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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Renesas ramps up AI development with Codeplay deal

By Nick Flaherty

Renesas has boosted its development capability for machine vision and AI through a deal with development tool maker Codeplay Software.

The two will port ComputeAorta, Codeplay’s OpenCL open standard-based software framework to the Renesas R-Car system-on-chips (SoCs) for self driving cars. The framework will be available first on R-Car H3 as a proof of concept, then focusing on R-Car V3M and other R-Car SoCs of the Renesas autonomyPlatform for advanced driving assistance system (ADAS) and automated driving. The company has several GPU processor core technologies it is using for its chips. 

The new framework is designed to support software development for the R-Car’s latest image recognition IP, the IMP-X5, a multi-threading core optimized for computer vision and cognitive processing. Codeplay will also provide R-Car with ComputeCpp, an implementation of the SYCL open standard, enabling single source C++ software for high level and object-oriented programming.

The collaboration provides developers with standard software development tools and support for a wide range of open source computer vision or open source deep learning software, such as TensorFlow library. Developers can reuse their initial software assets or take advantage of the latest innovations in computer vision and cognitive processing, minimize porting effort and accelerate time-to-market.
“Computing performance is an essential factor in enabling highly-advanced computing platforms for autonomous cars” said Jean-Francois Chouteau, Vice President of Renesas Global ADAS Centre. “Renesas’ exclusive IMP-X5 computer vision IP plays a key role within the R-Car SoCs to deliver these advanced features and enhance safety. Giving access to Renesas’ computer vison hardware with OpenCL and SYCL through collaboration with Codeplay will enable our customers to accelerate time-to-market while achieving an outstanding performance benefit in their ADAS designs. This demonstrates the value of our “Renesas autonomy” platform for ADAS and automated driving.”

“OpenCL is a widely adopted open standard providing an efficient framework to support heterogeneous computing platforms,” said Andrew Richards, CEO of Codeplay. “Our ComputeAorta and ComputeCpp platforms will enable advanced vision and deep learning developers to use the familiar programming standards of OpenCL and SYCL and quickly benefit from R-Car’s advanced IMP-X5 computer vision IP.”

The ComputeAorta framework provides an OpenCL hardware abstraction layer that enables Tier1s and OEMs to take advantage of the full computing performance from Renesas R-Car SoCs, especially IMP-X5 computer vision IP. ComputeCpp extends OpenCL with a SYCL open standard implementation providing an efficient programming environment for multithread execution on heterogeneous cores. By using these frameworks, users can take full benefit of IMP-X5 computing performance from tailored multi-thread processing.

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