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Videantis IP Cores Pack Lots of MACs

February 6, 2018

Author: Mike Demler

Videantis is a small German vendor that has for more than 10 years developed computer-vision (CV) and video-codec intellectual property (IP), which it mostly licenses into automotive cameras. By offering its new v-MP6000UDX architecture, the company aims to expand into markets such as augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), drones, IoT, and surveillance cameras. Like its predecessors, the v-MP6000 handles CV as well as image and video processing, but it’s the company’s first design that can also serve as a programmable convolutional-neural-network (CNN) accelerator.

Earlier Videantis cores have won designs in rear- and surround-view cameras for passive driver-warning systems, in addition to automatic-emergency-braking (AEB) systems for Level 1 ADASs. The new cores, however, target higher-level ADASs and self-driving cars. Production RTL for the v-MP6000 is available now.

The Videantis v-MP6000 will compete against neural-network IP cores from several larger vendors, including Ceva, Imagination, and Synopsys. Its massive scalability to as many as 256 cores provides far more total GMAC capacity than any previously announced neural-network engine, but we expect few designs will even approach that limit. Nevertheless, the ability to combine multiple 64-MAC v-MPs offers much-finer-grain scalability than competitors, enabling designers to employ just the number they need for their application.

Developers of high-level ADASs and self-driving cars have yet to reach a consensus regarding whether a central brain or a network of distributed smart sensors is the best architecture, but the v-MP6000 has the scalability to address the entire range. Combined with its technology for processing video bit streams, Videantis can offer customers a complete vision-processing subsystem that takes advantage of its core strength in automotive cameras, but the IP is also well suited to drones, video surveillance, and other applications.

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