By Richard Wen, Technical VP for Beijing R&D Center, INVO Automotive Electronics Co., LTD.
Suzhou INVO Automotive Electronics Co., LTD (INVO) is a high-tech company that specializes in the research, development, manufacture and sale of ADAS systems based on image processing sensors. Our main product portfolio includes automotive rear-view camera (RVC), around-view monitor (AVM), driving recorder (DVR), lane departure warning (LDW), moving object detection system (MOD) and transparent A-pillar (TAP) systems.
Next generation AVM
Our AVM is a mature product solution for automobile manufacturers and it has a good reputation with several Chinese OEMs. In particular, the “Multifunctional 3D AVM” has achieved stable delivery figures. But the relatively young AVM market is very dynamic. New features are released each year, and customers also request further ones based on their needs. For example, in 2018 one of our key customers requested two major points for their next car models.
First, time: development and shipping must be completed within six months.
Second, performance: the cold start time must be within three seconds.
We at INVO had already established a hardware/software platform for our AVM products. It was based on Socionext's SoC hardware and eSOL's eT-Kernel Real-Time Operating System (RTOS). The decision was based on a long-time partnership started in 2011 and the performance advantages of the complete solution.
This platform was continuously maintained, and we have upgraded it in terms of hardware and software: the 2nd version of the SoC was already prepared and the 3rd version of the SoC, SC1810, nicknamed Miranda, was already available by Socionext. eSOL's newest Multi Core Edition version of its eT-Kernel RTOS was available off-the-shelf: eT-Kernel MCE (Compact profile).
When developing a new hardware platform for image processing, covering 2D/3D-GPU, video, image and display IPs, we calculated that a minimum of three to five people would be required for the development and maintenance. In addition, the development risk remained unpredictable.
On the other side, the software components that we already developed on the eT-Kernel RTOS could still be re-used on the new Miranda SoC. This meant that a smaller team of two people would be needed for development and maintenance, and the development risk and development time could be dramatically reduced.
But when we received these customer requests for the first time, we had also evaluated other platforms. We must continuously check if our current platform is competitive in terms of performance and cost. Therefore, we compared other solutions with the main features of the planned 3rd upgrade of our current platform. It turned out, that there were three major parameters that drove our decision:
The compilation speed of the Arm compiler, integrated in eSOL's IDE eBinder, is very fast: it only takes a few minutes to compile. Compared to other compilers, that take up to more than an hour, which is a great time-saver.
Another advantage of the eBinder IDE was the available interface to our established JTAG emulator with which complex software breakpoints can be emulated to allow deep software layer debugging and performance tracing.
|Cold start time:
As for the boot time at power on phase, the complete solution was ready after 3 seconds, compared to 6-7 seconds at the other benchmarked solutions.
Based on our assessment, we finally decided on the 3rd upgrade of our current AVM platform to Socionext's Miranda and eSOL's eT-Kernel MCE in 2018. At that time, it helped us jump ahead of our competition to be the first AVM supplier to win large OEM projects, and to successfully become one of the most important AVM suppliers in China today.