Renesas Electronics Corporation, a supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced the R-Car V3M Starter Kit to simplify and speed up the development of New Car Assessment Program (NCAP, ) front camera applications, surround view systems, and LiDARs. The new starter kit is based on the R-Car V3M image recognition system-on-chip (SoC), delivering a combination of low power consumption and high performance for the growing NCAP front camera market. By combining the R-Car V3M starter kit with supporting software and tools, system developers can easily develop front camera applications, contributing to reduced development efforts and faster time-to-market.
Renesas also announced an enhancement to the R-Car V3M by integrating a new, highly power-efficient hardware accelerator for high-performance convolutional neural networks which enables features such as road detection or object classification that are increasingly used in automotive applications. The R-Car V3M’s innovative hardware accelerator enables CNNs to execute at ultra-low power consumption levels that cannot be reached when CNNs are running on CPUs or GPUs.
The new R-Car V3M Starter Kit, the R-Car V3M SoC, and supporting software and tools including Renesas’ open-source e studio IDE integrated development environment (IDE), are part of Renesas’ open, innovative, and trusted Renesas autonomy™ Platform for ADAS and automated driving that delivers total end-to-end solutions scaling from cloud to sensing and vehicle control.
Key features of the R-Car V3M Starter Kit
- Flexible board can be employed for a wide range of computing applications
The new starter kit is a ready-to-use kit. In addition to the required interface and tools, the kit provides essential components for ADAS and automated driving development, including 2GB RAM, 4GB eMMC (embedded multi-media controller, Note 3) onboard memory, Ethernet, display outputs, and interfaces for debugging. The integrated 440-pin expansion port gives full freedom for system manufacturers to develop application-specific expansion boards for a wide range of computing applications, from a simple advanced computer vision development environment to prototyping of multi-camera systems for applications such as surround view. This board flexibility reduces the time needed for hardware development in addition to maintaining a high degree of software portability and reusability.
- Quick start solution by Linux BSP and various tools
The R-Car V3M Starter Kit is supported by a Linux Board Support Package (BSP), which is available through elinux.org. Further commercial operating systems will be made available from next year onwards.
Codeplay will enable OpenCL™ and SYCL™ on the starter kit in Q1 2018. Further tools, sample code and application notes for computer vision and image processing will be provided throughout 2018.
Renesas enables several tools on the R-Car V3M Starter Kit including Renesas e2Studio toolchain and tools for debugging, which ease the development burden and enable faster time-to-market.
Partners, including Cogent Embedded that developed a 3D surround view parking assist system, are making their field-proven software solutions and development systems available using the R-Car V3M Starter Kit to accelerate development.
In addition to the R-Car V3M Starter Kit, Renesas has enabled ultra-low power consumption for CNNs, which achieve image recognition and image classification, on the R-Car V3M SoC. The R-Car V3M allows the implementation of high-performance, low power consumption CNN networks in NCAP cameras that cannot be realized with traditional high power consuming CPU or GPU architectures. Renesas complements the IMP-X5, a subsystem for computer vision processing that is composed of an image processor and the programmable CV engine, with a new, innovative CNN hardware accelerator developed in house, that allows the implementation of high-performance CNNs at ultra-low low power. With this new IP, Renesas enables system developers to choose between the IMP-X5 or the new hardware accelerator to deploy CNNs. This heterogeneous approach allows system developers to choose the most efficient architecture, depending on required programming flexibility, performance, and power consumption.
The Renesas R-Car V3M is available now. The R-Car V3M Starter Kit with a Linux BSP will be available in Q1 2018 initially in limited quantities. A complete offering with an extended software solution is scheduled for Q3 2018.