Freescale unveils vision SoC for accident-free cars

March 03, 2015 // By Junko Yoshida
Freescale Semiconductor has unveiled at the Mobile World Congress an automotive vision system-on-chip, dubbed S32V, designed for what the company calls “an accident-free car.”

The new SoC, in addition to advanced vision algorithms and sensor data-fusion capabilities, provides protection against potential external wireless attacks, a much needed feature in the era of “Connected Cars.”

The automotive market already has a number of models that come with such driver’s assistance features as automatic cruise control, lane departure, blind-spot detection and road-sign recognition.

The difference Freescale claims is that the new S32V SoC will turn such “nice-to-have” driver assistance features into “more sophisticated co-pilot, safety-critical functions,” explained Matt Johnson, vice president & general manager, automotive microcontrollers at Freescale. In short, the S32V is designed to make safety-critical decisions for drivers so that cars won’t get into accidents, he added.

Psychologically speaking, it might take time for drivers to completely trust cars to take control. But Freescale, in the automotive market for decades, is confident that microprocessors rigorously designed from top to bottom with automotive-grade safety in mind, can provide ECUs that keep cars out of accidents. “We think we can intersect a market that’s transitioning from today’s cars with driver assist features to autonomous cars of the future,” Johnson explained.

Evolution to autonomous cars
(Source: Freescale)

Freescale’s S32V microprocessor is “structurally designed to comply with stringent ISO 26262 functional safety standards,” according to Freescale.Inside the automotive vision SoC is CogniVue’s second-generation APEX Image Cognition Processing technology. The SoC additionally supports the fusion of vision data captured by the S32V device. Fused into the SoC are multiple other data streams, including radar, LiDAR and ultrasonic information to enable optimal resolution and image recognition accuracy, the company said.

The new SoC enables “co-pilot” functions that include autonomous emergency brake, lane-departure correction, pedestrian protection and sensor fusion.

The hardware-intensive architecture of the S32V. For full resolution click here

Asked if Freescale’s new SoC takes advantage of ARM’s recently released functional safety documentation, Davide Santo, Freescale's safety and chassis segment manager, told EE Times, “No. ARM’s announcement was for the