Bringing a new chip to the automotive market can be daunting due to the high safety standards required, ISO26262. Sondrel has made this much easier for customers with the launch of its new, quad-channel, IP reference platform that has been architected with ISO26262 applications and the fast integration of customer IP in mind from the start. This simplifies and speeds up the creation of the required evidence bundle so the final product can swiftly achieve ISO26262. The innovative, semi-custom platform approach, which Sondrel calls Architecting the future™, can cut design cost and time to market by up to 30 percent.
The SFA 350A IP platform has been specifically designed for advanced driver assistance systems that are used to support driverless or automotive vehicle applications. It has four channels for sensors that can be either passive, such as optical via camera inputs, or active using laser or radar. This is a very cost-effective solution compared to having a dedicated, one channel chip for each sensor. Uses can include collision avoidance, detection of crossing the central white line or gathering 3D information via a pair of cameras.
The SFA 350A is designed to be scalable due to its framework architecture design. This enables the processor units for the chip’s four channels to be selected according to the processing power required by the application without requiring any changes to the interconnects and I/O to the rest of the chip. This modular approach makes the platform very versatile and scalable. Even more powerful solutions can be created by ganging identical, SFA 300 quad-core chips together to form a cluster, which is less expensive than creating a similar solution on one multi-channel chip. Communication to the vehicle’s central unit is via dual redundant links based on standard protocol such as Ethernet or PCIe.
“Integrating customer IP into an SoC is not trivial,” explained Ben Fletcher, Sondrel’s director of Engineering. “However, our experience lets us understand what aspects of a platform design may be effectively carried out in advance to form the framework architecture of the SFA 350A, and what parts will need customising for each specific implementation to include the customer’s IP and keep these to a minimum. Added to this, our experience on Functional Safety designs also allows us to create architectures that will provide a smooth path for our customers’ products achieving ISO26262 and the semi-custom approach also ensures a faster time to market.”
To further reduce risk and time to market, Sondrel offers a full turnkey service that turns designs into fully tested, shipping silicon.