Xilinx Announces New High-Performance Adaptive Devices for Autonomous Driving & ADAS Applications

Xilinx Announces New High-Performance Adaptive Devices for Autonomous Driving & ADAS Applications

Author: Eric Walz   

While most of the auto industry focuses on autonomous driving and electrification, the Tier 1 companies that are supplying automakers with advanced silicon chips and other hardware in order to build these advanced driver assist systems and autonomous driving features continue to make breakthroughs.

At this week's Xilinx Developer Forum Europe 2019 in the Netherlands, Silicon Valley-based semiconductor company Xilinx, Inc., a leading supplier of silicon chips to global automakers and other industries, announced the expansion of its automotive-qualified 16 nanometer (nm) family of chips with two new devices—the automotive (XA) Zynq UltraScale+ multiprocessor system-on-chip (MPSoC) 7EV and the 11EG. 

Xilinx says the two new devices are the world's highest performance adaptive devices to support advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving applications.

The next generation of cars will have advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving features, resulting in a greater need to perceive the environment around the vehicle. Xilinx is addressing these needs through its re-programmable automotive platforms. Developers can scale their device selection to meet specific processing needs, and the 7EV SoC can handle 4K video processing, including encoding and decoding with very low latency.

The 7EV SoC devices add an integrated H.264 / H.265 video codec capable of simultaneous encode and decode up to 4Kx2K (60fps). The 7EV is designed to process high definition video, and is ideal for automotive advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) that use a suite of forward-facing and 360 degree cameras to aid in navigation.

Xilinx's "EG" SoC devices have specialized processing elements for the next-generation 5G wireless infrastructure, so designers can build systems that allow vehicles to communicate with nearby vehicles known as vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication or vehicle to infrastructure (V2I).

The Zynq UltraScale+ family of products integrates a 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex A53 and dual-core ARM Cortex-R5 based processing system with Xilinx's programmable logic UltraScale architecture in a single device. This scalable solution is well suited for various automotive applications by delivering high-performance and low power requirements.

With its new processors, Xilinx continues its push into the automotive space. The powerful technology is already in use by 29 auto brands, including Daimler, as well as by top Tier 1 component suppliers Aptiv, Autoliv, Bosch and Continental. The devices are used in more than 100 vehicle models, according to Xilinx.


An overview of the Zynq UltraScale+ EV MPSoC

Flexibility for Developers

Xilinx's field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology gives automotive engineers and software developers the flexibility and power to design the next generation of vehicle systems, including vehicles with full autonomous driving capability.  FPGAs can be customized for a specific computing function.

Xilinx says these two new products deliver the highest programmable capacity, performance and I/O capabilities enabling high-speed, data aggregation, pre-processing, as well as compute acceleration for L2+ to L4 advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) applications.

Zilinx said the new XA Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC 7EV and 11EG devices were developed as a result of customer demand. 

For developers, the devices offer over 650,000 programmable logic cells – and nearly 3,000 DSP slices to implement signal processing, a 2.5x increase versus the previous largest device, according to Xilinx. The combination of these features, paired with the high data throughput capability, can accelerate the deployment of autonomous vehicles on the road today. 

The addition of these high-performance devices to the XA portfolio enables automakers, robotaxi developers, and Tier-1 suppliers to perform the data aggregation, pre-processing, and distribution (DAPD) for the scalable production deployment of autonomous vehicles.

"The new additions to our automotive portfolio expand our proven offering to the market," said Emre Onder, senior vice president, marketing, Xilinx. "Through customer-driven requests, we've broadened our XA product family to meet the complex levels of today's ADAS and autonomous driving systems. With these additions to the Zynq UltraScale+ product line, Xilinx delivers unmatched processing flexibility and scalability vital for today's rapidly changing requirements. Whether customers are developing for Level 1 or Level 4 systems, we have a solution that meets their needs."

All Xilinx XA devices are supported by the company's Vitis and Vitis AI, the company's new unified software platform that enables a broad range of developers to take advantage of the power of hardware adaptability.

Xilinx, founded in 1984 and based in San Jose, California, is the inventor of the field-programmable gate array (FPGA), hardware programmable SoCs, and the adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP) which achieves performance improvements of up to 20X over current FPGA implementations and over 100X over today's fastest CPU implementations for 5G wireless communications and automotive ADAS applications.

To date, Xilinx has shipped more than 67 million automotive solutions for ADAS systems to over 200 automotive companies, including global Tier-1 suppliers, OEMs and start-ups developing autonomous driving technology.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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