LONDON – Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has said it is licensing image processing intellectual property from CogniVue Corp. that will be included in processors for driver assistance systems. Under the terms of the deal Freescale will be the exclusive provider of the technology into the automotive market.
CogniVue (Gatineau, Quebec) was founded in 2005 by MtekVision Co. Ltd. of South Korea and in 2009 was spun off as a private fabless chip company. Cognivue's Apex image processing software includes multiple parallel computational units – as many as 96 – running in parallel with an ARM processor core used for housekeeping.
CogniVue has maintained a working relationship with MtekVision and is focused on developing circuits and intellectual property for programmable imaging and pattern recognition/detection for smart camera systems.
Freescale (Austin, Texas) said it plans to offer processor with image cognition processing for automotive cameras later in 2012. Such cameras would sense the environment and not only see an object but also identify it, for action such as pedestrian collision avoidance.
"Advanced driver assistance systems are becoming more and more sophisticated. And, while ADAS are already included on many luxury vehicle models, there is increasing demand to include them on higher-volume mainstream vehicles," said Ray Cornyn, vice president of Freescale's automotive MCU division. "Today's collision avoidance systems are typically enabled by digital signal processors or field-programmable gate arrays. Freescale is taking a different approach by integrating CogniVue's Image Cognition Processing IP into our processors, providing massively parallel processing in small packages and with very low power consumption," he added.
In addition to capturing image and video information, Cognivue's APEX technology enables extraction of application-specific information from a scene and interpreting the image data to make decisions or take actions based on the extracted data. With pattern recognition, detection and classification algorithms, smart cameras can detect objects and people around the vehicle and measure distance to alert the driver of an impending collision.