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A Guide to Processors for Advanced Automotive

1st Edition

Published September 2016

Authors: Mike Demler, Loyd Case, and Linley Gwennap

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Drilling Deep into ADAS and IVI

Automotive technology continues to accelerate, particularly in the areas of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and in-vehicle infotainment (IVI). Processors driving these advances combine the best technologies from mobile processors with new vision-processing capabilities. Glass cockpits with multiple displays are rapidly replacing the traditional dashboard in luxury cars. Cameras pointed in all directions, coupled in some cases with radar and lidar sensors, give drivers unprecedented access to information.

Although mobile-processor technology drives the new digital cockpit, it's not enough to slap a smartphone chip into a dashboard. Specialized automotive interfaces, harsh environmental conditions, and stringent safety requirements make designing the right processor for an automotive application more challenging.

ADAS features such as lane keeping and emergency braking are already filtering down into mainstream and even entry vehicles. Tesla's Autopilot, considered a Level 2 ADAS by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), is already deployed in thousands of private vehicles, and several companies are testing autonomous vehicles (Level 3/4) with plans for commercial sales as early as 2018. These vehicles require powerful new processors that combine traditional CPUs with specialized accelerators for vision processing and neural networks.

Chip vendors see these new markets as growth areas, with new players encroaching on entrenched automotive chip suppliers. These emerging companies push higher performance, better graphics, and advanced process technologies as the answer for new ADAS and IVI applications. Existing suppliers are responding by investing in new technologies and bringing new products that match the capabilities of upstart entrants. Automakers can choose between these off-the-shelf products or designing their own ASIC solutions based on advanced vision-processing IP cores.

We Sort Out the Market and the Products

A Guide to Processors for Advanced Automotive dives deep into both technologies and products enabling the develpment of Advanced Assistance Systems (ADAS), In-Vehicle Infotainment, (IVI), and Self-Driving Cars. It provides technology analysis and head-to-head product comparisons, as well as analysis of company prospects in this rapidly developing market. Which products will win designs, and why? The Linley Group's unique technology analysis provides a forward-looking view, helping sort through competing claims and products.

The guide begins with a detailed overview of the market. We explain applicable processor, connectivity, and standards requirements and provide forecasts for both ADAS and IVI processors. The heart of the report provides detailed technical coverage of ADAS and IVI products from Mobileye, Movidius, NXP, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Renesas, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, and Intel. It also covers vision IP cores from Cadence, Ceva, Synopsys, VeriSilicon, and Videantis. Finally, we bring it all together with technical comparisons in each product category and our analysis and conclusions about this emerging market.

Make Informed Decisions

As the leading vendor of technology analysis for processors, The Linley Group has the expertise to deliver a comprehensive look at the full range of chips designed for a broad range of ADAS and IVI applications. Principal analyst Linley Gwennap and senior analysts Mike Demler and Loyd Case use their experience to deliver the deep technical analysis and strategic information you need to make informed business decisions.

Whether you are looking for the right processor or IP for your automotive application or seeking to partner with or invest in one of these vendors, this report will cut your research time and save you money. Make the intelligent decision: order A Guide to Processors for Advanced Automotive today.

This report is written for:

  • Engineers designing chips or systems for ADAS, IVI, or vision processing
  • Marketing and engineering staff at companies that sell related chips who need more information on processors for ADAS, IVI, or autonomous vehicles
  • Technology professionals who wish an introduction to ADAS, IVI, vision processing, or autonomous-driving systems
  • Financial analysts who desire a hype-free analysis of the advanced automotive segment and of which chip suppliers are most likely to succeed
  • Press and public-relations professionals who need to get up to speed on this emerging market

This market is developing rapidly — don't be left behind!

