AI-enabled ASIC brings high processing power to driver monitoring systems

AI-enabled ASIC brings high processing power to driver monitoring systems

New Products |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Semiconductor solution provider and imaging expert Omnivision has announced what it calls the automotive industry’s most advanced AI-enabled application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) that can seamlessly and simultaneously power dedicated driver and occupant monitoring systems (DMS/OMS). It uses a stacked-die architecture to provide integrated RGB-IR image signal processing (ISP) with two AI neural processing units (NPUs) and embedded DDR3 memory (2Gb) in a single low power, small package chip.

According to Strategy Analytics analyst Mark Fitzgerald, the ASIC meets the demand from automotive electronics designers for high-performance devices for driver monitoring applications. Such devices are ideally very compact and consume very little power despite their high performance. “The flexibility to add additional features and expand into cabin monitoring is a bonus,” says Fitzgerald.

The OAX4600 is a next generation ASIC that uses Omnivision’s dedicated NPU with 2 tera operations per second (TOPS). Seeing Machine’s Occula NPU is also included for greater application flexibility. The OAX4600 features 2Gb of embedded DDR stacked memory and utilizes the tri-ARM Cortex A53 with NEON core subsystem.

“Our OAX4600 is set to transform the automotive industry. It integrates a unique set of features developed specifically for interior monitoring systems (IMS), and its small size and low power provide OEMs with the flexibility to place the camera at any location within the car, regardless of space constraints,” said Brian Pluckebaum, automotive product marketing manager at Omnivision. “It uses Omnivision’s ISP processing technology and dedicated NPU to ensure robust, latency-free image processing, even in the case of RGB-IR. We have also designed this device from the ground up with ASIL B functional safety in mind.”

The OAX4600 is capable of higher resolution processing of up to 5 megapixels. It has fast boot-up time to eliminate any delay between ignition and activation of the interior camera and features integrated cybersecurity.

The chip comes in a BGA package and will be available for sampling in Q3 2022.

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