ROHM & Nanjing SemiDrive Develop Reference Design: PMICs & SerDes ICs for SoC


ROHM and Nanjing SemiDrive Technology Ltd., China’s largest SoC manufacturer for smart cockpits, have jointly developed a smart cockpit reference design. The design is primarily based on SemiDrive’s X9M and X9E automotive SoCs, and includes PMICs, SerDes ICs, LED driver IC, and other components from ROHM. A reference board based on this design is also available, consisting of three boards: the CoreBoard, the SerDes Board, and the Display Board.

In recent years, the proliferation of smart cockpits and ADAS in vehicles has increased the demand for automotive electronics and components. The performance of PMICs and SerDes ICs, which are at the heart of electronic systems in vehicles, has a direct impact on the stability and efficiency of the entire system. In this context, ROHM PMICs and SerDes ICs achieve a high level of integration in power supply blocks while supporting increased stability during high-speed data transmission.

ROHM and SemiDrive have been exchanging technologies since 2019, particularly in the development of applications for vehicle cockpits. In 2022, the two companies entered into a strategic partnership for the development of advanced technologies in the automotive sector. This resulted in ROHM components such as PMICs and SerDes ICs being integrated into the reference board for SemiDrive’s X9H In-Vehicle SoC. The reference board has since been adopted by a number of automakers to provide advanced functionality for cockpits and other vehicle applications.

This time, ROHM and SemiDrive have collaborated on the development of the REF66004 reference design featuring the vehicle-mounted SoCs X9M and X9E. As such, the REF66004 is expected to further expand application line-up, including in popular mass-market models. In addition to the SerDes IC used in the X9H reference board, ROHM also provides the BD96801Q12-C SoC PMIC and BD9SA01F80-C buck converter IC for driving the SoC, as well as the BD39031MUF-C general-purpose PMIC for ADAS that supplies power to the SerDes IC. This solution supports operation of up to three display projections and four ADAS cameras (Surround-view camera). Going forward, ROHM will continue to develop products for car infotainment systems that contribute to improving automotive safety and comfort.

Zhang Qiang, Chairman, Nanjing SemiDrive Technology Ltd.:

“As vehicles become increasingly smart, so too does the demand for car electronics and components. SemiDrive is focused on providing core components such as automotive SoCs and controllers for next-generation automotive E/E (Electrical/Electronic) architectures. Partnering with ROHM, which offers a rich portfolio of semiconductors for ADAS and cockpits, will greatly contribute to achieving next-generation cockpit solutions. In particular, ROHM SerDes ICs and PMICs which leverage original analog technology are key components in our reference design. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with ROHM to provide innovative solutions in a wide range of automotive fields.”

Tetsuo Tateishi, Member of the Board, Senior Corporate Officer, in charge of Research & Development, IT, Legal & Intellectual Property and LSI Business, ROHM Co., Ltd.

“We are pleased to have developed this reference design in collaboration with SemiDrive, a company with extensive experience in automotive SoCs. As ADAS evolves and cockpits become more multifunctional, the role of automotive analog semiconductors such as SerDes ICs and PMICs is becoming increasingly important. At the same time, the new PMIC provided by ROHM for SoCs represents a novel concept in power ICs that can flexibly adapt to next-generation automotive power system configurations. Going forward, we will continue to deepen our partnership with SemiDrive to increase our understanding of next-generation cockpits and accelerate the development of a wide range of products, contributing to further evolution in the automotive sector.”

REF66004 Reference Design Incorporating X9M, X9E, and ROHM Products

This reference design combines SemiDrive’s X9M and X9E SoCs for smart cockpits with ROHM PMICs for SoCs and ADAS, SerDes ICs (for display/camera), LVDS splitter IC, and LED driver IC for vehicle displays. It is available on ROHM’s website. The design offers a cockpit solution capable of driving up to three screen projections and four cameras. In addition, ROHM’s new PMICs for SoC enable arbitrary output voltage setting and sequence control via internal memory (One Time Programmable Memory), allowing flexible, high efficiency power supplies to be achieved that are tailored to circuit requirements.

A reference board based on this design is also available individually on request, capable of running multiple operating systems (OS) on a single SoC taking advantage of SemiDrive’s unique hardware virtualization capabilities. At the same time, a hardware security management module enables the transmission of commands from the operating system to the SoC and GPU. By swapping different SemiDrive SoCs with compatible pinouts, application specifications can be changed quickly and without circuit changes.

• SemiDrive’s X9 Series of Automotive SoCs

Ranging from entry-level to flagship models, SemiDrive’s X9 series of in-vehicle SoCs, which supports a variety of applications, including instrument clusters, car infotainment, cockpit domain control, and intelligent monitoring systems, has already completed shipments exceeding one million units. In addition, a sufficient production system has been established through extensive mass production experience.

• ROHM ‘s Reference Design Page

Details of ROHM’s reference design REF66004 and information on equipped products are available on ROHM’s website. REF66004-EVK-00x reference boards (REF66004-EVK-001/002/003) are also offered. Please contact a sales representative or visit ROHM’s website for more information on reference boards.