What's New in This Edition

The first edition of A Guide to Processors for Advanced Automotive is completely new. Highlights include:

  • Mobileye's marketing-leading EyeQ3 and new EyeQ4 processors
  • Nvidia's Tegra processors and Drive PX2 system for autonomous cars
  • NXP's i.MX processors for IVI and BlueBox self-driving platform
  • The latest TDA and Jacinto processors from Texas Instruments
  • Qualcomm's first automotive Snapdragon processors
  • Intel's progress in IVI and its plan to take over the autonomous segment
  • Powerful vision-processing cores from Cadence, Ceva, Synopsys, VeriSilicon, and Videantis that are available for licensing
  • New ADAS and IVI processors from Movidius, Renesas, and Toshiba
  • Technical capabilities, roadmaps, and analysis for all products
  • Forecast for ADAS and IVI processor revenue through 2022
  • Projections for autonomous-driving technology

Being more than a century old, the automobile market is fairly mature. But technology advances plus changing customer desires have accelerated automotive evolution in recent years. Long focused on transportation and performance, carmakers have shifted to comfort, entertainment (infotainment), and safety. These new areas require a large influx of electronics to control the seating and climate, provide a variety of audio entertainment, and monitor potential safety hazards. A luxury vehicle today may contain more than 100 microprocessors and up to 100 million lines of code — more than a fighter jet or all of Mac OS X. These numbers will only increase as infotainment (IVI) systems and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADASs) become more popular.

The wide use of smartphones (which outnumber cars by 2:1 today) has raised drivers’ expectations for their vehicles’ ease of use. Even some entry-level cars now offer touchscreens with sophisticated user interfaces that control the audio system and navigation system (if present). Greater adoption of rear-view cameras also spurs these in-dash systems. As a result, we forecast shipment of nearly 60 million vehicles with IVI in 2022.

The ADAS market is growing even faster at 28% per year. ADASs rarely appear as standard equipment outside the luxury market today, but they have become an option in many midrange vehicles and even a few entry-level models. Automatic emergency braking (AEB) has the strongest backing, with several leading automakers having committed to making it standard equipment by 2022. Functions such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist are also growing in popularity. The combination of these three ADAS functions yields a car that can nearly drive itself in certain situations.

True autonomous vehicles (SAE Level 3) will go on sale as early as 2018. At first, this option will be available only in top luxury cars (e.g., BMW i7) and will perform only under limited conditions, such as daytime highway driving. But we expect this capability to develop quickly, leading to vehicles that are autonomous under all conditions (SAE Level 5) by 2022. By that time, the price premium for Level 3 vehicles will drop to below $5,000, spurring adoption even among some midrange buyers.

Autonomous vehicles require many more semiconductor components, including multiple sensors and high-performance processors. We forecast total revenue for IVI and ADAS processors to reach $1.8 billion in 2022.

Mobileye is by far the leading vendor of ADAS processors, generating chip revenue of $202 million in 2015. Its EyeQ3 is suitable for Level 1 and Level 2 ADAS; it appears in many vehicles as part of a small camera-based system mounted on the rear-view mirror. The next-generation EyeQ4 is already sampling and is due to appear in vehicles in 2018; the company expects it to support autonomous vehicles at Level 3 and above.

Nvidia originally positioned its Tegra processors for tablets and smart-phones but later promoted them for the IVI market. Carmakers such as Audi, BMW, and Tesla adopted Tegra, which generated $320 million in automotive revenue in 2015. More recently, Nvidia has invested heavily in processors for autonomous driving. It currently offers a second-generation Drive PX 2 platform that can deliver a massive 8Tflops but burns a scorching 250W.

Following its recent acquisition of Freescale, NXP is the leading supplier of automotive semiconductors. Its i.MX processors are popular in IVI systems, particularly the Ford Sync and GM OnStar. NXP recently upgraded its line to the i.MX8, providing a state-of-the-art processor for high-end IVI systems with multiple displays and sophisticated graphics. The company has also combined its S32V230 with a powerful processor from its networking division to form a Level 3/4 ADAS solution called BlueBox.

Texas Instruments offers two families of advanced automotive processors. The Jacinto line targets IVI systems, and the similar TDA line adds a custom vision processor suited to surround-view tasks, driver monitoring, and light ADAS functions.

