PowerVR GPU provides driving force for the development of automotive chips

Nanjing SemiDrive Technology Ltd. is using Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR Series9XM GPU in its smart cockpit chip X9, which has been taped out and been brought up successfully. SemiDrive focuses on automotive grade chips and providing intelligent connected vehicles with highly reliable and high-performance automotive SoC products used in smart cockpit and core gateways.

SemiDrive is one of the few fabless semiconductor companies in China to have passed the ISO 26262 functional safety management system certification. It is also the first Chinese company receiving the ISO 26262:2018 functional safety management system certificate from TÜV Rheinland. SemiDrive therefore reports that it’s products can meet the national automotive grade and risk control standards.

The chip has been taped out successfully in a new smart cockpit chip and is part of SemiDrive’s vehicle on chip strategy. It meets the demands of automotive electronic cockpits for computing power and multimedia performance. The next-generation chip has hardware virtualization capability for the smart cockpit. In the virtualization mode of full HD multi-screen, its hardware virtualized accelerating unit DriveBoost shows amazing performance. Meanwhile, with the powerful support provided by Imagination’s PowerVR GPU, the display efficiency of the virtual subsystem has been greatly improved, being close to the efficiency of hardware transparent invocation.

Imagination told Incisor.TV that it has been investing and developing in the automotive industry for over 10 years. The PowerVR 9XM GPU used by SemiDrive’s smart cockpit chip is part of Imagination’s PowerVR Series9 GPU family. This GPU series implements optimisation of power, performance, and area (PPA), and the company says that its high-performance density makes it the ideal solution for automotive market. Imagination’s GPUs can provide the following performance or supports for automotive chips:

  • QM process and traceability for all cores enabling customers’ ISO 26262 and ASIL SoC implementations.
  • Extended support for hypervisors, automotive OS and safety critical APIs.
  • Documentation for ASIL and other certifications, and automotive specific documentation.
  • Hardware virtualization for Quality of Service and security. ECC and BIST support for reliability and recovery.
  • Long-term support including support for fixed software versions and assistance for chip companies to support OEMs.

Maggie Qiu, CEO, SemiDrive, says: “Imagination’s GPUs have powerful performance. For example, its hardware virtualization can provide good isolation capability among various apps/operating systems. This could maximize the utilization of underlying GPU hardware while improving security. In addition, Imagination has rich experience in automotive industry, and has a deep understanding on the demands and challenges of automotive market with its cooperation with global leading automotive chip companies for many years. These are the reasons why we select Imagination as our partner. We look forward to cooperating with Imagination to develop more automotive grade chips, helping China’s automotive chip industry to enhance the strength and to improve the layout continuously.

Ray Bingham, CEO, Imagination Technologies, added: “’Intelligentization’ is a hotspot in the development of automotive industry, and automotive chips have a self-evident importance in this aspect. SemiDrive plays an exemplary role in driving China’s independent automotive chips which urgently need to be developed today. We are pleased to work with SemiDrive to develop its smart cockpit chip and congratulate them on successful taping out and launch of the chip. Imagination has always valued the support for Chinese partners. We will continue to provide high performance products and comprehensive support services for SemiDrive and more Chinese companies, to help them develop more powerful automotive chips.”

In the future, Imagination said that it will also collaborate with SemiDrive on more application such as AI acceleration and high-performance hybrid computing, and smart cockpit chips.

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