Mentor Graphics platform enables autonomous driving through real time sensing
Mentor Graphics has introduced the DRS360 platform – a comprehensive automated driving solution featuring breakthrough technology that captures, fuses and utilises raw data in real time from a wide range of sensing modalities, including radar, LIDAR, vision and other sensors.
The DRS360 platform delivers dramatic improvements in latency reduction, sensing accuracy and overall system efficiency required for SAE Level 5 autonomous vehicles.
A breakthrough approach for real time, high-resolution sensing
In a first for autonomous driving platforms, DRS360 directly transmits unfiltered information from all system sensors to a central processing unit, where raw sensor data is fused in real time at all levels. The platform employs innovative 'raw data sensors', which are unburdened by the power, cost and size penalties of microcontrollers and related processing in the sensor nodes, in partnership with leading sensor suppliers. Eliminating pre-processing microcontrollers from all system sensor nodes enables a broad array of advantages, including real time performance, significant reductions in system cost and complexity, and access to all captured sensor data for the highest resolution model of the vehicle’s environment and driving conditions.
The platform’s streamlined data transport architecture further lowers system latency by minimising physical bus structures, hardware interfaces and complex, time-triggered Ethernet backbones. This architecture also enables situation adaptive redundancy and dynamic resolution by using centralised, unfiltered sensor data to ensure enhanced accuracy and reliability. The solution’s optimised signal processing software, advanced algorithms, and compute optimised neural networks for machine learning run on a seamlessly integrated, automotive grade platform.
"For more than 25 years, Mentor has worked with the world’s top automotive OEMs and suppliers to establish a leadership position in delivering solutions that drive innovation while meeting the industry’s unyielding requirements relative to safety, efficiency and quality,” said Wally Rhines, CEO and Chairman of Mentor. “With the introduction of the compelling DRS360 solution, Mentor extends this leadership and investment to the automated driving technology sector. We look forward to playing a major role in helping the industry realize the massive potential and benefits of the autonomous vehicles era.”
Automotive grade platform
The DRS360 platform is engineered for production to meet the safety, cost, power, thermal and emissions requirements for deployment in ISO 26262 ASIL D-compliant systems. DRS360 leverages the flexibility and superior signal processing efficiency of FPGAs, deploying a Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC device in the first generation, while accommodating SoCs and safety controllers based on either X86- or ARM-based architectures. The result is a comprehensive solution that supports fully automated driving within a 100 watt power envelope.
“Mentor Automotive’s approach to centralised, real time raw sensor data fusion represents a new innovation for automated driving system developers,” said Arun Iyengar, Xilinx Vice President – Global Markets Group. “With its extreme flexibility, efficient power operation and highly optimised signal processing capabilities, the Xilinx Automotive Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC family targets these types of applications and plays a key role in enabling the capturing, pre-processing and fusion of data from a wide variety of sensors. Xilinx is pleased to enable this innovative and compelling automotive solution from Mentor Automotive.”
The DRS360 platform for automated driving is the latest offering from Mentor Automotive, a division of Mentor. The company’s distinguished track record of supplying automotive-grade electrical and electronic systems spans decades. Currently engaged with 17 of the world’s top 20 carmakers, the company is a leading supplier of automotive networking solutions, and the number one supplier of automotive Linux. The company provides hardware and design tools in the areas of automotive connectivity, electrification, autonomous drive and vehicle architecture.
“Mentor Automotive’s DRS360 platform represents a highly differentiated and radically innovative approach to automated driving from a company with decades of experience in helping engineers successfully create some of the most sophisticated systems ever developed,” said Dr. Andreas Erich Geiger, Chairman of Mentor’s recently formed Automotive Strategy Board. “In the final analysis, self-driving cars are essentially highly complex systems, and this plays to Mentor’s well-established proficiency in architecting, designing and integrating highly successful systems for many of world’s largest and most innovative companies.”