Cidana: The Next-Generation Automotive Infotainment

Chinn Chin, CEO
Gone are the days when multimedia was limited to applications in highend cars. The expensive video head units and VCR- or DVD-in-a-bag systems have been fast replaced by in-car multimedia in the form of OEM infotainment systems, feature-rich video head units, and a plethora of other setups. In an effort to attain or maintain the competitive edge, companies in the automotive industry are developing innovative technologies to enable better connectivity solutions, and enhance in-vehicle user-experience. One of the key technologies, which works as a focal point of all the modern automotive systems and integrates their functions to be controlled and monitored from one central unit, is the in-vehicle infotainment system. Modern in-vehicle infotainment systems connect with all the smart automotive technologies like ADAS systems, V2X connectivity solutions, telematics devices, smartphones, and sensors, and integrate them to provide a great driving experience. However, while building an infotainment system, it is difficult for companies to bring in a variety of components from different vendors and make them function in unison. This is where Cidana steps in.

Backed by more than a decade of industry experience, Cidana is a pioneer in advanced multimedia software solutions for the mobile, embedded, consumer electronics, and automotive market. The company provides solutions for a broad array of products, including Digital TV players, multimedia SDKs, and optimized Audio Video Codec components. The company’s multimedia software solutions and services have been developed with a vision to help customers greatly reduce RD cost for different platform requirements and accelerate time to market and product delivery. Cidana equips clients with customized Codec, multimedia playback, digital radio/TV, Media metadata processing, media databases management, and connectivity solutions in-vehicle infotainment and CE devices. The complete and robust multimedia solutions are highly scalable, customizable, and easy to deploy and integrate. To top it all, the company extends responsive service and maintenance throughout the entire product lifecycle to ensure high quality.

Cidana presents its flagship offering—advanced Codec—the compression engines for encoding or decoding a digital media file available in the car or via the internet. Cidana’s Codec allows the user to play, record, and edit multimedia content on their mobile device. These codec solutions have a unified interface and can be easily integrated by the ODM and OEM customers within their own applications or within an existing DirectShow, GStreamer, or OpenMAX framework. Cidana’s customers can have confidence in the stability, efficiency, and reliability of their media playback. What makes the company unique is their global digital TV and radio standards including DVB-T, ATSC, CMMB, TDMB, T-DMB, ISDB-T and DAB. Cidana is passionate and involved in the steps of improvement and innovation to develop and offer the advanced solutions to the market, such as SmartDeviceLink which connects in-vehicle infotainment systems to smartphone applications and creates the connected experiences for consumers to control their smartphone applications on the road. Cidana EAVB SDK is another progressive connectivity solution need to be addressed, which provides flexible APIs to integrate with the automotive applications, and system integrators can take advantage of Cidana EAVB SDK to easily build RSE (rear seat entertainment) applications and support sophisticated user operation scenarios.
“Our team brings in the rich experience and expertise to develop a solid product and ship to the customer for better automotive infotainment,” explains Chinn Chin, CEO, Cidana.


Our team brings in the rich experience and expertise to develop a solid product and ship to the customer for better automotive infotainment


Cidana eliminates the complexity when it comes to adding a media file to the infotainment system—usually in a bunch of 1000s of songs. For the infotainment system to process such a huge number of files, it needs a database. Cidana’s advanced Codec can decode the content format and add the file on the device with the best quality. At Cidana, the team develops the capability for an infotainment system to handle such file formats and present them with the highest usability capabilities for enhanced user experience. Illustrating the prowess of Cidana’s solutions, Chin cites a case study wherein a client noticed that the noise was created as connecting iPod to the infotainment system. Cidana’s team analyzed the infotainment system and concluded that the data coming from the iPod was frequently lost due to improper syncing with output device. In addition to finding the root cause, Cidana suggested a solution to client, so that this difficult issue was finally resolved. We also found the mosaic issue on a new format. This was a result that the hardware video decoding engine was not efficient enough to handle the data. The reference frame, I-frame and B-frame or bidirectional reference were not working in sync with the platform or hardware reveals Chin. Cidana’s experts resolved the issue by developing a more advanced middleware without any delay and helped them overcome the challenges.

Besides its focus on automotive multimedia solutions, the uniqueness of Cidana also stems from the excellent codec expertise and precision it delivers for the embedded platforms. The comprehensive coverage of rich media formats support, and company’s track records of shipping with tier-1 automotive OEMs add to their value proposition in the industry. Cidana fosters long-term partnership with automotive and consumer electronics silicon vendors to bring in the best for its clients.

Being a startup company, Cidana has risen, defeating several challenges— from language barriers to lack of expertise. “We’ll continue to keep a tab on the solutions such as AV1—the latest compression format for video. We are participating in the development of the AV1 in association with a couple of big Silicon Valley companies like Netflix and Facebook to develop next-generation infotainment system with advanced applications,” concludes Chin.

Company
Cidana

Headquarters
Palo Alto, CA

Management
Chinn Chin, CEO

Description
Cidana is a top automotive technology solution provider offering advanced multimedia software and next-generation video coding solutions for the mobile, embedded, consumer electronics, and automotive market. A top automotive technology solution provider, Cidana is a pioneer in advanced multimedia software solutions for the mobile, embedded, consumer electronics, and automotive market. The company provides solutions for a broad array of products, including Digital TV players, multimedia SDKs, and optimized Audio Video Codec components. To top it all, the company extends responsive service and maintenance throughout the entire product lifecycle to ensure high quality