Nextchip licenses aiWare4 for their Apache6 automotive domain processor

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Written by aiMotive / Posted at 11/3/21

Nextchip licenses aiWare4 for their Apache6 automotive domain processor 

Nextchip has licensed aiMotive’s latest aiWare4™ NPU hardware IP for their next-generation ASIL-B compliant SoC for AVP and other challenging automotive applications, deepening the relationship between both companies for volume production of advanced AI-powered solutions

Budapest, Hungary and Seoul, South Korea, 3rd November 2021 – aiMotive, one of the world’s leading suppliers of scalable modular automated driving technologies and Nextchip Co., Ltd., a dedicated automotive vision technology company, today announced that Nextchip has licensed aiMotive’s latest generation aiWare4 hardware IP to deliver the CNN acceleration for their next-generation Apache6 SoC (System on Chip). Designed for centralized domain processors targeting AVP (Automated Valet Parking) and other demanding automotive processing applications, Apache6 combines advanced CPU, GPU, ISP and NPU processors with a rich set of interfaces to enable easy integration into a wide range of OEM and Tier1 hardware platforms while also offering an elegant software and hardware upgrade path from their highly successful Apache5 Imaging Edge Processor. 

“We are delighted to extend and deepen our relationship with aiMotive for Apache6,” said Young Jun Yoo, CMO at Nextchip. “Our engineering teams have developed a close working relationship, enabling us to fully benefit not only from the aiWare hardware IP but the broader AI software, system and algorithm expertise of aiMotive. Our SoCs have been focusing on delivering reliable, compact, and affordable solutions. With aiMotive’s expertise, we can make our SoCs more powerful while also optimizing our customer-friendly AI-development environment.”

The Apache6 SoC is a fully ASIL-B compliant, cost-effective SoC targeting advanced automotive vision and domain/zone controller applications, featuring quad-core Arm v8 64-bit CPUs alongside an Arm Mali GPU, Nextchip’s advanced multi-channel ISP, and aiMotive’s aiWare4™ NPU technology. The chip is designed to be certified to full AEC-Q100 Grade 2 and certified to full ASIL-B. The latest aiWare4 NPU from aiMotive features the industry’s highest efficiency of up to 98% when executing complex CNN workloads, while incorporating many new features including an upgraded on-chip memory architecture, more sophisticated wavefront-based scheduling, and a range of advanced hardware safety features to ease the task of achieving ASIL-B compliance. Thanks to the software compatibility between aiWare on Apache5 and Apache6, a common toolchain will be used for both devices, ensuring that CNNs optimized for Apache5 will migrate with minimum effort to Apache6.

“We are proud that Nextchip has recognized our value in helping them optimize the AI capabilities of Apache5 for their customers and partners by licensing aiWare4 for Apache6,” said Arnaud Lagandre, CCO for aiMotive. “This latest significant expansion of our relationship with both Nextchip and their growing ecosystem of software partners demonstrates that aiWare is a great production-proven NPU technology, capable of achieving automotive-grade qualification with full ASIL-B compliance”.

Nextchip is now accepting enquiries for lead automotive customers for its Apache6 SoC and continues to accept them for its Apache5 SoC.

About aiMotive: 
aiMotive is one of the world’s largest independent automotive technology powerhouses working on automated driving solutions from L2 to L5. The company delivers an integrated portfolio of software, tools and hardware products complemented by proprietary data management tools, enabling customers to rapidly develop and deploy production automated driving features that combine in-house expertise with aiMotive modular capabilities while achieving substantial reductions in development costs and timescales. The company’s product portfolio has been validated in mass production programs. Its light-weight execution stack and sensor-agnostic, reusable data pipeline accelerates customers’ time to market.

About Nextchip: Nextchip is the oldest fabless semiconductor company in South Korea designing ADAS SoCs and advanced ISPs (Image Signal Processor). The advanced technology vision of Nextchip has been realized thanks to broad and deep experience in areas such as specialized image tuning across an extensive set of scenarios. Nextchip continues to expand its product portfolio to vision-centric ADAS SoCs incorporating its own advanced ISP complemented by high performance, low-power computing for smart sensing capabilities to address the most demanding L2 to L3 and beyond Autonomous Driving applications. The small small form factor of Nextchip SoCs also allows it to be integrated into the smallest camera modules. Follow us on LinkedIn or find out more at www.nextchip.com.