Optional Intel Atom Infotainment System
Buyers that opt for the Ultimate Package upgrade the pure touch screen infotainment to a dual interface system which Hyundai calls DIS (Driver Information System) 2.0. The premium system maintains the touch screen interface, but adds a control knob which is similar to the one in the company's flagship Equus. The control knob is located on the center console and below the shifter gate. As with our experience in the Equus, Hyundai chose to use similar positioning for the control knob, which makes it awkward and uncomfortable to use.
The biggest upgrade with the DIS 2.0 system is a bigger 9.2-inch display. While its only 1.2-inches bigger than the base AVN 4.5 display, the resolution receives a bump up to high-definition 720p, and it looks excellent from the driver’s seat. The entire user interface is clean and crisper than other infotainment displays we’ve come across. However, the higher resolution display and control knob come with one caveat, you must give up the Android-based OS.
Instead, another Linux-based OS takes center stage on DIS 2.0. This time Hyundai dug up Meego from the smartphone OS cemetery and tweaked it for automotive use. The use of Meego might sound odd for those of us used to reading about smartphones and tablets, but it’s the official OS for GENIVI, which is an alliance of automotive manufacturers and suppliers with the goal of driving mass adoption of open source infotainment systems.
Powering the Meego-powered DIS 2.0 system is an Intel Atom processor. No, it’s not the latest dual or quad-core Bay Trail, those embedded processors are simply too new. Instead, its Tunnel Creek, which itself is based on Moorestown, but optimized for embedded applications. Intel announced the single-core Atom at IDF 2010, which seems like an old dinosaur by PC hardware standards, but the embedded and automotive market have different development cycles. Tunnel Creek was most likely the latest and greatest available from Intel at the start of the DIS 2.0 development.
Graphics for the Atom E660 is what Intel calls GMA 600. Despite what Intel calls it, the graphics core is based on the PowerVR SGX 535, much like the earlier GMA 500 found in Poulsbo, or the Atom Z5xx series. However, GMA 600 doubles the clock speed to 400 MHz from the GMA 500 for a bit more GPU power. Regardless, the GMA 600 is perfectly adequate, if not overkill for automotive infotainment use.
Hyundai did not provide us with the specific Intel Atom used but provided the clock speed. The 1.3 GHz enabled us to narrow it down to the Atom E660 series. Intel offers two chips in that series with the standard E660 and E660T. The only difference between the regular and T variant is a maximum operating die temperate of 110 C on the E660T versus 90 C on the E660. Otherwise, both processors have maximum TDPs of 3.6 watts, HyperThreading technology, 512KB of L2 cache, DDR2 memory interface, and are fabricated on a 45nm process. Since temperatures can vary greatly in a vehicle depending on the region where it’s driven, we predict Hyundai opted for the Atom E660T for that extra 20 C of thermal headroom.
The premium DIS 2.0 infotainment system also comes with a 64 GB SSD for storage. Hyundai leaves 30 GB of free space for drivers to copy their own music and images. Since I forgot to grab a USB flash drive from my car on the way to the airport, we didn’t get to test the feature on the 2015 Genesis sedan. However, we expect it to function the same way as the first generation DIS system in the Equus, which can only copy music from a USB device, and not a retail music CD.
All the vehicles on hand at the launch event had DIS 2.0. We drove over 200 miles with the system and found it pretty good. The UI is responsive, the music functions are easy to use, navigation maps were 2D but had good detail, and there weren’t too many lock outs as long as you agree to the disclaimer every time the vehicle starts. There were lock outs for the Blue Link apps while the vehicle is in motion though.
Hyundai touted Pandora and Aha radio support, but that is only available to iOS users who plug in their phones via the Genesis’ USB port. We were told Android might be a possibility in the future but there’s no solid launch date. As the other journalist I was paired with and I had Google Nexus 5 phones, we were unable to test the streaming Internet radio features. However, we were out of reception areas for most of the drive anyway. Apple iOS users do get Siri Eyes Free support as well, but we did not get to play with that functionality either.
(Update: Intel confirms it is indeed the Atom E660T)