Intel is a newcomer to the automotive market but is seeking to expand beyond its core PC market. It has won a few IVI designs and is eagerly eyeing autonomous driving as well. Qualcomm is another newcomer; it now offers its smartphone processors for IVI systems. Renesas and Toshiba are leading automotive microcontroller vendors that supply some IVI and ADAS chips. Movidius has developed an efficient vision-processing chip that could perform ADAS tasks.

Cadence and Synopsys are large EDA vendors that have adapted their flexible CPU cores to yield powerful vision-processing engines. Ceva, the DSP-IP leader, also created a popular vision core. VeriSilicon instead adapted its GPU architecture for vision processing. Videantis is the only pure-play vision-IP vendor; the small company has already won an automotive design in Japan.

The auto industry is entering an era of rapid change. These changes are disrupting carmakers and their processor suppliers. Traditional suppliers are struggling to deliver the performance that new IVI and ADAS processors require, particularly for autonomous driving. Established high-performance-processor vendors have leapt into the breach, but they lack experience with the specific needs of the automotive market. Car-makers and subsystem suppliers must choose among these imperfect solutions or build their own ASICs using licensed vision IP. Choosing among these old and new vendors is a complex task. This report examines the various options, providing assistance in making these critical design decisions.

List of Figures
List of Tables
About the Authors
About the Publisher
Executive Summary
1 Automotive Applications
Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems
Level 0 ADAS: No Automation
Level 1 ADAS: Single-Function Assistance
Level 2 ADAS: Multifunction Assistance
Level 3 ADAS: Partially Autonomous
Level 4 ADAS: Fully Autonomous
In-Vehicle Infotainment Systems
Digital Dashboard
Smartphone Connection
2 Automotive Technology
Computer Vision
Neural Networks
Display Resolution and Frame Rates
Image Sensors
Infrared Sensors
Standard Interfaces
Camera Interfaces
Display Interfaces
Connectivity Technologies
Cellular Technologies
V2X Standards
Cellular V2X
Safety Standards
ISO 26262
3 Automotive Processors
Vision IP
VLIW Instruction Issue
Computation Units
Memory Operations
Caches and Tightly Coupled Memory (TCM)
MMUs and TLBs
IVI Processors
Processor Subsystem
Display Capabilities
System Interfaces
ADAS Processors
Processing Capabilities
System Design
Autonomous-Driving Systems
Location Mapping
Environmental Assessment
Decision Making
Performance Benchmarks
4 Market Forecast
Market Overview
Sales by Region and Type
Automakers and Suppliers
Automotive Semiconductors
Market Size
IVI Market
ADAS Market
Market Forecast
IVI Forecast
ADAS Forecast
Autonomous Forecast
5 Cadence
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Design Details
Development Tools
6 Ceva
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Design Details
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
7 Mobileye
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Internal Architecture
System Design
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
8 Nvidia
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Internal Architecture
Denver CPU
System Design
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Internal Architecture
ADAS Processors
IVI Processors
System Design
ADAS Processors
IVI Processors
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
10 Synopsys
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Design Details
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
11 Texas Instruments
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
ADAS Processors
IVI Processors
Internal Architecture
TDA Processors
EVE Vision Coprocessor
Jacinto 6
System Design
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
12 Other ADAS Processors
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
13 Other IVI Processors
