Hella Aglaia, a subsidiary of the automotive supplier and lighting specialist Hella KGaA, offers an image processing system that can act as a central element of camera-based driver assistance systems (ADAS). With this image processing platform, the software manufacturer pursues an open strategy: Instead of a monolithically integrated function block, interested parties can choose which vehicle-related functions they would like to have integrated – examples are pedestrian, traffic sign or vehicle recognition. In the future, Hella Aglaia will also support the image processing processors of the S32 family as well as the application processors of the i.MX family from NXP. The S32V supports functional safety according to ASIL levels B and C; this processor family will therefore be used primarily in ADAS systems with a direct influence on driving decisions.
Next year, NXP plans to launch a version of the S32 on the market that is powerful enough to enable applications of the Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to the company, functions such as pixel-oriented object classification, semantic path search and vehicle localization can then be implemented.
At the IAA, NXP will also be presenting a high-performance modem for DSRC radio links. DSRC (Dedicated Short-Range Communication) is one of the techniques for implementing automated data exchange between vehicles and infrastructure (V2X). According to NXP CTO Lars Reger, the new modem with the model name SAF5400 is the first DSRC model suitable for automotive use on a chip. Designed as software-defined radio (SDR), the module can be used worldwide in regions with different regulatory frameworks.
The new device, which is implemented in RFCMOS technology, supports the IEEE 802.11p protocol. This is interesting in that NXP’s future parent company, Qualcomm, recently announced a reference design for V2X applications to demonstrate a different future strategy: Qualcomm’s reference design is focused on cellular radio technologies, while NXP’s SAF5400 only supports direct IEEE 802.11p wireless connectivity. Compared to the cellular approach, the latter have the advantages of not being dependent on the availability of a mobile phone network as well as offering particularly short latency times and. These extremely short latencies are one of the prerequisites for safety-critical applications such as truck platooning. A special protected channel is provided for the transmission of safety-relevant messages with DSRC modems. The system can be extended by an additional NXP chip to secure data communication, the SXF1800.
Meanwhile, Qualcomm’s planned acquisition of NXPs is on track, apart from the EU’s ongoing investigations on this issue. The acquisition will also change the strategic direction of the semiconductor manufacturer somewhat, explained Lars Reger of NXP: “The merger offers the opportunity to move away from pure component orientation and address more the system level. The matching of our respective products offers many advantages – for example, we can reduce power consumption at system level by up to 30%.”