Renesas Electronics, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, has announced the launch of Renesas autonomy, a new advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving platform. As the first rollout under its groundbreaking Renesas autonomy platform, Renesas released the R-Car V3M high-performance image recognition system-on-chip (SoC) optimised primarily for use in smart camera applications, as well as surround view systems or even lidars. The new R-Car V3M SoC complies with the ISO26262 functional safety standard, delivers low-power hardware acceleration for vision processing, and is equipped with a built-in image signal processor (ISP), freeing up board space and reducing system manufacturers’ system costs.
Renesas will exhibit its first Renesas autonomy demonstrator developed based on the new R-Car V3M SoC at DevCon Japan to be held in Tokyo Japan on April 11, 2017.
About the Renesas autonomy platform
Vehicles in the autonomous driving era will be required to sense the environment, control the vehicle, and conduct synchronised communications with cloud. Wide range of technologies are necessary to realise these functions and each technology need to maintain high reliability to synchronise without any flaw. At the same time, these technologies are continuously advancing, which is why there is a growing demand for a total end-to-end solution.
Renesas launched the new ‘Renesas autonomy” platform, leveraging its long-standing experience and expertise in the automotive market as the leading automotive semiconductor supplier. Renesas autonomy is an open, innovative and trusted platform for ADAS and automated driving, consisting of Renesas’ sustainable and scalable SoC and microcontroller (MCU) roadmaps. Renesas is the only automotive semiconductor supplier in the industry to cover end-to-end solutions from secure cloud connectivity and sensing to vehicle control. Renesas’ groundbreaking platform further extends its commitment to ADAS and automated driving. The platform also gives system manufacturers access to Renesas’ expanding ecosystem of partners for ADAS and automated driving technologies, thereby improving development efficiency and speeding their time to market.
Key solutions of the Renesas autonomy platform:
1) Trusted scalable hardware lineup delivering a comprehensive portfolio covering high performance and low power
The Renesas autonomy platform enables automotive system manufacturers to build a full range of ADAS and automated driving systems. System manufacturers can make the best use of the sustained, scalable roadmaps to develop solutions from entry to premium, re-use development efforts, and shorten time to market, benefiting from Renesas’ proven solutions and long-term commitment to the automotive market.
2) Innovative accelerators and market-proven functional safety technologies
For the implementation of demanding algorithms, Renesas autonomy 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 the highest performance at the lowest power consumption. In addition, system manufacturers can leverage Renesas’ expertise in integrating different IPs and in low-power design to reduce their bill of materials (BOM).
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 applications, Renesas supports several ASIL levels with its latest generation high-performance SoC and MCU devices. In addition to ASIL-C support with the new R-Car V3M SoC, Renesas provides a wide range of ASIL-B SoCs (R-Car M3 and R-Car H3) and ASIL-D MCUs (RH850/P1X Series) that meet the requirements of the latest ADAS applications.
3) Open development platform with access to complementary ecosystem partner technologies
Renesas has 195 key technology suppliers worldwide in its R-Car Consortium and is continuously adding partners from the ADAS and automated driving areas to support the Renesas 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 maximise the creation of value in-house, or significantly reduce their design efforts and shorten time to market by working with Renesas’ R-Car Consortium.
“ADAS and automated driving applications are driving the future of the automotive market. Renesas autonomy is a trusted, open and innovative platform that covers all needs from secure cloud connectivity, sensing, and cognitive over to vehicle control,” said Jean-Francois Chouteau, vice president of Renesas Global ADAS Centre. “At Renesas, we want to give the automotive industry the power to control its own destiny. With the Renesas autonomy Platform, we give developers the promise: ‘You decide what the future of driving will look like’.”
About the R-Car V3M SoC for smart cameras
The R-Car V3M is the latest SoC from the new Renesas autonomy platform – a functionally safe, high-performance, low-power device, primarily aiming at smart camera applications, but also surround view systems or even lidars.
For smart camera applications, the R-Car V3M focuses on enabling NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) features. It is equipped with an integrated ISP and delivers high performance for computer vision, while supporting low power consumption and a high level of 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 minimise further heat dissipation in the smart camera housing. Securing functional safety is the final key element for front cameras to safely enable features such as automated emergency braking.
Key Features of the R-Car V3M solution:
1) Highly-efficient image recognition engine and functional safety
The R-Car V3M SoC implements a top-notch performance computer vision platform using different accelerators, including a versatile pipeline engine (IMP) and a computer vision engine (CVE), allowing the R-Car V3M to manage algorithms like optical flow, object detection and classification and convolutional neural networks. The R-Car V3M integrates a dual ARM Cortex A53 for application programming and dual Cortex R7 lockstep cores to run AUTOSAR. The R-Car V3M 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.”
2) High level of integration for reduced cost
The R-Car V3M includes an integrated ISP that 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 further reduce cost.
3) Open solution for front camera
The R-Car V3M follows the principal of the Renesas autonomy platform and is supported by Renesas and its ecosystem of partners with complementary hardware such as sensors, operating systems, computer vision expertise and applications. This allows system manufacturers to maximise the creation of value in-house or shorten time to market by working with partners – a new freedom in the front camera market.