The platform, announced at CES, is designed to simultaneously support the digital cockpit and advanced driver assistance systems.
Moving further toward next-generation cars, Qualcomm Technologies on Tuesday announced the Snapdragon Ride Flex system-on-chip, which is designed to support mixed-critical workloads across mixed computing resources.
The goal is to allow the digital cockpit, advanced driver assistance systems and automated driving functions to coexist on a single SoC, said the company, which made the announcement at CES. Snapdragon Ride Flex is the latest addition to the company’s Snapdragon Digital Chassis product portfolio.
The capabilities of Snapdragon Flex SoC
Designed to meet the highest level of automotive safety, the Flex SoC aims to enable a hardware architecture to support isolation, freedom from interference and quality of service for specific ADAS functions. It is equipped with a special car safety integrity level D safety island.
The Flex SoC also integrates a software platform that supports multiple concurrent operating systems, hypervisor activation with isolated virtual machines, and a real-time operating system with an auto-open system architecture.
According to Qualcomm, this gives the Flex SoC the capabilities to meet mixed-criticality workload requirements for driver assistance systems, digitally reconfigurable clusters, infotainment systems, driver monitoring systems and parking assistance systems.
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The Flex SoC is integrated with the Snapdragon Ride Vision stack, which is designed to enable highly scalable and safe driver assistance and automated driving experiences using a front-facing camera to meet regulatory requirements. It also aims to enable multi-modal sensors, such as multiple cameras, radars, lidars and maps, for enhanced perception that creates an environment model around the vehicle that feeds into vehicle control algorithms.
The Snapdragon Ride Vision stack meets the requirements of the New Car Assessment Program and Europe’s general safety regulations while scaling up to higher levels of autonomy, the company said.
Qualcomm leveraged its background in developing open, scalable, high-performance and energy-efficient automotive offerings when designing the Flex SoC family to be compatible with the broader portfolio of SoCs within the Snapdragon Digital Chassis Platform, the company said.
Designed for complex use cases
The goal was to optimize Flex SoC for performance scalability ranging from entry-level to premium, high-end core computing systems, Qualcomm said. This gives car manufacturers the flexibility to choose the right performance point for their vehicle levels.
Furthermore, Flex SoC is designed to enable automakers to address complex use cases in the cockpit, such as integrated instrument clusters with immersive high-end graphics, infotainment and gaming displays, and rear seat entertainment screens, simultaneously with latency-critical premium audio experience and the integrated Snapdragon Ride Vision stack. These performance requirements can be achieved using hardware and software co-design, according to Qualcomm.
The Flex SoC is also designed as an ideal central in-vehicle compute platform to support next-generation software-defined vehicle offerings by providing high-performance, secure compute with the ability to run mixed critical cloud-native workloads. According to Qualcomm, the computing power in the vehicle is supplemented by platform software that can be deployed on a containerized infrastructure.
With the aim of helping car manufacturers transition to an integrated, open and scalable architecture for all vehicles
The Flex SoC is supported by a cloud-native automotive software development workflow, which supports virtual platform simulation that can be integrated as part of the in-cloud DevOps and machine learning infrastructure.
The first Snapdragon Ride Flex SoC is now sampling for an expected start of production from 2024.
“As we enter the era of software-defined vehicles, the Snapdragon Ride Flex SoC family defines a new set point for high-performance, energy-optimized architectures with mixed reviews,” said Nakul Duggal, senior vice president and general manager of automotive at Qualcomm.
Duggal said the goal is to “make it easier and more cost-effective for automakers and Tier-1s to embrace the transition to an integrated, open and scalable architecture across all vehicle layers with our pre-integrated suite of hardware, software and ADAS/AD stack -solutions.” At the same time, Qualcomm is committed to “enabling the ecosystem to differentiate on our platforms with an accelerated time-to-market advantage.”