Automotive SoC Maker Saves Time, Enhances Product QoS for Advanced Real‐time Video Image Recognition

Company Profile Mobileye :
Mobileye is the leader in vision‐based Driver Assistance Systems for automobiles and trucks. They develop specialized hardware and SoCs to support the specific demands of rapid image recognition. Customers include BMW, Volvo and GM.

Business Situation Increasing complexity of custom multichannel video processing systems‐onchips
threatened future engineering schedules. Solution Mobileye chose Arteris FlexNoC interconnect
IP and the Arteris FlexMem Multi‐ Array Memory Scheduler for end‐to‐end QoS, easy implementation, optimization and verification of changes, faster timing closure and flexibility.

Benefits :
- Create, optimize and verify a SoC
interconnect in one‐quarter the previous
- Sophisticated end‐to‐end QoS is
implementable and verifiable without
unnecessary manual work.
- Fast pinpointing and resolution of
timing closure issues.
- Quickly create derivative SoCs or
respond to engineering changes in
days rather than months.
- Managers have confidence in SoC
schedules due to reduced schedule
- Integrated and automated verification
with VMM, OVM and UVM for
highest IP quality.

Creating, optimizing and verifying the system‐on‐chip interconnect fabric was consuming thousands of unnecessary engineering hours at Mobileye. Vision‐based Driver Assistance Systems are becoming more complex with 10 or more video processing units on one chip. Mobileye’s management was
concerned about the time required to configure the SoC interconnect, simulate its performance for further optimization, close timing, and verify it within the SoC system.

Different types of processor cores and image processing units are used within each Mobileye SoC, and these IP cores use multiple incompatible protocols for communication. Also, multiple interface bit widths, multiple asynchronous clock domains, and varying latency and bandwidth requirements
throughout the chip added complexity. The engineering management team saw their current interconnect solution was not efficient, flexible or easy enough to use to meet timing closure with their aggressive schedules.

To remedy these issues, Mobileye selected Arteris’ FlexNoC® network‐on‐chip interconnect IP fabric and FlexMem™ Multi‐ Array Memory Scheduler with integrated automated FlexVerifier™ verification. Engineers now generate, simulate and optimize an interconnect managing video channels connected to 10 concurrently operating processors in about one‐quarter the previous time, saving hundreds of hours of work. Changes to sophisticated quality of service (QoS) schemes are implemented and verified in hours rather than days. And modifications to IP blocks to create derivative chips can be implemented in days rather than months, allowing Mobileye to quickly respond to customer and market demands
with absolute quality.

Situation :
Mobileye’s technology advantage is its specialized hardware that supports the specific demands of rapid image recognition. This special hardware includes Mobileye‐designed systems‐on‐chip that must
process multiple video channels in real time. As semiconductor transistor sizes shrank and the opportunity to add more functionality to each SoC increased, potential issues with the ability to create,
optimize, verify and close timing on the SoC interconnect that connects all these functions became a mounting concern.

Extreme Real‐time Image Recognition Requirements :
The video and image recognition requirements required for Mobileye’s Driver Assistance Systems have a mixture of extreme and oftentimes conflicting requirements. Some paths within the SoC are latency
critical, so that information following these paths can be quickly displayed to the vehicle driver or used to control the braking system. Other paths require very high bandwidth, such as the paths from video
cameras and sensors to system memory. In addition, there are 10 or more MIPS cores and image processing units running concurrently.
“There are at least 1,000 object classes you need to know in an image to at least do semiautonomous driving,” said Amnon Shashua, the Sachs professor of computer science at the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a cofounder of Mobileye. These objects include signs, lights, street lines, guard rails, poles, bridges and even people.

Barriers to SoC Scaling :
Mobileye’s previous interconnect solution was sufficient for earlier, less complicated SoC designs. But engineers were concerned about its ability to scale to a greater number of IP blocks using disparate
transaction protocols. Furthermore, the Mobileye team wanted a product that would speed set‐up and implementation of QoS requirements within the interconnect to guarantee performance for
both latency‐critical paths and high bandwidth paths. Finally, timing closure and verification were difficult, and would become more so without an interconnect product that would automate the required verification and testing.

