What is the CPU model of the infotainment system?

Jeremiah

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It’s my understanding that Ford, like much of the auto industry, use NXP I.MX chips. Does anyone know the model of the CPU that the MME uses for infotainment?
 

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I don't know for certain but My guess is going to be a NXP I.MX 8 or 8m chip. Its the chip i've been using at my work until only recently and it was heavily marketed as a car infotainment solution
 
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I don't know for certain but My guess is going to be a NXP I.MX 8 or 8m chip. Its the chip i've been using at my work until only recently and it was heavily marketed as a car infotainment solution
I.MX 8 would be good. If anyone knows a part number, the SoM (or SoC as the case may be), and how to get developer kits I would be thrilled. I'd like to do some software development on my Mach-E.
 

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I.MX 8 would be good. If anyone knows a part number, the SoM (or SoC as the case may be), and how to get developer kits I would be thrilled. I'd like to do some software development on my Mach-E.
You should be able to find some info on running custom code on the sync3 apims. They still run the same QNX software so it will likely mostly carry over.

I've seen a few screenshots of people running custom built media players.
 
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Jeremiah

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You should be able to find some info on running custom code on the sync3 apims. They still run the same QNX software so it will likely mostly carry over.

I've seen a few screenshots of people running custom built media players.
Wow, that's very cool that folks have already built custom media players!

I think the MME is running SYNC 4, at least that is what the owners manual says. SYNC 4 appears to be Windows Embedded on top of QNX.
 

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Wow, that's very cool that folks have already built custom media players!

I think the MME is running SYNC 4, at least that is what the owners manual says. SYNC 4 appears to be Windows Embedded on top of QNX.
There isn't anything Windows about it anymore. Previous versions of sync before QNX ran on a windows base OS.

And Ford will soon be replacing QNX with Android as well, I think in 2023.
 

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Hah, very interesting thread, and what a complete and total sea change from my teenage gearhead days. Back in the 70's (ugh I'm that old) we'd sit around drinking beers on the beach, talking about the nuts and bolts of the latest improvements to our vintage stallions that we salvaged from the 60's. As middle aged nerd now, it kinda puts a smile on my face to see that APIs are going to be the next gen tools needed for home project cars of the future. Did not think about that one coming.

Okay, so now the real point of this post. Is there a good resource for understanding the grand sphere of infotainment options in the EV sector, and where folks are speculating this is going to head? My impression is that Android systems are out front, though I could be totally wrong. Who, that is serious, is also in play, and will there be consolidation and disrupt going forward? What about Apps, and interoperability prospects? Will there be a similar pinch point between Android and IOS based apps, e.g. Apple's messenger app?

My thinking/concern on this comes from the fact that I can see a future where traveller assistance tools will be based on a client-server architecture to access cloud services, and for these to be effective, really need to be uniform, i.e. independent of the OS, rather than proprietary tools tapping into the underlying OS in some bizarre way only to provide economic benefit to the overlords. Given all the court cases of late right now, and the bitching in the press, seems like finding common ground in an RFC is not likely anytime soon, so I'm curious as to what folks think the risk ahead is for App development in this sector.
 

RonTCat

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Hah, very interesting thread, and what a complete and total sea change from my teenage gearhead days. Back in the 70's (ugh I'm that old) we'd sit around drinking beers on the beach, talking about the nuts and bolts of the latest improvements to our vintage stallions that we salvaged from the 60's. As middle aged nerd now, it kinda puts a smile on my face to see that APIs are going to be the next gen tools needed for home project cars of the future. Did not think about that one coming.

Okay, so now the real point of this post. Is there a good resource for understanding the grand sphere of infotainment options in the EV sector, and where folks are speculating this is going to head? My impression is that Android systems are out front, though I could be totally wrong. Who, that is serious, is also in play, and will there be consolidation and disrupt going forward? What about Apps, and interoperability prospects? Will there be a similar pinch point between Android and IOS based apps, e.g. Apple's messenger app?

My thinking/concern on this comes from the fact that I can see a future where traveller assistance tools will be based on a client-server architecture to access cloud services, and for these to be effective, really need to be uniform, i.e. independent of the OS, rather than proprietary tools tapping into the underlying OS in some bizarre way only to provide economic benefit to the overlords. Given all the court cases of late right now, and the bitching in the press, seems like finding common ground in an RFC is not likely anytime soon, so I'm curious as to what folks think the risk ahead is for App development in this sector.
There was a time when Microsoft thought Linux was their mortal enemy... now you can run a near full Linux shell in Windows 10. I think Apple is in the same place Microsoft was. They can play in the phone world, where they control the phone hardware, but that doesn't work in the auto world. They will have to come to the same conclusion as Microsoft did, or be the next "Blackberry of Autos".
 

