TI to Bring 3-D Surround-View to Entry-Level Cars

October 28, 2015 // By Junko Yoshida
Texas Instruments is introducing its newest automotive system-on-chip family, in an effort to move 3-D surround-view applications from the luxury category to entry and mid-level vehicles.

Dubbed TDA2Eco, the new processor is designed to exploit the same architecture in TI’s Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) family of SoCs. This will allow system designers to “preserve and reuse common software and algorithm across the board of our chip family,” Brooke Williams, ADAS business manager at TI, told EE Times.
TI boasts that it has several different ADAS processors, all built around a common SoC architecture and tools. “We offer a scalable solution to Tier Ones, so that they can bring new ADAS applications, such as 3-D surround, to the market in a much shorter time frame,” added Williams.

Asked what 3-D surround view application is all about, Williams described it as “a digitally panned view in 3-D.” By stitching together separate images from different cameras located in a vehicle, it creates a 360-degree view of the car’s surroundings. Williams said, “This gives a driver a smooth surround view, without the driver actually getting out of the vehicle to looks around the car.”

But what would be an example of the common piece of software used in a variety of ADAS SoCs—one for front cam, one for radar, one for sensor fusion and another for 3-D surround? “Take an example of pedestrian detection algorithms,” said Williams. “Typically, this is where our customers would put their major investment.” He said, “You need pedestrian detection not just on front cam, rear cam, even in fusion or other emerging ADAS applications.” Because TI’s ADAS SoCs—designed for different ADAS applications—are built on one architecture, designers can reuse the algorithm, Williams explained.

What’s inside TDA2Eco SoC?

To enable 3-D surround-view even in an entry level car, TI did some radical surgery on the SoC. “It was literally slicing the chip in half,” said Williams. The new TDA2Eco SoC, for example, uses only one DSP core instead of two, and reduced graphics video engine. The significant cost savings, however, comes from the fact that