Automotive takes center stage at CES 2022

At this year’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) many chip and component manufacturers are placing big product bets ON automotive applications. What’s hot this year is autonomy and safety applications including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and occupant and driver monitoring systems (OMS and DMS).

Here’s a sampling of automotive devices launched this week, ranging from connectors to sensors.

Automotive takes center stage at CES 2022

Aceinna’s INS401 inertial navigation system. Click for a larger image. (Source: Aceinna Inc.)

In alphabetical order, first up is Aceinna Inc.’s INS401 inertial navigation system (INS) and GNSS/RTK turnkey solution for ADAS and autonomous vehicle precision positioning. The INS401 is a high-performance INS with an RTK-enabled dual frequency GNSS receiver, triple-redundant inertial sensors, and positioning engine. The solution is designed for L2+ and higher ADAS and other high-volume applications requiring precise position information. The dead reckoning solution is said to deliver strong performance in GNSS-challenged urban environments.

Key specs include:

  • Position accuracy (RTK): 2 cm
  • Position accuracy (SPS): 1.2 m CEP
  • Heading accuracy: 0.2 deg
  • Attitude accuracy: 0.02 deg
  • Velocity accuracy: 0.01+/- ms
  • Velocity range: 515 ms
  • Rotational rate range: 200+/- deg/s
  • Accel range: 8+/-g

The INS401 is specifically developed for automotive applications using automotive-qualified components and is certified to ASIL-B level according to ISO26262. Packaged in a compact and rugged aluminum housing, the INS includes everything needed for design and development of a navigation system, while enabling customization for fast time to market. The included “Integrity Engine” guarantees zero performance failure, said the company.

Aceinna said the INS401 is the first of its turnkey products to bring INS/RTK technology to mass markets and the entire range of autonomous vehicle applications at under $500. The INS401 is available now directly from the company.

Ambarella, Inc. introduced its CV3 AI domain controller family for ADAS and L2+ to L4 autonomous vehicles (AVs). The automotive SoCs deliver centralized, single-chip processing for multi-sensor perception, including high-resolution vision, radar, ultrasonic, and LiDAR as well as deep fusion for multiple sensor modalities and AV path planning.

Automotive takes center stage at CES 2022

Ambarella’s CV3 AI domain controller SUV system diagram. Click for a larger image. (Source: Ambarella)

Enabling greater levels of environmental perception in challenging lighting, weather, and driving conditions for both driver viewing and machine perception, the scalable CVflow SoCs provide artificial intelligence (AI) processing performance up to 500 eTOPS, which is a 42× increase over the previous automotive family. It also features up to 16 Arm Cortex-A78AE CPU cores, up to a 30× increase in CPU performance over the prior generation to support AV software applications as well as a general vector processor (GVP) to offload classical computer vision and radar processing from the neural vector processor (NVP), an advanced image processor, a stereo and optical flow engine, and an automotive GPU.

The CV3 marks the debut of Ambarella’s next-generation CVflow architecture, said Ambarella, with an on-chip NVP, up to 500 eTOPS of AI compute, industry-leading power efficiency and support for the latest advancements in neural network (NN) inferences. The NVP can run advanced radar perception software, such as the Oculii adaptive AI software algorithms. This is complemented by a new floating-point GVP designed to offload classical computer vision and radar processing from the NVP engines, and floating-point-intensive algorithms from the Arm CPUs. For more information, click here for the product brief (PDF).

The complete line of AI perception SoCs supports the full range of viewing, recording, sensing and path planning applications from basic ADAS to L4 AVs. “This means that automakers no longer need to develop different software stacks for their entry-level, mid-range and premium vehicles, as they can use Ambarella’s unified CVflow platform across all models, saving engineering costs while enabling faster responses to market trends,” said the company. The first CV3 SoCs are expected to be available for sampling in the first half of 2022.

For more details, read sister publication’s EE Times article, Ambarella targets AV domain controllers with next gen AI engine.

Another collaboration focused on occupant and driver monitoring systems comes from emotion3D and onsemi. The two companies announced a joint reference design for driver and occupant monitoring systems (DOMS), leveraging emotion3D’s camera-based automotive-in-cabin analysis software and onsemi’s 8.3 megapixel (MP) image sensor.

Based on emotion3D’s CABIN EYE AI software stack and onsemi’s AR0820AT 8.3 MP image sensor, the DOMS solution replaces the single-task driver monitoring mono/IR camera, and enables multiple use cases for safety and convenience by using a single color/IR camera. The AR0820AT image sensor can handle challenging lighting conditions thanks to its high dynamic range and high sensitivity. The high-resolution camera also is said to enable the use of a wider field of view for a comprehensive analysis of the in-cabin space, so that multiple use cases can be implemented.

