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  Date: 09/03/2015

Silicon brain for your car vision, start development using VDK

Designing a DSP board for automotive vision system is made easy by providing a single chip processor called S32V vision microprocessor by Freescale Semiconductor. The SoC is designed for driver automation and ‘co-pilot’ systems in what is called as self-aware car.

Advanced driver assistance systems enable functions such as adaptive cruise control, lane- keeping systems, autonomous braking, park assist and autonomous driving in the future. These functions require development, integration and testing of algorithms and software that interpret all sensor data and implement the behavior of a skilled driver. S32V is not about driving assistance alone but towards designing fully autonomous vehicles of tomorrow.

S32V microprocessor complies with trusted and tough ISO 26262 functional safety standards. Freescale is known for its chip reliability since its Motorola times, this devices has inherited that reliabilty factor and also the performance/power ratios of what Freescale calls CogniVue APEX Image Cognition Processing technology.

S32V device can accept multiple streams of data from radar, LiDAR and ultrasonic information to enable optimal resolution and image recognition accuracy.

“The next step in the evolution of self-driving cars will rely on automated systems that accurately process information, make decisions and take the requisite actions,” said Luca De Ambroggi, Principal Analyst, Automotive Semiconductors for analyst firm HIS. “This requires the highest levels of reliability, which are rarely present in consumer-grade silicon. The essential requirement for fail-safe reliability cannot be achieved using consumer-grade silicon without significant costs in system power or form factor.”

S32V offers redundant signal paths, software error checking functionality, hardware fault detection and hard partitioning of on-chip processing to prevent from faulty operation.

Other security features include secure boot, network-grade crypto engines, secure keys, and support for secure hardware extension specifications. Freescale says S32V helps protect against theft of software algorithms and other IP, while enhancing overall vehicle safety by helping to prevent external attacks and unauthorized access to vehicle-to-vehicle communications. Discrete encryption domains provide an added layer of protection within the car’s network. If a hacker gains access to one node of the car’s system, they cannot access other nodes; hence attacks are effectively isolated and quarantined, explains Freescale.

“Many automotive vision systems available today are based on consumer-oriented silicon solutions originally designed to enhance gaming graphics or run smartphone apps. But in a new era where cars will serve as trusted co-pilots, utilizing consumer-oriented silicon is fundamentally unwise,” said Bob Conrad, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Automotive MCUs for Freescale. “Relying on anything less than automotive-grade silicon to take control of a vehicle and make critical driving decisions is simply not acceptable – not for me, not for my family and not for my customers.”

The S32V’s sophisticated software platform includes Green Hills Software’s INTEGRITY – a safety-certified, real-time operating system (RTOS) including a powerful set of ISO 26262, ASIL-D certified development tools. The platform also includes Neusoft Corporation’s advanced, real-time object recognition algorithms to seamlessly detect partial objects, allowing the S32V to interpret and distinguish between road hazards and pedestrian risk.

Full market availability for the S32V is expected in July 2015. But the VDK is avaialable immediately. EDA software vendor Synopsys has made available of its Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK) for Freescale’s S32V200 family of microcontrollers (MCUs). The VDK uses the S32V234 virtual prototype as an embedded target for early and more efficient software development, integration and test of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

“Our S32V series customers developing ADAS need software development solutions that will help accelerate system software integration and test,” said Ray Cornyn, ?vice president of automotive engineering for Freescale’s automotive microcontroller business. “The VDK for Freescale S32V200, delivered through our Center of Excellence collaboration with Synopsys, help to ensure that our customers can accelerate automotive system development and rapidly deliver high quality software to market.”

The VDK for S32V200 includes software development tools and integrates third-party tools to support automotive flows for software development, virtual Hardware-in-the-Loop-based integration and fault testing for ISO 26262. The VDK for S32V200 can also be used with other Synopsys VDKs to simulate a network of electronic control units (ECUs). This complete virtual development environment can easily be deployed in a regression environment, resulting in higher software quality, better product reliability and reduced development costs.

“Synopsys’ VDK for Freescale’s S32V200 integrates ARM® Fast Models for the dual-core, dual-cluster ARM Cortex-A53 processor and plugs into our DS-5 Development Studio tools,” said Hobson Bullman, general manager, development solutions group at ARM. “The new VDK gives ARM-based automotive customers access to virtual prototypes that enable them to start software development well before hardware availability, cutting months off of their development schedules.”

“The CogniVue APEX Image Cognition Processing (ICP) technology is a key element of developing algorithms and software for ADAS based on the Freescale S32V2 series,” said Simon Morris, chief executive officer at CogniVue. “Our partnership with Synopsys ensures that users of the VDK for Freescale S32V200 can seamlessly access the APEX subsystem model and accelerate software development of automotive embedded vision applications.”

“To manage the growth in software content and testing complexity of advanced driver assistance systems, development teams must start automotive system development earlier,” said John Koeter, vice president of marketing for IP and prototyping at Synopsys. “Synopsys’ collaboration with Freescale and IP partners provides automotive software developers with a ‘one-stop shop’ for VDKs to accelerate development, integration and test for their advanced automotive designs.”

The VDK for Freescale S32V200 is available now from Synopsys. To learn more visit:

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