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
14 Other Vision IP
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
15 Comparing Automotive Processors
How to Read the Tables
Vision-Processing IP
ADAS Processors
CPU Subsystem
Vision Processing
DRAM Interface
Camera Streaming
IVI Processors
Mainstream IVI Processors
High-End IVI Processors
16 Conclusions
Market Outlook
Vendor Outlook
Texas Instruments
Other Chip Vendors
IP Vendors
Closing Thoughts
Appendix: Further Reading
Figure 1-1. Levels of autonomous driving.
Figure 1-2. Parallel-parking assist system.
Figure 1-3. Lane-departure system.
Figure 1-4. Google autonomous test vehicle.
Figure 1-5. Example of surround view in BMW X5.
Figure 1-6. Prototype digital instrument panel.
Figure 1-7. Ford’s Apple CarPlay display.
Figure 2-1. Model of a neural-network processing node.
Figure 2-2. Model of a three-layer neural network.
Figure 2-3. Velodyne VLP-16 lidar system.
Figure 2-4. Ultrasonic sensors in action.
Figure 2-5. Typical CANbus configuration.
Figure 3-1. VLIW instruction bundle.
Figure 3-2. Example data types.
Figure 3-3. Block diagram of a generic CPU.
Figure 3-4. Block diagram of a generic IVI system.
Figure 3-5. Block diagram of a generic ADAS.
Figure 3-6. Urban-driving image with object identification.
Figure 3-7. Lidar-generated 3D point cloud.
Figure 4-1. Light-vehicle sales by region, 2015.
Figure 4-2. Vehicle sales by automaker, 2015.
Figure 4-3. Luxury-vehicle sales by brand, 2015.
Figure 4-4. Worldwide shipments of vehicles with IVI and ADAS, 2014–2022.
Figure 4-5. Processor revenue forecast for IVI and ADAS, 2014–2022.
Figure 5-1. Block diagram of Cadence Vision P5 architecture.
Figure 5-2. Cadence SuperGather capability.
Figure 6-1. Block diagram of Ceva XM4 vision-processor core.
Figure 7-1. Block diagram of Mobileye EyeQ4 ADAS processor.
Figure 7-2. Mobileye trifocal system.
Figure 8-1. Block diagram of Nvidia Tegra X1 processor.
Figure 8-2. Circuit board for Nvidia Drive PX 2 system.
Figure 8-3. Block diagram of Nvidia Drive PX 2 system.
Figure 9-1. Block diagram of NXP S32V234 processor.
Figure 9-2. Block diagram of NXP i.MX 6Quad processor.
Figure 9-3. Block diagram of NXP BlueBox ADAS platform.
Figure 9-4. Block diagram of automotive IVI system based on NXP i.MX6.
Figure 10-1. Block diagram of Synopsys DesignWare EV6x core.
Figure 11-1. Block diagram of TI TDA2x processor.
Figure 11-2. Block diagram of EVE vision coprocessor.
Figure 11-3. Block diagram of TI DRA756 processor.
Figure 11-4. Block diagram of surround-view system based on TI TDA2x.
Figure 11-5. Block diagram of IVI system based on TI Jacinto 6.
Figure 14-1. Block diagram of VeriSilicon VIP8000 architecture.
Table 2-1. Standard screen sizes.
Table 2-2. Chart of automotive-safety-integrity levels (ASILs).
Table 5-1. Key parameters for Cadence Vision P-Series IP cores.
Table 6-1. Key parameters for Ceva XM4 embedded-vision core.
Table 7-1. Key parameters for Mobileye EyeQ processors.
Table 8-1. Key parameters for Nvidia Tegra automotive processors.
Table 9-1. Key parameters for selected NXP automotive processors.
Table 10-1. Key parameters for selected Synopsys ARC cores.
Table 11-1. Key parameters for TI TDA processors for ADAS.
Table 11-2. Key parameters for TI Jacinto 6 IVI processors.
Table 12-1. Key parameters for Movidius Myriad 2 vision processor.
Table 12-2. Key parameters for Toshiba Visconti 4 ADAS processors.
Table 12-3. Fixed-function blocks in Toshiba Visconti 4 processors.
Table 13-1. Key parameters for Intel Atom IVI processors.
Table 13-2. Key parameters for selected Renesas automotive processors.
Table 13-3. Key parameters for Qualcomm IVI processors.
Table 14-1. Key parameters for VeriSilicon VIP8000 vision-IP cores.
Table 14-2. Key parameters for Videantis vision-IP cores.
Table 15-1. Comparison of vision-IP cores.
Table 15-2. Comparison of ADAS processors.
Table 15-3. Comparison of mainstream IVI processors.
Table 15-4. Comparison of high-end IVI processors.


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