Image cognition processor for automotive camera applications

October 25, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
At its technology forum in Tokyo this week, Freescale Semiconductor introduced a new family of image cognition processors (ICPs) for the driver assistance market. The SCP2200 family features CogniVue’s APEX IP technology and is designed in particular for automotive smart camera applications. The family, along with the accompanying libraries, hardware and software development kits, gives automakers a comprehensive set of tools to design smart camera applications, helping them to bring their solutions to market more quickly.

Many of today's car buyers are demanding more infotainment and safety features, including front, rear-facing and surround-view cameras. In the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a mandate that would require all passenger vehicles to implement rear-facing camera technology in the near future. The regulation is intended to address the dangerous blind zones behind vehicles that NHTSA estimates cause 292 deaths and 18,000 injuries each year. The European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) standards are also increasingly focusing on active pedestrian safety.

Automakers face a number of challenges as they work to improve vehicle safety through applications such as vehicle-mounted cameras for improved pedestrian detection. With regulators predicting vehicle cameras and viewing screens will cost the auto industry as much as $2.7 billion a year or around $160 to $200 per vehicle, cost is a major concern. Freescale’s SCP2200 solution minimizes the bill of material by integrating high-density memory and allows for camera miniaturization.

The parallel image processing architecture of the Freescale SCP2200 family enables concurrent processing of image data, which translates into high performance at lower clock frequency than competitors’ current offerings.

The cost, power and size advantages of the SCP2200 family will enable a high fitting rate in all car segments and ensure a significant increase of road safety, Freescale announced.

As part of its continued focus on providing comprehensive software and tools support and enabling designers to bring their applications to life, Freescale, in cooperation with CogniVue, also plans to provide a software development kit, reference design solution and prototype design camera module to accompany the SCP2200 ICPs. This comprehensive solution set, in addition to the cost-effective, low-power SCP2200 processors, helps reduce a customer’s time to market.

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