EPC announced the availability of the EPC9166, a 500-W DC/DC demo board that converts a 12-V input to 48-V output. The EPC9166 demo board demonstrates the Renesas Electronics’ ISL81807 80-V two-phase synchronous boost controller with the latest generation EPC2218 eGaN FETs, which achieve greater than 96.5% efficiency in a 12-V input to 48-V regulated output conversion with 500-kHz switching frequency.  The output voltage can be configured to 36 V, 48 V, and 60 V. The board can deliver 480-W power without a heat sink.

Automotive takes center stage at CES 2022

EPC’s EPC9166 demonstration board. Click for a larger image. (Source: EPC)

With increasing demand for higher power density, regulated DC/DC boost converters are used in data center, computing, and automotive applications,  converting a nominal 12-V to a 48-V distribution bus among other output voltages. The eGaN FETs  provide fast switching, high efficiency, and small size, meeting the stringent power density requirements of these applications, said EPC.

The company claims the EPC2218 is the smallest and highest efficiency 100-V FET in the market. The ISL81807 also is reportedly the industry’s first 80-V dual-output/two-phase (single output) synchronous buck controller with an integrated GaN driver, supporting frequencies up to 2 MHz. The ISL81807 uses current mode control and generates two independent outputs or one output with two interleaved phases. Other features include current sharing, synchronization for paralleling more controllers/more phases, enhanced light load efficiency, and low shutdown current.

The EPC9166 demonstration board is priced at $300.00 and is available from Digi-Key.

Infineon Technologies AG is highlighting its range of IoT, power, security, and automotive solutions, showcased as “Reimagine Innovation.” One of Infineon’s latest introductions and announced at CES 2022 is the extension of its AURIX microcontroller (MCU) family and first samples of the new AURIX TC4x family of 28-nm MCUs for next-generation eMobility, ADAS, automotive E/E architectures, and AI applications.

The next-generation AURIX TC4x MCUs feature the next-generation TriCore 1.8, along with scalable performance enhancements from the AURIX accelerator suite. This includes the new parallel processing unit (PPU) and a SIMD vector digital signal processor (DSP) that supports a variety of AI topologies. The scalable family concept allows for a common software architecture for platform software savings, said Infineon.

The AURIX TC4x supports both eMobility and automated driving through safety systems. The new family features enhanced connectivity, advanced safety and security, and new software over the air (SOTA) features for secure car-to-cloud connection. The new MCU family also supports high-speed communication interfaces like 5-Gbit Ethernet and PCI Express as well as new interfaces such as CAN-XL and 10BASE T1S Ethernet.

Infineon also is collaborating with Synopsys to accelerate software development for the AURIX TC4x family. The Synopsys Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK) for TC4x is said to enable software to be developed much earlier in the design cycle. The Synopsys DesignWare ARC MetaWare Toolkit provides optimal compilers, debuggers, and libraries as well as a simulator needed to develop software for the PPU.

The AURIX TC49x is sampling now at select customers. The start of production is expected in the second half of 2024. The DesignWare ARC MetaWare Toolkit for AURIX and Virtualizer Development Kit for TC4x are available now from Synopsys.

Hirose Electric USA has expanded its GT50 series of miniature wire-to-board connector family to include a single-row, right-angle version. The GT50 automotive wire-to-board connectors are said to offer a weight reduction of up to 75% while saving PCB space, targeting both traditional and emerging automotive applications.

Automotive takes center stage at CES 2022

Hirose’s GT50 series of miniature wire-to-board connectors. Click for a larger image. (Source: Hirose Electric USA)

The GT50 connectors offer high heat and vibration resistance in an ultra-small housing. It uses a unique stabilizer that reduces wear in the contact area between header and crimp contacts commonly caused by vibration, said Hirose. It also features a high retention force of 25N, and a user-friendly lock design with a clear tactile click to prevent incomplete mating.

In addition, a 2-point contact system enclosed between two springs minimizes the effect of heat shrinkage on the contacts and improves contact reliability. The operating temperature range is -40°C to 125°C.

Automotive applications include array mic/speaker, combination lamps, displays, electric mirrors, heads up displays, and LiDAR . The connector is also well-suited for off-highway equipment like agricultural and construction machinery, specialty vehicles such as automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), drones, and factory automation equipment.

InnovationLab is showing its portfolio of printed and organic electronics with a focus on sensors in automotive applications. The two automotive demos include a car seat developed with RECARO Automotive GmbH, showing how pressure sensor foils can detect an occupant. This data can be used by the car for driver assistance and safety systems, such as seat-belt reminders, and airbag de-activation if a child seat is detected.

