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SoC drives image recognition processing in cars

Posted: 02 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:image recognition processing? SuperH SoC?


Renesas Technology Corp. has unveiled the SuperH Family SH77650 SoC that provides image recognition processing functions for vehicle information terminals such as car navigation systems, and peripheral devices to assist-safe driving.

The SH77650 provides the same image recognition functions as Renesas Technology's existing SH7774 (600MHz operation) SoC product for car navigation systems. Developed as a dedicated image recognition processing LSI device, the new SoC product delivers high cost-performance through optimized functionality and performance.

Key functions
Driving assist systems that perform functions such as white-line detection (lane division recognition) require image recognition processing. Like the earlier SH7774, the SH77650 uses image recognition processing intellectual property (IP) from Hitachi Ltd. This IP covers specialized hardware that performs the processing necessary to recognize road conditions based on image data captured by a camera or similar device. It enables multiple external environment recognition programs to run simultaneously and in real time. These programs can perform tasks such as roadway lane recognition or detection and tracking of leading vehicles. This capability makes it possible to realize sophisticated functions to increase safety when driving a vehicle. In addition, an image recognition library with approximately 200 functions is provided to facilitate the development of image recognition applications. It is also possible to use image recognition applications originally developed for the SH7774 with the SH77650.

The SH77650 incorporates the SH-4A, the top-end CPU core in the SuperH Family. At its maximum operating frequency of 300MHz, the device achieves a processing performance of 540Mips. The on-chip floating-point processing unit (FPU) also operates at 300MHz maximum. The FPU supports single- and double-precision calculations, delivering a maximum operating performance of 2.1GFLOPS in single-precision mode.

Additonal features
The SH77650 incorporates a variety of peripheral modules required for automotive image recognition applications. These include, in addition to an image recognition processing accelerator, video input interface and display functions, a dedicated DMA controller, timers, a serial communication interface, and a CAN interface for in-vehicle LANs. This variety of peripheral functions means that the main capabilities of the image recognition system can be handled by a single chip and, makes it possible to reduce component parts and develop systems at lower cost.

The SH77650 also incorporates many peripheral functions suitable for image recognition applications. In addition to a high-performance image recognition processing accelerator, there is a three-channel video input interface, a display function supporting a screen of maximum WVGA size (850 x 480pixel), a dedicated six-channel DMA controller, three timer channels, a two-channel serial interface, and a two-channel CAN interface for in-vehicle LANs. This variety of on-chip peripheral functions covers the main tasks performed by in-vehicle image recognition systems.

In addition, there is an on-chip bus arbitrator circuit that sets the priority of attempts by the modules to access the bus. This circuit supports three access priority levels and makes it possible for multiple internal modules to access external memory efficiently. The priority levels can be changed by the user to meet requirements for CPU or image processing performance. In this way the maximum performance can be realized to match the system configuration and functions.

Furthermore, a 32bit dedicated bus is provided as an external bus allowing connection to high-speed DDR1-SDRAM and a 32bit expansion bus enables connection to flash memory or SRAM.

Available development tools include the E10A-USB emulator, which connects to a host PC via a USB bus. It also provides on-chip debugging functionality, allowing real-time debugging at the SH77650's maximum operating frequency. A reference platform that will enable efficient system development for customers is to be made available in December 2007.

Sample shipments of SH77650(R8A77650DA01BPV) will begin in November in Japan. Housed in 376-pin BGA (19mm x 19mm) package, the device is priced at $52 for volume quantities.

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