The centerpiece of Qualcomm’s Technology Showcase is the expansion of its Snapdragon Ride Platform portfolio. With new safety-grade system-on-chips (SoCs) designed for automotive safety integrity level D (ASIL-D) systems, this promises to provide the flexibility of using a single SoC for New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) Level 1 advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) systems and Level 2 automation systems, as well as enhancing the performance of combined ADAS SoCs and artificial intelligence (AI) accelerators for up to a Level 4 automated system. The new SoCs join Snapdragon Ride Platform’s growing portfolio of comprehensive solutions designed for ADAS and autonomous driving compute systems.
The second major product introduction was the company’s 4th Generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit platform. Amidst the automotive electronics environment that is evolving towards a zonal electronic/electrical (E/E) compute architecture, the platform is engineered as a homogenous and multipurpose solution to address this transition to a zonal architecture, serving as a central hub for high-performance compute, computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI) and multi-sensor processing with a flexible software configuration to address the compute, performance and functional safety needs for that zone or domain. The scalable digital cockpit platforms support all three Snapdragon Automotive performance tiers, ranging from Performance, Premiere to Paramount, for the entry level, mid-tier and super computing platforms, respectively.
Designed for 5nm processing technology, the platforms combine flexibility, performance and the low power consumption required by today’s carmakers, Qualcomm promises. Their functionality is designed to support high-level and real-time operating systems, with car-to-cloud software and software-as-a-service structures in mind, the vendor says. This supports multiple engine control units (ECUs) and domain consolidation, including cluster and cockpit, augmented reality heads-up-display (AR-HUD), infotainment, rear seat displays, mirror replacement (e-Mirror) and in-cabin monitoring services.
In terms of functionality, the new generation features enhanced graphics, multimedia, computer vision and AI capabilities designed to provide an optimized, contextually aware and constantly adaptive cockpit system that can evolve to its passengers’ preferences. They utilize the 6th generation Qualcomm Kryo Central Processing Unit (CPU), Qualcomm Hexagon Processor, multi-core AI Engine, 6th generation Adreno Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and Spectra Image Signal Processor (ISP). In addition, they support premium audio experiences with multi-audio zones for each user, and have pre-integrated support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 as well as for the company’s 5G Platforms with integrated C-V2X technology und OTA updates.
At the same time, Qualcomm announced a number of strategic cooperations and design projects in the pre-production stadium with automotive OEMs and tier-one suppliers for commercial deployment until 2022. These include
- Arriver, the recently-named software activity of supplier Veoneer. With Veoneer, Qualcom plans to offer SoCs pre-integrated and pre-validated with Arriver vision perception and driving policy software for SAE levels NCAP to L2+, and eventually beyond.
- Valeo: Qualcomm is working with Valeo to support the latter’s latest generation of Park4U on the Snapdragon Ride Platform. Park4U is a scalable software platform that uses multiple cameras, ultrasonic sensors as well as optional radars or lidars to enable automatic parking functions up to SAE Level4.
In addition, Qualcomm plans to pre-integrate Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa with its Automotive Cockpit Platform. This system is designed to support automotive OEMs and tier-1 suppliers to build customizable, in-vehicle intelligent assistants and is offered as an extension module to the Alexa Automotive Software Development Kit (SDK).
At the same time, Qualcomm and General Motors aired the intention to jointly develop digital cockpits, next-gen telematics systems and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) – all based, of course, on Qualcomm processor platforms and technologies.