The second demo will show an innovative battery monitoring solution with ultra-thin printed sensor foils that fit between individual battery cells that collect detailed pressure and temperature data. This cell-level information provides data on the battery state of health and performance, which will help R&D teams to improve their battery designs including extending the range for electric vehicles, said the company.

InnovationLab will also demonstrate other applications for its printed electronics sensors, including e-health products, smart textiles, and retail and logistics industries.

Magnachip Semiconductor Corp. announced it is developing a next-generation organic light-emitting diode display driver integrated circuit (OLED DDIC) for automotive displays. The automotive OLED DDIC is based on the 40-nm process technology, which is designed for center stack displays and instrument cluster displays.

The DDIC supports a range of resolutions including FHD and it is suited for both rigid and flexible OLED displays. Designed as an “all-in-one solution,” the DDIC will include source drivers, gate drivers, and timing controllers integrated on a single chip. “This feature will enable the production of cost-effective display panels consisting of fewer components,” said Magnachip. Devices will be available to European car manufacturers in the first half of 2023.

NVIDIA showcased its autonomous innovations, detailing the capabilities of its DRIVE Hyperion during a virtual presentation, led by Ali Kani, vice president and general manager of Automotive at NVIDIA.

The DRIVE Hyperion platform includes a high-performance computer and sensor architecture that meets the safety requirements of a fully autonomous vehicle and it is designed with redundant NVIDIA DRIVE Orin systems-on-a-chip for software-defined vehicles. The latest-generation platform includes 12 state-of-the-art surround cameras, 12 ultrasonics, nine radar, three interior sensing cameras and one front-facing lidar.

“It’s architected to be functionally safe, so that if one computer or sensor fails, there is a back-up available to ensure that the AV can drive its passengers to a safe place,” said Nvidia.

For more details on Nvidia’s new solutions, read sister publication’s EE Times article, Nvidia stresses automotive AI, new gaming initiatives at CES 2022.

NXP Semiconductors announced two updates to its automotive 4D imaging radar processor family. The company introduced its new S32R41 radar processor, specifically developed for the L2+ market and announced that its flagship 16-nm imaging radar processor, the S32R45, has started mass production with initial customer ramp-up starting in the first half of 2022, followed by full production by the end of the year. Together, these automotive radar chips cover the L2+ to L5 autonomy sectors, enabling 4D imaging radar for 360-degree surround sensing, said NXP.

Automotive takes center stage at CES 2022

4D imaging radar for 360-degree surround sensing. Click for a larger image. (Source: NXP Semiconductors)

Extending 4D imaging into a wide range of corner and front sensors, NXP claims the new S32R41 is the industry’s first 16-nm radar processor tailored for L2+ autonomous driving applications. With the new radar chip, the L2+ segment will be able to leverage 4D imaging radar sensing with up to six corner, front, and rear radar sensors in 360-degree surround sensing.

The S32R45 radar processor is the flagship of NXP’s 6th generation automotive radar chipset family that helps enable autonomous driving from L2+ through L5 use cases, where more than ten imaging radar sensors per vehicle may be required, said NXP. The radar processor also can be used in transportation, traffic management, and industrial applications where high-resolution sensing is required.

However, the key differentiator from other products is its 3-in-1 multi-mode radar sensing across short-, mid-, and long-range operation. NXP is reportedly the first in the market with multi-mode capability, which enables the simultaneous sensing of a very wide field of view around the car. Click here for the complete article.

More of a complete system rather than a component, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. introduced the latest addition to its scalable Snapdragon Ride Platform, the new Snapdragon Ride Vision System for automated driving. The system is flexible enough to support entry-level New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) front-camera systems through to advanced front, rear, and surround view solutions.

The Snapdragon Ride Vision System is an open and modular computer vision software stack built on a 4-nm process technology system-on-chip (SoC) designed for implementation of front and surround cameras for ADAS and automated driving (AD). The platform combines purpose-built Snapdragon Ride SoCs with the next-generation vision perception software stack from Arriver.

The Snapdragon Ride Vision System is expected to be available in vehicle production in 2024.  Automotive designers can start developing ADAS and AD solutions and their own Drive Policy now by using the Snapdragon Ride Software Development Kit (SDK) that provides a hardware and software environment for rapid development by automakers and Tier-1 suppliers.

OmniVision unveiled a couple of automotive industry firsts at CES with the unveiling of the first 5-megapixel (MP) RGB-IR global shutter sensor for in-cabin driver monitoring systems (DMS) and the first 3-MP resolution SoC for automotive cameras.

