TAIPEI — MediaTek, the world’s second-largest designer of chips for smartphones, announced its first products for the automobile market, aimed at self-driving cars.
The earliest version of the SoCs, which will be on the market during the first quarter of next year, will support vision-based advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), high-precision millimeter wave radar, in-vehicle infotainment and telematics, the company said in a press statement.
MediaTek is drawing on its strength in smartphones, sensors, home entertainment and wireless connectivity to design the chips for car manufacturers. The automotive silicon market, worth $28.2 billion in 2015, is revving up now that NXP took over Freescale earlier this year to become the largest semiconductor vendor in the business. Eariler this month, MediaTek said it would consider mergers and acquisitions to become more competitive in the automotive chip business.
“The demands of connected and autonomous vehicles require a unique portfolio of technologies. MediaTek’s core competencies create a natural progression for us to design for the future of driving,” said MediaTek Corporate Vice President JC Hsu. “We have a strong technology portfolio generated from $10 billion in R&D investment over the past 12 years from modem and RF advancements to computing technologies to connectivity and intelligent algorithms.”
Four Areas of Focus
MediaTek said it will focus on four areas for the automotive business, including ADAS, precision millimeter wave radar, infotainment and telematics. The company said it aims to help solve the issue of device fragmentation, a key problem in automotive electronics. Carmakers often work with multiple vendors that specialize in single, ‘best-in-class’ devices that don’t always communicate effectively, according to MediaTek.
The company said its ADAS system will feature advanced, decentralized vision processing units (VPUs) to handle large amounts of real-time visual streaming data. MediaTek has used machine learning to increase the accuracy and speed of detection, recognition and tracking to mimic human decision making.
The company is drawing on its strength in high frequency RF and connectivity to develop precision millimeter wave (mmWave) radar solutions on higher frequencies to gain better object resolution and more precise detection. Residing in the high frequency band, mmWave radar can recognize targets more accurately and is more resistant to fog, rain, snow and other weather conditions than current types of radar.
MediaTek has developed 2D and 3D processing technologies for its application processors to achieve high efficiency and speed for in-vehicle infotainment. The company said its car entertainment silicon will provide highly integrated navigation, multimedia and connectivity.
The company said its telematics technology will handle a variety of high-bandwidth information transfers and a wide variety of connectivity standards such as 4G/3G/2G, Wi-Fi as well as map-based applications. MediaTek said its telematics offerings will match the company’s core strengths in power-efficiency and highly integrated systems-in-package as well as broad networking and connectivity support.
“The complicated systems of tomorrow’s high-tech cars will require a high degree of integration, innovative power management and improved functionality to support both the highest level of safety demands and driving experiences consumers need,” said Hsu. “MediaTek will bring one integrated package of semiconductors to the market – a holistic solution that is now lacking in the auto industry.”