Flexible Digital Display technologies using open source hardware and software for automotive applications

Patrick McDonnell

    Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis


    With the advances in electronics, digital dashboards are now becoming available for use in the automotive industry. The main difference between an analog dashboard and a digital dashboard configuration is that the later may easily be reconfigured. To accommodate the influx of digital graphical displays in vehicles, manufacturers have started to run micro Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS) inside their vehicles. Two options are offered to manufacturers when choosing a RTOS for their project; commercial OSs or open source OSs. Commercial OS contain many overheads which include an upfront capital investment and licensing fee for each unit produced. While open source OS are royalty free and offer no such financial overheads. Any application software that is written by the manufacturer for a commercial OS, is seen as proprietary software, and hence is not accessible by other manufacturers. Whilst any software written and licensed for use with an open source OS would be accessible, therefore leading to reduction in manufacturing costs and time. The main objective of this research was to develop a flexible digital display using open source hardware and software for use in automotive applications. The development of a digital dashboard using these technologies can allow for individual customisation and in addition facilitate a significant reduction in the design cycle time. The designed display controller incorporated an Analog Devices Blackfin development board onto which an open source OS was ported. Automotive information was read from a CAN network and was used to manipulate the data displayed on the digital dashboard.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Acheson, Henry, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2009


    • Flexible Digital Display technologies, automotive applications


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