First automotive-grade CMOS image sensor with RISC-V IP SoC

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RISC-V IP vendor Andes Technology and edge computing chip provider MetaSilicon have announced the MetaSilicon MAT Series, the world’s first automotive-grade CMOS image sensor series developed using an RISC-V IP SoC - Andes’ AndesCore N25F-SE processor.

These image sensors have been designed in accordance with the ISO26262 functional safety standard to achieve ASIL-B level and follow the AEC-Q100 Grade 2 to achieve a high level of safety and reliability.

By using technologies such as HDR, advanced imaging can be achieved in a simple, economical, and efficient system and can deliver high dynamic range, high sensitivity, and high colour reproduction, while meeting the application requirements of ADAS decision-making.

The N25F-SE from Andes Technology is a 32-bit RISC-V CPU core that can support the standard IMACFD instruction set, which includes an efficient integer instruction set and a single/double precision floating point operation instruction set.

The device’s high-efficiency five-stage pipeline has been able to achieve a balance between high operating frequency and a streamlined design. It also has rich configurable options and a flexible interface configuration, which help to simplify SoC development.

In addition, the N25F-SE has obtained the ISO 26262 ASIL-B full compliance certification, which enables the image sensor chip to meet the vehicle-level safety requirement.

For the development of MetaSilicon’s automotive-grade chips, the N25F-SE and its safety package provide a ‘good fit’ CPU solution and together with Andes’ technical support is able to shorten the chip development time significantly.

MetaSilicon has developed several innovative technologies including LOFIC (Lateral Overflow Integration Capacitor) + DCG (Dual Conversion Gain) HDR (High-Dynamic Range), which meet the high-quality image requirements for smart car vision applications.

The MAT Series 1MP CMOS image sensor chip has low power consumption and high dynamic range (HDR) characteristics. Its effective image resolution is 1280 H  960 V, and it can support high dynamic range image output up to 60fps @120dB.

The other MAT Series 3MP CIS has multiple capabilities such as low power consumption, ultra-high dynamic range (HDR), on-chip ISP, LFM and has an effective image resolution is 1920 H * 1536 V, and can support up to 60fps frame rate, and the dynamic range can reach the industry-leading 140dB+.

These chips are intended for reliable high-quality image information for intelligent automotive applications.

Jianhua Zheng, CTO of MetaSilicon said, “Among the various sensors used in automotive ADAS applications, visual image processing is particularly important. Once the image is not accurate and timely enough, it will directly lead to errors in the judgment of the back-end algorithm, so HDR performance requirements are extremely high. Our LOFIC+DCG HDR technology can achieve an ultra-high dynamic range of 140dB+ to meet practical application needs in the automotive ADAS field. Using the world’s first ISO 26262 certified RISC-V core N25F-SE that meets the functional safety standards, we can shorten the product development time and achieve functional safety goals.”