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Qualcomm Announces Chips for autonomous Vehicles

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Manufacturers of chips for autonomous driving are facing new competition: Qualcomm has introduced Snapdragon Ride.
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Surprises at CES: Qualcomm announces »Snapdragon Ride« – a safety-oriented platform for autonomous driving.

Snapdragon Ride is a scalable platform for autonomous vehicles consisting of Safety SoCs, Safety accelerators and a software stack for autonomous driving. Qualcomm aims to simplify the development of autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems for manufacturers. With three market segments, the Snapdragon Ride platform covers virtually all areas of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving functions:

  • L1/L2 Active Safety ADAS for vehicles that include automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and lane keeping assistance functions;
  • L2+ Comfort ADAS for vehicles with automated motorway driving, automatic parking and city driving in stop-and-go traffic;
  • L4/L5 Fully Autonomous Driving for autonomous driving in the city, robo-taxis and robo-logistics 

According to these market segments, manufacturers can use different building blocks of the Snapdragon Ride platform: scalable, modular multi-core CPUs, AI and computer vision engines, and graphics accelerators. For a Level 2+ convenience ADAS system, a single SoC would suffice, while a fully self-propelled system would consist of multiple dedicated SoCs and accelerators.

Qualcomm promotes »industry-leading thermal efficiency« and scalable computing power from 30 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS) for L1/L2 applications to over 700 TOPS at 130W for L4/L5 functions. The Snapdragon Ride SoCs and accelerator are designed for functional safety ASIL-D systems.

Snapdragon Ride is expected to be available in the first half of 2020 for pre-development by automotive manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers. Qualcomm expects the first production vehicles to be available in 2023.

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With extensive software stack

An important part of Snapdragon Ride is the new, specially designed autonomous driving software stack from Qualcomm Technologies. This software stack contains optimised software modules for camera signal processing, safety functions, sensor signal processing, behaviour planning, decision making and user interfaces.

In conjunction with partners, Qualcomm offers a Safety Board Support package that includes a safety operating system and hypervisors as well as safety frameworks from leading automotive companies, including Adaptive AUTOSAR.

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