Renesas unveils development platform for adas and automated driving

Renesas R-Car V3M image recognition SoC

At its global developers conference this week in Japan, Renesas Electronics demonstrated Autonomy, an adas and automated driving platform. As the first rollout under the platform, the company released the R-Car V3M image recognition SoC optimised for use in smart camera applications, as well as surround view systems or lidar.

The SoC complies with the ISO 26262 functional safety standard, delivers low-power hardware acceleration for vision processing, and is equipped with a built-in image signal processor, freeing up board space and reducing manufacturing costs.

Vehicles in the autonomous driving era will be required to sense the environment, control the vehicle and conduct synchronised communications with the cloud. Various technologies are necessary to realise these functions and each technology needs to maintain reliability to synchronise without any flaw. At the same time, these technologies are continuously advancing, which is why there is a growing demand for an end-to-end system.

Autonomy is an open platform for adas and automated driving, consisting of Renesas’ sustainable and scalable SoC and microcontroller roadmaps. This covers end to end from secure cloud connectivity and sensing to vehicle control.

The platform further extends the company’s commitment to adas and automated driving, and gives system manufacturers access to its expanding ecosystem of partners for adas and automated driving technologies.

The platform lets automotive system manufacturers build a full range of adas and automated driving systems. System manufacturers can make the best use of the sustained, scalable roadmaps to develop products from entry to premium, re-use development efforts, and shorten time to market.

For the implementation of demanding algorithms, the platform provides system manufacturers the option to select the most suitable IP cores, including hardware accelerators, offering functional safety and flexibility within an architecture capable of high performance at low power consumption. In addition, system manufacturers can leverage Renesas’ expertise in integrating different IPs and in low-power designs to reduce their bill of materials.

Functional safety is essential in achieving automated driving. Renesas has provided functional safety to the market since the launch of its first automotive safety MCUs in 2008. To address the requirements for high-level functional safety for adas and automated driving, the company supports several Asil levels with its latest SoC and MCU devices.

In addition to Asil C support with the R-Car V3M SoC, it provides various Asil B SoCs (R-Car M3 and R-Car H3) and Asil D MCUs (RH850 P1X).

The company has 195 technology suppliers worldwide in its R-Car Consortium and is adding partners from the adas and automated driving areas to support the Autonomy platform.

The development platform is open, allowing system manufacturers to choose where to enter, either building directly on Renesas innovations or working with ecosystem partners. System manufacturers can choose to increase the creation of value in-house, or reduce their design efforts and shorten time to market by working with the R-Car Consortium.

“Adas and automated driving applications are driving the future of the automotive market,” said Jean-Francois Chouteau, vice president of the Renesas Global Adas Centre. “Renesas Autonomy is a trusted, open and innovative platform that covers all needs from secure cloud connectivity, sensing and cognitive over to vehicle control. At Renesas, we want to give the automotive industry the power to control its own destiny.”

For smart camera applications, the R-Car V3M focuses on enabling NCap features. It is equipped with an integrated image signal processor and delivers performance for computer vision, while supporting low power consumption and functional safety.

High performance is needed to detect traffic signs, lanes, pedestrians, vehicles and other obstacles in real time. Front cameras are mounted next to the windshield where they are exposed to direct sunlight. As a result, low power consumption of the SoC is crucial to reduce further heat dissipation in the smart camera housing. Securing functional safety is the final key element for front cameras to enable features safely such as automated emergency braking.

The SoC implements a computer vision platform using different accelerators, including a versatile pipeline engine and a computer vision engine, allowing the V3M to manage algorithms such as optical flow, object detection and classification, and convolutional neural networks. It integrates a dual Arm Cortex A53 for application programming and dual Cortex R7 lockstep cores to run Autosar. The device achieves the hardware architectural metrics recommended for systems that require Asil B and higher functional safety levels to act as a real-time core safety island.

The integrated image signal processor (ISP) enhances the raw image quality from the camera sensor and makes the image ready for computer vision. The integration eliminates the need for an external ISP component in the front camera or in the sensor itself. The system implements a single DDR3L memory channel to reduce costs.

The device is supported by Renesas and its ecosystem of partners with hardware such as sensors, operating systems, computer vision expertise and applications.

Samples of the SoC will be available from December 2017. Mass production is scheduled to begin in June 2019.

www.renesas.com

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