Recently, Cadence hosted its two-day European CDNLive event at a multi-purpose arena in Munich. The arena at the INFINITY Hotel & Conference Resort is also often a draw for ice-hockey tournaments, rock concerts and other high-profile events and visitors. In fact, the Bayern-Munich soccer team has gathered here before important games the last couple of years, bringing further glamour to the area.
While the Bayern Munich players did not occupy the arena this year, there was another star attraction at the show—a technical innovation heralding a new era in image processing. Dream Chip Technologies GmbH of Hannover, Germany demonstrated a system with an image processing chip designed and manufactured with GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 22nm FD-SOI (22FDX®) technology.
Dream Chip’s ADAS SoC system platform is based on a quad ARM® A53 processor complemented with a dual ARM-R5 lock-step processor, making the chip suitable for enhanced ASIL-type security applications. The image workhorse of the chip is the Vision-P6 processor from Cadence.
Source Dream Chip: Full system architecture of the image processing platform, soon to be implemented by Dream Chip.
The Vision P6 architecture from Cadence is based on the Tensilica architecture and is targeted for Convolutional Neural Network computations (CNNs). Image objects are detected by correlation of video images with a database of known images. For applications in the car, like sign- and pedestrian-recognition, this application needs to run at real-time with 30 frames per second. In essence, it’s a massive computational comparison of pictures occurring in real-time.
The prototype shown at CDNLive is the first-ever live system with an SoC implemented with GF’s 22FDX technology. The chip is 64mm2 and is mounted on a package substrate together with two LPDDR4 memories.
Source Dream Chip: System module with chip and two LPDDR4-memories
The Dream Chip ADAS chip is a complex and multifunctional SoC. At CDNlive, Dream Chip demonstrated video capabilities through a system board mounted on top of a model car, with the signal of a hood-mounted GoPro camera fed into the system board.
Jens Benndorf, COO of Dream Chip, explained the further signaling path: “First fed into the chip, the video signal is passed to one of the four IVPs running a filter algorithm, then passed to the video-output and on to the display. It demonstrated that the IVP6 is working.”
Source GF: Dream Chip live Demo setup at CDNLive EMEA
In addition to the demo, Benndorf and his team gave a number of presentations on the system, the chip architecture and the CNN-based image processing for which the chip is targeted in the near future.
Dream Chip, GF, and partners are working fast and furious (pun intended!) to accelerate the SoC prototype for production readiness. First silicon was demonstrated in February 2017 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and a video on the platform was showcased at CDNLive in May. What will be next? Ride with us, and find out! 22FDX is enabling innovation in ADAS applications and eventually will for autonomous driving too. By then, Bayern Munich players will certainly notice.