Nextchip licenses aiWare4 for automotive AI processor

Nextchip licenses aiWare4 for automotive AI processor

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The Apache6 ASIL-B compliant system on chip will use the aiWare4 network processor unit (NPU) IP from aiMotive in Budapest. The centralized domain processor is aimed at Automated Valet Parking (AVP) and other automotive processing applications, combining ARM CPUs and GPUs, ISP imaging and NPU processors with interfaces to enable easy integration into a wide range of OEM and Tier1 hardware platforms.

The Apache6 SoC uses a quad-core Arm v8 64-bit CPUs alongside an Arm Mali GPU, Nextchip’s advanced multi-channel imaging ISP alongside the aiWare4 NPU. This has an efficiency of up to 98 percent when executing complex CNN workloads, with an upgraded on-chip memory architecture, more sophisticated wavefront-based scheduling, and a range of advanced hardware safety features to ease the task of achieving ASIL-B compliance.

This follows the Apache5 Imaging Edge Processor that also uses aiMotive technology. “We are delighted to extend and deepen our relationship with aiMotive for Apache6,” said Young Jun Yoo, CMO at Nextchip. “Our engineering teams have developed a close working relationship, enabling us to fully benefit not only from the aiWare hardware IP but the broader AI software, system and algorithm expertise of aiMotive. Our SoCs have been focusing on delivering reliable, compact, and affordable solutions. With aiMotive’s expertise, we can make our SoCs more powerful while also optimizing our customer-friendly AI-development environment.”

Software compatibility between Apache5 and Apache6 means a common toolchain will be used for both devices so that neural networks optimized for Apache5 will migrate with minimum effort to Apache6.

“We are proud that Nextchip has recognized our value in helping them optimize the AI capabilities of Apache5 for their customers and partners by licensing aiWare4 for Apache6,” said Arnaud Lagandre, CCO for aiMotive. “This latest significant expansion of our relationship with both Nextchip and their growing ecosystem of software partners demonstrates that aiWare is a great production-proven NPU technology, capable of achieving automotive-grade qualification with full ASIL-B compliance”.

Nextchip is now accepting enquiries for lead automotive customers for its Apache6 SoC and continues to accept them for its Apache5 SoC.

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