstream.”

According to Allied Business Intelligence, “the aggregate global market for telematics is expected to grow to over $12.3 billion by 2007 from $2.2 billion for 2001” and another report cites that nearly 80 percent of new vehicles will feature telematics by 2006. Today, telematics systems are only available to a subset of luxury-car buyers as an optional purchase. One of the factors that has prohibited the availability of car telematics to the broad automotive market has been the associated high cost of deployment. These types of systems need multiple processing elements, both for control processing and signal processing to handle many complex, real-time tasks simultaneously. ADI’s Blackfin Car Telematics Platform is based on the company’s Blackfin Processor, which combines best-in-class digital signal processing performance with microcontroller functionality onto a single core. It has sufficient computational power to incorporate the half-dozen functions typically found in a telematics system onto one device. This significantly reduces the system deployment costs compared with alternative solutions, which use separate hardware modules for each individual telematics function.

The functions implemented on ADI’s Blackfin Car Telematics Platform include GPS, dead reckoning, handsfree operation, noise reduction and echo cancellation, speech recognition for voice-activated control of the phone or other vehicle systems, text-to-speech to announce driving directions or SMS/email messages, Bluetooth connection to mobile phones, AM/FM decoding and car audio play/record of MP3 and Windows® Media Audio (WMA) content. In addition, ADI’s Blackfin Car Telematics Platform has an embedded real-time operating system (RTOS) that allows these multiple functions to run concurrently while sharing the system resources among them. Furthermore, since ADI’s Blackfin Car Telematics Platform is a programmable-based solution, it allows for utmost flexibility and new software applications and/or updates can be installed without the need to change the hardware.

Analog Devices’ new Blackfin Car Telematics Platform also includes Java technology, provided by Kada Systems of Burlington, Mass. Kada’s Java 2 Micro Edition (J2METM) enables a wide variety of telematics applications as well as scalability and portability across multiple vehicle models. In addition, the Java technology found in the Blackfin Car Telematics Platform enables full support of services to the target, adds graphics support for menu systems and allows native Blackfin Processor applications to be efficiently executed within the Java environment.

Pricing and Availability
Analog Devices’ Blackfin Car Telematics Platform is offered as a hardware reference design and includes all third-party software and will be available in Q3 ’03. It includes the Blackfin Processor along with software for MP3 and CD block decoding, AM/FM decoding, GPS, dead reckoning, acoustic echo cancellation, noise reduction, speech recognition, text-to-speech and Bluetooth stacks and is priced at under $20 in 100,000 unit quantities. For more information, please visit

About Analog Devices, Inc.
Analog Devices is a leading manufacturer of precision high-performance integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing applications. The company is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, and employs approximately 8,600 people worldwide. It has manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts, California, North Carolina, Ireland, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. Analog Devices´ stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the company is included in the S&P 500 Index.

Blackfin is a registered trademark of Analog Devices, Inc. Java and J2ME are trademarks of Sun Microsystems.

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