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There was a time when Microsoft thought Linux was their mortal enemy... now you can run a near full Linux shell in Windows 10. I think Apple is in the same place Microsoft was. They can play in the phone world, where they control the phone hardware, but that doesn't work in the auto world. They will have to come to the same conclusion as Microsoft did, or be the next "Blackberry of Autos".
Seems like in a normal world, the auto industry would get out ahead of this and establish an industry standard on platform interoperability at a minimum to hold margins and optimize for customer experience. Given the 10x relative cap vales of tech companies to auto makers, I guess that's too much dog for the tail to wag.
 

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Seems like in a normal world, the auto industry would get out ahead of this and establish an industry standard on platform interoperability at a minimum to hold margins and optimize for customer experience. Given the 10x relative cap vales of tech companies to auto makers, I guess that's too much dog for the tail to wag.
This has already been happening. Thus automakers building up from large, feature rich, well tested, automotive grade operating systems such as BlackBerry QNX or the up and coming Google Android Automotive.

The fact that many large automakers are already using large, common building blocks is evidence that they do understand how to control margins, interoperate, integrate, and provide for customer experiences. (Yes that last part, customer experience, is also seemingly the hardest part as it relies on everything else going perfectly smoothly.)
 

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This has already been happening. Thus automakers building up from large, feature rich, well tested, automotive grade operating systems such as BlackBerry QNX or the up and coming Google Android Automotive.

The fact that many large automakers are already using large, common building blocks is evidence that they do understand how to control margins, interoperate, integrate, and provide for customer experiences. (Yes that last part, customer experience, is also seemingly the hardest part as it relies on everything else going perfectly smoothly.)
Okay, that's good to read, thanks for the update. As a relative noob to thinking about the EVsphere, it dawned on me that this could really hamstring the future of, say longish haul travel if this experience were wrapped into a "VHS vs. Beta-max" battle royale.

I still do worry, though, about the advantage Google/Alphabet could exploit over say a Blackberry, particularly when accessing cloud computing. Having watched all the proprietary battles that have grown out of the south bay over the years, call me circumspect about folks changing their well worn ways.
 

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Okay, that's good to read, thanks for the update. As a relative noob to thinking about the EVsphere, it dawned on me that this could really hamstring the future of, say longish haul travel if this experience were wrapped into a "VHS vs. Beta-max" battle royale.

I still do worry, though, about the advantage Google/Alphabet could exploit over say a Blackberry, particularly when accessing cloud computing. Having watched all the proprietary battles that have grown out of the south bay over the years, call me circumspect about folks changing their well worn ways.
Companies like Ford, with very large engineering divisions and many software engineers, are unlikely to "lock-in" with just one cloud vendor.

My guess is that they're already smart enough to not put all eggs in one basket.

In fact we already have ample evidence of this. Take a look through the press releases from Ford that touch upon connected vehicle capabilities like maps, road data, and so on, and you will see a wide variety of partner companies being mentioned.

Ford's Mustang Mach-E Press Releases (all of them!) | Ford Mustang Mach-E Forum - MachEforum.com

As Ford moves forward with their partnership with Google, it does not necessarily mean (and most likely does NOT mean) that they are severing all of their other cloud and service provider relationships.
 

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Here's a pic of the circuit board. It is a single board design unlike sync 3 which had a daughter board which held the processor, ram, and storage.

I have one here I could take apart and scrape the paste off of to read the processor information but I'm lazy.
sync 4 board.PNG


Here is a pic of the non-nav 8" variant. It has no GPS antenna connection and less RAM and storage.
sync 4 non nav.jpg
 
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There isn't anything Windows about it anymore. Previous versions of sync before QNX ran on a windows base OS.

And Ford will soon be replacing QNX with Android as well, I think in 2023.
I've heard that Ford are moving to Android in the future. I've heard a lot of car companies are, but not all of them do. Android Auto might be okay for IVI systems, but it is hard to build and moving in kind of a different direction from other systems like AUTOSAR Adaptive, Linux, and now Fuschia. But IVI system lead and development times are about 3 years so we may indeed see Android.

So SYNC 4 sounds like it is just React on QNX? Fascinating.
 

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So SYNC 4 sounds like it is just React on QNX? Fascinating.
Based on some research (random press releases + ford job postings) I believe Sync is a C++ Qt/QML based piece of software running on top of QNX. A lot of manufacturers seem to be using Qt these days. In theory this will make the move to Android easier since Qt is easily portable.
 

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