ASIC integrates ISP, neural processing unit for occupant monitoring systems

January 05, 2022 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
ASIC integrates ISP, neural processing unit for occupant monitoring systems
Digital imaging experts Omnivision and Seeing Machines have jointly developed an ASIC that unites the properties of an image signal processor (ISP) with a neural processing unit (NPU). The chip targets driver and occupant monitoring systems.

Omnivision’s ASIC integrates Seeing Machines’ Ocula AI NPU with an ISP and DDR3 memory. It will feature a higher level of processing and performance, comply with ASIL B advanced safety standards, and is based on a deeper level of partnership with ecosystem vendors. The device will include an optimal HW RGB-IR ISP, cybersecurity and deliver the most power efficient solution.

“Omnivision has been working with Seeing Machines for more than five years now and was the first to execute a silicon license for the Occula NPU in 2021. Today, we are unveiling our unique ASIC implementation, the OAX4600, featuring an integrated ISP and NPU, capable of higher resolution processing of up to 5 megapixels (MP),” says Andy Hanvey, director of automotive marketing, Omnivision. “With the need for automotive-grade RGB-IR processing solutions, Omnivision brings its knowledge and leadership in ISP processing together with its highly optimized OAX4600 implementation that minimizes DDR bandwidth requirements.” The combined solution is ideal for space-constrained automotive integrations, such as in rear view mirror. It will be available in the second half of this year, Hanvey added.

“The rear-view mirror is the critical integration point for automotive OEMs to add occupant monitoring that adheres to the Euro NCAP roadmap for distracted, drowsy and, in the future, impaired driving detection,” comments Colin Barnden, principal analyst at Semicast Research. "However, the mirror is both space and power constrained, demanding a highly optimized imaging signal chain to meet the conflicting needs of high-performance vision processing with very low power consumption. Together the OX05B1S sensor and OAX4600 processor combines 5MP resolution with best-in-class image processing and low power consumption.”

Availability of the combined ASIC IP solution is expected in 2H 2022.

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