Plans to Upgrade :
Netanel Zeevi, ASIC engineer at Mobileye says, “We were looking for a solution to scale up to growing technology and new business needs. We evaluated proposals against problems we knew about and
Image recognition is a key component in the Mobileye Driver Assistance Systems. Arteris “clears
the network path” so vehicle drivers can always see clearly. Arteris’ network‐on‐chip
interconnect IP allows us to reduce the die size of Mobileye’s 3rd generation vision processor, EyeQ3,
optimize latency for critical IP blocks and reach timing closure much sooner than expected.
Elchanan Rushinek, Vice President of Engineering, Mobileye requirements we forecast.”

“We specified faster frequency rates, support for multiple IP protocols and multiple interface bit widths, easy setup of multiple asynchronous clock domains, easy configuration and simulation of QoS schemes, and the ability to quickly and easily verify and close timing on the resulting interconnect. Above all, we needed an IP interconnect fabric that could always mold and adapt to changing needs.”

Solution :
Arteris delivered an end‐to‐end interconnect IP fabric solution plus a team of seasoned chip design and semiconductor IP professionals led by Arteris Vice President Michel Telera, Senior Solutions Architect Gilles Ballieu, and Yoav Arnon, VP of Technical Services for Arteris’ partner in Israel, Satris.
Elchanan Rushinek, Vice President of Engineering at Mobileye relates, “We exhaustively benchmarked the Arteris NoC interconnect IP against the competition. We need real‐time performance with extremely low latency between video IP blocks, and we found Arteris FlexNoC to be the best solution for EyeQ3. Furthermore, we found Arteris’ memory scheduler to be superior, with excellent Quality of Service in a smaller die area. With Arteris, our customers can be assured of responsiveness and reliability
to help reduce collisions and make roads safer.”

Benefits :
“Arteris’ integrated interconnect configuration tool suite made it easy for us to quickly iterate through different topology and QoS options,” says Rushinek. “Our engineers are very productive using the Arteris
tools. We can now quickly find the root cause for timing issues by reviewing the Arteris FlexExplorer simulation results, then determine whether we want to add a pipeline or register slice at a specific location in the interconnect, change the topology, or change QoS or protocol parameters.”

Days and Weeks Saved :
Mobileye ASIC engineer Netanel Zeevi reports, “Finding the root cause of timing issues, determining the solution, then implementing it used to take days and sometimes weeks. We are now able to solve these
issues in hours. This huge reduction in troubleshooting and problem resolution time frees us up to work on other aspects of the SoC.”

Easy‐to‐Implement End‐to‐End Quality of Service (QoS) Vision‐based Driver Assistance Systems require lightning‐fast The view from the driver’s seat is always changing. Arteris’ interconnect IP keeps pace with
Mobileye’s needs. Arteris did a great job in our project and gave us the most excellent support beyond any expectation. Yosi Arbeli, ASIC Designer, Mobileye processing of incoming video information to determine if an object is a safety threat to the vehicle driver or others. This creates unique requirements for a SoC’s quality of service (QoS) implementation. Arteris’ NoC technology is unique because it allows for true end‐to‐end QoS, from the initiator, through the interconnect and to the target or memory. It is simple to set up and simulate QoS schemes with differing latency and ordering requirements. The optional FlexMem Multi‐Array Memory Scheduler is tightly integrated with the interconnect, allowing
seamless use of QoS information traveling through the interconnect.

Arteris FlexNoC — Unique Value :
As proven by Mobileye’s experience, Arteris FlexNoC’s integrated and automated network‐on‐chip interconnect IP solution eases timing closure and reduces development and troubleshooting time. By
integrating FlexExplorer simulation and FlexVerifier automated verification, using FlexNoC enables faster design iterations and shorter development schedules. These hardware development advantages are in addition to FlexNoC’s technical advantages over older bus and crossbar‐based solutions
- Higher clock frequencies
- Smaller interconnect gate and wire area
- Lower power
- Infinitely flexible clock, frequency and power domains
- Advanced quality of service, arbitration and memory scheduling
- Unlimited numbers of initiators and targets
- Integrated and automated verification using VMM, OVM or UVM.
Arteris FlexNoC is the only semiconductor interconnect IP that delivers
these benefits to engineers.