Semiconductors Product of the Year
Product Name: CV3 AI Domain Controller SoC Family
Company: Ambarella, Inc.
Introduced in January 2022, Ambarella’s CV3 AI domain controller family is a fully scalable, power-efficient family of SoCs that provides the automotive industry’s highest AI processing performance, at up to 500 eTOPS. It also represents a 42x increase over Ambarella’s prior automotive SoC family. Featuring up to 16 Arm® Cortex-A78AE CPU cores, the CV3 provides up to a 30x boost in CPU performance over the prior generation, in support of autonomous vehicle (AV) software applications.
These industry-leading performance levels enable centralized, single-chip processing for multi-sensor perception—including high-resolution vision, radar, ultrasonic and lidar—as well as deep fusion for multiple sensor modalities and AV path planning. The result is robust ADAS and L2+ to Level 4 autonomous driving (AD) systems with greater levels of environmental perception in challenging lighting, weather and driving conditions for driver viewing as well as machine perception and decision-making.
The CV3 also marks the debut of Ambarella’s next-generation CVflow® AI architecture, which continues the company’s algorithm-first design philosophy. This drove the development of the on-chip neural vector processor (NVP), with up to 500 eTOPS of AI compute, industry-leading power efficiency and support for the latest advancements in neural network (NN) inferences. The NVP is also enhanced to run advanced radar perception software, such as Ambarella’s Oculii™ adaptive AI software algorithms. This is complemented by a new general vector processor (GVP) designed to offload classical computer vision and radar processing from Arm CPUs.
This new family has multiple options to meet the product strategies of automotive OEMs and Tier 1s, alike, from its low-power SoCs for regulatory-class, forward-facing cameras, scaling all the way to premium SoCs for Level 4 fully automated driving. It also supports both central and zonal architectures. In addition to covering the whole AD stack, the CV3 can simultaneously process in-cabin sensing applications, including driver and occupant monitoring.
To put these performance levels in perspective, while the CV3 provides the equivalent of 500 TOPS (trillions of operations per second) peak AI performance, its two closest competitors can only go as high as 254 TOPS and 176 TOPS, respectively. That said, the TOPS metric doesn’t provide a complete picture of neural network performance, and by architecting our CVflow AI engine for hard, real-time applications like automotive, we deliver significantly greater neural network performance than can be measured by these TOPS ratios.
Likewise, the two nearest competing processors consume more than double the power of the CV3’s 50-watt consumption, at more than 100 watts each. This means the CV3 provides significantly greater than 6x the AI performance per watt than its closest competitors.
The CV3 family also integrates significantly more general computing power than the competition, with 16 Arm® Cortex-A78AE CPU cores, delivering much greater compute performance for path planning and other high-level driving functions. This higher computing power enables the CV3 to far outperform the competition in a wide range of automotive domain-controller tasks.
The CV3 SoCs can run the full ADAS and AD stack with a single chip, while providing unprecedented performance and power efficiency. Through enhancements to our on-chip image signal processor (ISP) and CVflow® AI engine, including simultaneous computer vision and radar processing that can take advantage of our Oculii adaptive AI algorithms, Ambarella is helping the automotive industry unlock greater levels of perception accuracy across all environmental conditions to realize the promise of autonomous driving.
The CV3 family’s unique hardware scalability allows automakers to unify their software stacks across their entire retail portfolios, while reducing the cost and complexity of software development. This scalability directly addresses the rising complexity of automotive software by providing an alternative to the fragmented ADAS SoCs used today. Additionally, the CV3 family accelerates automakers’ development timelines while simplifying the deployment of new features by providing the headroom for a single, robust over-the-air (OTA) update implementation.
Leveraging a comprehensive set of mature software tools and a robust SDK, Ambarella’s flexible CVflow AI platform provides customers with an unprecedented opportunity to innovate and differentiate their products in the marketplace. To further expand this capability, Ambarella has cultivated a broad ecosystem of software partners for the CVflow platform, working closely with them to port and optimize their applications.
Ambarella’s complete line of AI perception SoCs is uniquely positioned to support the full range of viewing, recording, sensing and path planning applications, from basic ADAS to L4 AVs. This means that automakers no longer need to develop different software stacks for their entry-level, mid-range and premium vehicles, as they can use Ambarella’s unified CVflow platform across all models, saving engineering costs while enabling faster responses to market trends.
CV3 Promotional Video:
Founded in 2004, Ambarella, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBA) is an edge AI semiconductor company whose products are used in a wide variety of human and computer vision applications, including video security, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), electronic mirror, drive recorder, driver/cabin monitoring, autonomous driving and robotics applications. Ambarella’s low-power systems-on-chip (SoCs) offer high-resolution video compression, advanced image processing and powerful deep neural network processing to enable intelligent perception, fusion and central processing systems to extract valuable data from high-resolution video and radar streams. For more information, please visit www.ambarella.com