Advanced GPU IP for the automotive industry

8th July 2020
Joe Bush

Imagination Technologies has announced the XS GPU, an advanced GPU IP for automotive, enabling ADAS acceleration and safety critical graphics workloads. XS represents Imagination's most advanced automotive GPU IP created to-date, whicyh they also claim to be the first licensable IP in the industry that is ISO 26262-capable, a standard that addresses risk in the automotive industry.

Safety critical graphics and compute capabilities are a requirement for next-generation in-car systems, such as surround view, digital dashboards and ADAS. The XS design employs a new safety architecture with mechanisms for compute and graphics delivering up to 2x higher performance for critical workloads, enabling rich, high-performance graphics that are functionally safe. 

Key features include:

  • ADAS compute acceleration: The XS class is optimised to accelerate advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), delivering high-performance and functionally safe compute.
  • Safety-critical graphics: Imagination claim the XS is the industry’s first GPU class designed for safety critical graphics applications, where the GPU is responsible for critical tasks such as digital dashboards, surround view and camera systems.
  • ISO 26262 conformance: XS is the automotive industry’s first ISO 26262-capable GPU IP. OEMs, Tier 1s and semiconductor vendors can integrate the IP with the confidence and knowledge that ISO 26262 is achieved.

As automotive systems get more complex, the requirements for functional safety increases. The new safety architecture contains patent pending technology that enables Imagination to secure and verify the correct execution and delivery of data from the GPU. Going beyond lockstep mechanisms, XS includes hardware mechanisms that carry out safety-critical workloads across compute and graphics while maximising performance.

James Hodgson, Principle Analyst, ABI Research, added; “Imagination has redesigned its GPU to include safety at every level, creating bespoke cores to meet the needs of the automotive market, and specifically ADAS. The architecture incorporates an advanced design featuring new capabilities and safety mechanisms, such as Tile Region Protection, in addition to existing features such as virtualisation. Crucially, these features are in hardware, so they can be employed without a performance penalty. This a significant step forward for automotive GPUs and autonomous vehicles.”

Imagination recently announced that following a successful audit of its Functional Safety Management System by HORIBA MIRA, it has received a statement of ISO 26262 process conformance. In addition, it has also announced its OpenGL Safety-Critical 2.0 driverfor automotive GPUs, enabling its customers to benefit from GPU acceleration in safety-critical applications.

Jamie Broome, Senior Director Automotive Business, Imagination Technologies, added; “Our GPUs are repeatedly selected in the automotive market for their performance, reliability, and unique features such as our acclaimed hardware virtualisation solution, enabling multiple screens, multiple OSs and multiple apps to all run on one GPU with no performance loss. The XS represents a step-change in our automotive capabilities and defines a new benchmark for the next generation of automotive SoCs. Thanks to our ISO 26262-conformant GPUs and software drivers, OEMs and Tier 1s can trust that integrating our technology into their designs will enable them to build functionally safe SoCs rapidly and cost effectively.”

To learn more about XS you can register to view an on-demand webinar. Click button below.

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