Once again across the dual-core DSP to help sharply reduce ADAS power consumption

Increasing vehicle safety and reducing accidental injuries and deaths have always been hot topics in the automotive industry. At present, the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and the vehicle stability control system have been regarded as standard. Recently, the car manufacturers have invested in the development of visual active advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to add more safety functions, thereby driving high performance Demand for automotive electronic components.

In addition, international standards organizations have successively launched emerging automotive safety standards, including ISO 26262; the European New Car Safety Assessment Association (Euro NCAP) has added new safety regulations, which are stimulating automotive electronic component suppliers to accelerate the development of high reliability and A standard chip.

Image-based ADAS has a promising future

Vision-based ADAS is not a new concept, and it is already installed in some commercial vehicle models. However, the image-based ADAS is mostly only selected as an option in high-priced brand vehicles, and has not yet been introduced into affordable vehicles. The main reason is that in addition to the high cost of technical development, the car manufacturer cannot find hardware components and specifications that adapt to the car's temperature and power consumption specifications. Design support; coupled with the industry ’s lack of clear ADAS performance guidelines, cannot be verified in the overall automotive safety assessment. Therefore, from the perspective of the end consumer, the added value of such systems has not been confirmed, and the price is very scary.

Although the number of currently installed ADAS is still not enough for the industry to recover the investment in research and development costs for many years; but the concept of increasing driving safety through image-based ADAS has begun to be recognized by automobile quality assessment agencies, legislative departments of various countries and end users. Among them, in addition to crash tests on popular models sold in Europe, Euro NCAP has provided independent safety ratings (zero to five stars), and recently has just increased the demand for pedestrian protection features, which has led to the installation of automotive image ADAS The catalyst for volume growth.

The traditional pedestrian protection function usually absorbs cushioning materials with specific impacts, which makes the parts of the car that pedestrians may impact more soft. However, the image-based ADAS can prevent collisions, which will be a more low-cost alternative to car manufacturers; moreover, many car manufacturers that won five stars last year will most likely lose one star if evaluated by the 2012 European NCAP index . Therefore, the camera-based, cost-effective, image-based ADAS capable of controlling autonomous braking and mass production has become the focus of the layout of automotive OEMs.

Image-based ADAS with multiple functions

As image-based ADAS gradually enters the stage of mass production, automotive electronic component suppliers not only continue to improve the performance of vision processors, but also provide cost-effective solutions and support the large-scale deployment of car manufacturers after 2014.

The main applications of image-based ADAS include lane departure warning (LDW), which is based on the lane detection algorithm and warns the driver when the car deviates from the lane. As for the lane maintenance assist (LKA) system, which has the same advantages as the LDW, the system will apply steering pressure on the steering wheel in an attempt to maintain the car in the middle of the lane.

Pedestrian detection (PD) system is another important application, the purpose is to support the Euro NCAP pedestrian protection function requirements implemented since 2012. This system can detect and track pedestrians. Once a pedestrian appears in the vehicle's driving path, it will issue a warning or automatically brake.

In addition, the Forward Collision Warning System (FCW) searches for multiple cars in front of the vehicle's travel path based on the object detection algorithm. Although the black-and-white camera cannot accurately determine the absolute distance, the estimated distance can still warn the driver early. As for the forward collision mitigation system (FCM), it has the same advantages as the FCW. The system automatically applies braking pressure or stops completely.

In addition to enhancing vehicle safety by capturing the front image, there is also an intelligent high-beam (IHB) system design that can detect driving conditions and automatically switch between high and low beam lights to avoid causing other people on the road The car, because of the strong lights of the previous car, affects the vision. The Traffic Sign Recognition System (TSR) can detect speed signs (speed limit assistance) and warn you if the driver is overspeeding.

In response to the above-mentioned multi-image ADAS functions, existing chip vendors have launched a dual-core digital signal processor (DSP) that supports the ISO 26262 standard, which can simultaneously operate up to five sets of ADAS vision functions at 1.3 watts (W) of power. Then reduce the system cost.

Dual-core DSP helps ADAS reduce power consumption sharply

To reduce ADAS power consumption, the DSP must reduce the number of external memory accesses as much as possible, avoiding the large amount of pixel data from the memory when it is moved back and forth, which consumes a lot of power; therefore, a pipeline vision processor is introduced in the DSP design (PVP), it can directly process the video data captured by the million-pixel display, and can receive data input from the internal or external memory intermediate and pre-processing, effectively sharing the work of the main processor core.

From a cost perspective, the best way is to put the system in a group of automotive electronic control units (ECUs), including the display. At the same time, shortening time to market is also very important, so DSP vendors must also provide development tools to complete the acceleration algorithm in the shortest time.

In the European region, Euro NCAP's new security level is stimulating the expansion of demand for image-type ADAS installations. This trend will gradually spread to the world. After the relevant players increase investment in product development, it will help system design costs gradually decline, so that ADAS It is a privilege of luxury cars and can be used to develop smart rear-view cameras and night vision systems.

At present, there is another ADAS implemented by using radar (RADAR) sensors, such as various visual, radar, or a combination of two sensor types listed in Table 1, all of which have been deployed by relevant car manufacturers.

The writer of this article is the marketing manager of Auto Electronics

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