Automotive takes center stage at CES 2022

OmniVision’s OX05B1S 5-MP RGB-IR BSI global shutter sensor. Click for a larger image. (Source: OmniVision)

The company’s latest addition to its Nyzel near-infrared (NIR) technology family is the OX05B1S, claimed as the automotive industry’s first 5-MP RGB-IR BSI global shutter sensor for DMS. Also claiming the smallest pixel size with the highest NIR sensitivity, the OXO5B1S features a pixel size of 2.2 µm with 940-nm NIR sensitivity for high performance in extremely low light conditions. The image sensor also offers a wide field of view and enough pixels to view both the driver and occupants, said OmniVision, and is the first RGB-IR sensor for in-cabin monitoring to feature integrated cybersecurity.

The new image sensor also enables the automotive industry to move from 1 MP and 2 MP to 5 MP, reducing the number of cameras required from two to one for simultaneous driver and occupant monitoring systems, said the company.

OmniVision also teamed with Seeing Machines to develop the industry’s first dedicated DMS and OMS ASIC that combines an image signal processor (ISP) and is powered by Seeing Machines’ Occula neural processing unit (NPU) for a complete system for automotive OEMs. The ASIC IP solution is expected to be available in the second half of 2022.

The OX05B1S also claims the industry’s highest NIR QE at 36%, up from 12% in the previous generation. “This enables the OX05B1S to detect and recognize objects that other image sensors would miss under extremely low lighting conditions, enabling higher-performance in-cabin camera capabilities for improved occupant and driver monitoring, security, selfies, videoconferencing, and more,” said OmniVision.

Automotive takes center stage at CES 2022

OmniVision’s  OX03D 3-MP SoC. Click for a larger image. (Source: OmniVision)

Also announced at CES is the OX03D4C, claimed at the industry’s first 3-MP resolution SoC for automotive cameras. Enabling the transition from 1-MP to 3-MP resolution, the new image sensor SoC targets automotive surround-view systems (SVS), rearview systems (RVS), and e-mirrors.

The low-power OX03D4C also claims the smallest 2.1 µm pixel size in a 1/4-inch optical format. The SoC includes both the pixel array and image signal processor (ISP) and the next-generation tone-mapping algorithm for high contrast images along with leading LED flicker mitigation (LFM) performance. It also features a 105 dB motion-free high dynamic range (HDR) with a total range of 140 dB, and provides HDR and LFM simultaneously. The SoC consumes less than 500 mW power.

In addition, the OX03D4C provides four on-Screen display overlay layers for driver guidelines, as well as distortion correction to straighten any curved edges from lenses with a wide viewing angle, said OmniVision. It also complies with ASIL B advanced safety standards.

Both the OX05B1S and OX03D are housed in OmniVision’s stacked a-CSP package that is said to be 50% smaller than competitive products. The OX05B1S also comes with an “always on” optional feature. Samples of the OX05B1S and OX03D are available now, followed by mass production in Q1 2023 and Q4 2022, respectively.

SiLC Technologies provided demos of its new Eyeonic Vision Sensor, claimed as a first-of-its-kind integrated frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) LiDAR sensor for machine-vision applications such as mobility, robotics, and security. At the center of the Eyeonic vision sensor is SiLC’s silicon photonic chip, which integrates the LiDAR functionality. The chip is the only readily-integratable solution for manufacturers of autonomous vehicles, security solutions, and industrial robots, said SiLC.

Examples of fully configured systems, based on the Eyeonic platform, will be available as prototypes. SiLC will demonstrate the FMCW LiDAR sensor at CES 2022, January 5-8, Las Vegas, Nevada. Click here for the complete article.

Automotive takes center stage at CES 2022

TI’s AWR2944 77-GHz radar sensor. Click for a larger image. (Source: Texas Instruments, Inc.)

Aimed at improving how advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) sense objects to help meet new regulations, Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has launched its 77-GHz AWR2944 radar sensor that delivers enhanced object detection with a 33% higher resolution, enabling it to quickly detect objects, monitor blind spots, and navigate turns and corners. It also is said to sense oncoming vehicles at up to 40% farther distances.

The 77-GHz AWR2944 radar sensor is said to provide best-in-class radio frequency (RF) performance in a small form factor – approximately 30% smaller compared to radar sensors – and 33% higher resolution than existing radar sensors thanks to the integration of a fourth transmitter. This enables vehicles to detect obstacles more clearly and avoid collisions, said TI.

In addition to the AWR2944, TI also offers the AWR2944 evaluation module (AWR2944EVM). The company is showcasing several virtual demos for automotive safety at ti.com/CES. Click here for the complete article.