Arm Introduces New Automotive Image Signal Processor for Driver Assistance and Automation Technologies

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

February 18, 2022


Arm Introduces New Automotive Image Signal Processor for Driver Assistance and Automation Technologies

Arm announced the addition of Mali-C78AE ISP to its portfolio of IP specifically developed to meet the performance and safety needs of automotive applications.

Combined with Cortex-A78AE and Mali-G78AE, the addition of Mali-C78AE is designed to provide a full Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) vision pipeline to optimize performance, minimize power consumption, and provide a consistent approach to functional safety.

Mali-C78AE was developed from the ground up with hardware safety mechanisms and diagnostic software features enabling system designers to meet ISO 26262 ASIL B functional safety requirements. Mali-C78AE aims to prevent or detect faults in a single camera frame that may result in incorrectly processed frame data. To do this, the ISP features over 380 fault detection circuits, continuous built in self-test, and can detect sensor and hardware faults of connected cameras.

Mali-C78AE employs advanced noise reduction technology and dynamic range management to ensure each frame is clear and properly exposed by adjusting overly dark or bright areas of a frame. Mali-C78AE is able to perform real-time processing of camera data from up to four high-resolution-high-frame rate cameras, reducing the memory, communications, and processing requirements.

Additionally, Mali-C78AE enables camera sensors to be dual-purpose by downscaling and color-translating the outputs of sensors optimized for machine vision to create images adapted to the human eye. By avoiding duplication in cameras and their associated electronics and wiring, OEMs save on cost and complexity and therefore, enable wider deployment of camera-based ADAS features across a diverse range of car models providing a safer, better user experience for drivers.

Leading the charge in implementing the new Mali-C78AE ISP in the next generation of its EyeQ technology is Mobileye, a pioneer in automotive vision-safety technology. When Mobileye started development of the Mobileye EyeQ Ultra and EyeQ6H, it selected the Mali-C78AE to process image data efficiently and, by coupling it with the Mali-G78AE GPU, enable safety-capable, smooth, real-time intuitive graphics rendering capabilities needed to meet the application’s demanding requirements.

ADAS features will rely on safe, flexible, power efficient, vision technology that can be easily scaled across different vehicle types, models, configurations, and price points. And this is exactly what Mobileye has done with its next generation EyeQ technology, deploying the specialized ISP and GPU processing using the Mali-C78AE and Mali-G78AE to meet the growing demands of parking-assistance and visualization workloads. 

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Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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