he Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Convergence (booth #909) event, Xilinx unveiled its automotive ARM-processor based Zynq-7000 All Programmable system-on-a-chip (SoC) platform that can reduce the cost and the time-to-market of driver assistance solutions by using programmable system integration to lower bill-of-materials while meeting the sophisticated technical requirements behind systems requiring driver assurance-critical image-to-vision and in-vehicle networking capabilities.
The ADAS space is evolving rapidly and Xilinx's automotive grade Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC is the game changer the industry needs to accelerate the pace of ADAS technology deployment, said Nick DiFiore, director of Xilinx's automotive segment. The Zynq-7000 family allows ADAS developers to implement a familiar software-based system, but with closely coupled, fully customized, hardware accelerators that deliver a level of raw image processing performance and low power consumption that is simply not achievable with traditional multi-chip approaches.
DiFiore added that ADAS suppliers are already using Zynq-7000 devices rather than 'pre-canned' ASSPs to combine off-the-shelf IP from the Xilinx ecosystem along with their own proprietary IP and algorithms to differentiate themselves in the market, all without the huge costs and time-to-market penalties that make ASIC development impractical – it's a win/win in this hotly contested market.
Automakers are bundling the current generation of ADAS applications – which includes blind spot detection, lane departure warning systems, automatic parking assistance, collision avoidance, pedestrian detection and driver drowsiness detection – as they seek to provide drivers with multiple safety features at lower costs. Common to both current and future ADAS applications is the use of a variety of cameras and ultrasonic sensors in combination with specialized, real-time processing systems, a prime example of the image-to-vision capabilities that Xilinx is putting particular focus on across all its markets. Currently these systems use multiple chips for the required processing, which keep BOM costs high and reduce flexibility options to scale between vehicle platforms.
In addition to its performance advantages, the Xilinx Automotive (XA) Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC is ideal for ADAS applications as it is qualified to meet the stringent temperature, quality and reliability requirements for automotive applications.
Consumer demand for driver assistance applications is strong and growing but continues to be held back due to high manufacturing and development costs. To overcome this, it is vital to 'right size' the underlying components through increasing integration and to create common platforms that can be customized for a variety of ADAS applications – this will lower unit costs, increase economies of scale and shorten development cycles, said Mark Fitzgerald, associate director global automotive practice, Strategy Analytics. By integrating more and more into fewer and fewer chips, customizable solutions hold the promise of addressing these requirements of automotive manufacturers to develop a new generation of ADAS applications available across more of their cars.
Current ADAS solutions typically employ multiple chips, but Xilinx overcomes this with its Zynq-7000 family, the industry's first SoC family to incorporate an ARM dual-core Cortex-A9 MPCore processing system with tightly coupled programmable logic on a single die. This combination dramatically increases the performance critical for processing-intensive real-time ADAS, and enables greater system integration for bundling multiple applications while reducing BOM.
See Xilinx to find out how Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoCs eliminate the need for multi-chip solutions, provide higher system integration, and allow for the optimum level of hardware resources and scalability spanning low- to high-end ADAS.
The Xilinx Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC is a great programmable platform for upcoming automotive driver assistance applications that require intensive real-time video processing, parallel execution of multiple advanced algorithms and versatile interfacing with sensors and vehicles' communication backbones, said Davor Kovačec, founder and CEO of Xylon. The abundant performance and reprogrammability of the Zynq-7000 devices enables us to design SoCs that outperform competing solutions and which enable a new level of system differentiation through a combination of hardware-accelerated video inputs from multiple camera inputs and the ability to quickly adapt to ever changing sensor setups and interfacing.