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New Architectures for Automotive Intelligence

Mar. 14, 2018 – My first car was a used 1971 Volvo 142 and probably did not contain more than a handful of transistors. I used to joke that it could easily survive the EMP from a nuclear explosion. Now, of course, cars contain dozens or more processors, DSP's and other chips containing millions of transistors. It's widely expected that the number of CPU's alone could run into the hundreds as new infotainment and autonomous driving features are added.

Automotive intelligence electronics are rapidly evolving, but relatively speaking are in their infancy. The best arguments for this assertion are the huge changes forecast for powertrain, Infotainment, automation, safety and connectivity in cars for the foreseeable future. With rapid change and its relative youth, we can expect dramatic evolution of the internal architecture of automotive electronics. This evolution will recapitulate the evolution of computing and the internet. After all cars are a microcosm of the larger computing landscape.

We see each player in the market looking to shape the prevailing architecture around their own product strengths. Qualcomm, Nvidia, NXP, Cadence and Synopsys and many others, each have their own computing paradigm. Nvidia of course if pushing for centralized GPU based processing, Qualcomm is looking to leverage 5G and communication. Vision processing IP providers are proselytizing for their products.

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