In the world of software-defined vehicles (SDV), the seamless integration of software and hardware is increasingly merging. However, the continuous influx of new features has led to an interwoven web of wires, cables, and ECUs, increasing complexity, costs, and vehicle weight. To simplify this complicated landscape and enable new features, manufacturers are redefining vehicle architecture and shifting their focus from ‘hardware supported by software’ towards ‘software supported by hardware’—a paradigm shift!
Here in the Sound Segment, our engineers are deeply passionate about this evolution, and about transforming mobility. Sound in modern cars extends far beyond mere audio—it transforms them into sanctuaries of safety, comfort, and unparalleled immersive auditory experiences. And who wouldn't be thrilled to contribute to this innovative journey, enhancing the driving experience for people worldwide?
This vision is materializing through our groundbreaking software-only sound solution: PHANTONEXT. PHANTONEXT complements our 'PHANTONE' platform, which provides OEMs with comprehensive interior and exterior sound solutions including speakers, a sound control unit, sound designer software, and engineering support. It offers a complete ready-to-use sound solution for beginners and allows more experienced OEMs the flexibility to choose components tailored to their needs.
PHANTONEXT: Exceptional sound and flexibility
PHANTONEXT is a groundbreaking software-focused solution that’s truly unique. With its modular and scalable design, PHANTONEXT presents a customizable sound application that caters to a range of needs, including sound enhancements, individual components, or complete sound systems.
We’re extremely excited to share the PHANTONEXT concept with the industry. In fact, in November, we'll unveil a proof-of-concept on a Linux-based demo board at the AAC in Aachen. The demonstration will showcase real-time parameterization of the Sound-Engine using our advanced SoundDesigner software.
Basically, PHANTONEXT involves the integration of algorithms directly into domain controllers, zone computers, or head units, allowing for future individual control device replacements. By replacing traditional ECU flashing with dynamic, real-time editing, PHANTONEXT enhances the adaptability and efficiency of our sound algorithms, making sound design more intuitive and responsive.
Moreover, compatibility with operating systems such as Linux and Android OS, as well as AUTOSAR, ensures a uniform sound solution across various hardware variants. This provides a consistent sound solution for different vehicle configurations.
Why choose the complete PHANTONEXT system?
We believe in giving customers ultimate design flexibility. While our portfolio lets OEMs pick specific components, choosing our complete PHANTONEXT system means unlocking a sound experience like no other.
With SoundDesigner, Sound-Engine, and Sound Actuator/IPG seamlessly integrated, our system delivers top-notch sound quality Analogous to a traditional digital audio workstation (DAW), PHANTONEXT simplifies the process of sound design by optimizing the user experience (UI/UX). It's designed to be intuitive and easy to learn, allowing engineers to create customized soundscapes effortlessly. Plus, our system comes with pre-designed sound templates, accurate sound calculations, and output capabilities. This comprehensive approach ensures a smooth and professional audio solution, making it a breeze for engineers to achieve a perfect sound atmosphere, unique to their brand.
Our inspiration for PHANTONEXT is the result of a deep collaboration between our product management and business development teams and is based on decades of sound expertise. PHANTONEXT is therefore not only a product that reflects our many years of experience but also sets the course for the future of interior and exterior sound in the automotive industry.
Driving innovation together
We're actively working on overcoming challenges for PHANTONEXT's widespread adoption. Our research focuses on understanding what resources are needed to run our algorithms on the head unit and addressing technological hurdles like latency issues. Often, specific functions such as internal sound enhancement and regulatory compliance (such as AVAS) must be separated from the domain controller for technical reasons. In these cases, a separate ECU is necessary for redundancy and safety, preventing overload and potential issues with the main head unit. This is also included in our original PHANTONE sound system.
Additionally, the auto industry deals with the complexities of centralizing ECUs, and different OEMs have different software integration preferences. Some prefer our software to run on a DSP within an amplifier, while others want integration into the main ECU. We recognize these challenges and diverse needs, and aim to encourage discussions, shared learning, and innovative, unified approaches in the automotive sector.
Empowering OEMs with comprehensive support
Creating reliable and attractive acoustics comes with its share of challenges. But, understanding the nitty-gritty of the new architecture, we can help OEMs seamlessly blend software and hardware solutions. Our unique approach extends far beyond product development; we can support OEMs in many ways, from providing advanced algorithms to actively engaging in the engineering and design phases. We have been working internally on a software-only sound solution for some time and firmly believe that this state-of-the-art technology will revolutionize the driving experience in the years ahead.
You would like to learn more about our vehicle sound systems please dive with us into the future of vehicle audio and discover our cutting-edge interior and exterior sound solutions for electric and hybrid vehicles.