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Rockchip uses Ceva DSP to enhance imaging for vehicles and robots

Steve Rogerson
August 16, 2016
Chinese fabless semiconductor company Rockchip has licensed the Ceva XM4 imaging and vision digital signal processor (DSP) to enhance the imaging and computer vision capabilities of its system-on-chip (SoC) products targeting smartphones, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), drones, robotics and other smart camera devices.
"Rockchip is determined to deliver ever-more compelling solutions for mobile and consumer devices, using the best-of-breed technologies available,” said Feng Chen, chief marketing officer of Rockchip. “The Ceva XM4 imaging and vision processor and comprehensive software offering allow us to truly embrace the potential of computational photography, computer vision and machine learning in our product designs, seamlessly handling even the most complex use cases and algorithms.”
Rockchip will leverage the XM4 for a range of imaging and vision features at low power consumption among which include low-light enhancement, digital video stabilisation, object detection and tracking, and 3D depth sensing. In addition, the DSP will let Rockchip use the latest deep learning technologies, using Ceva’s CDNN2 deep neural network software framework.
“Ceva and Rockchip have a long and successful partnership incorporating multiple generations of our imaging and vision DSPs shipping in tens of millions of Rockchip-based devices to date,” said Gideon Wertheizer, CEO of California-based Ceva. “This latest agreement will enable Rockchip to significantly strengthen its offering in the exciting realm of computer vision and provide the platform with which it can improve the performance, power consumption and feature sets of its next-generation SoCs.”
Rockchip has previously licensed multiple generations of Ceva DSPs and connectivity IPs, including RivieraWaves Bluetooth and wifi products. The XM4 addresses the extreme processing requirements of sophisticated computational photography and computer vision applications such as video analytics, augmented reality and ADAS. By offloading these performance-intensive tasks from the CPUs and GPUs, the DSP reduces the power consumption of the overall system, while providing flexibility.
The platform includes a vector processor developed to deal with the complexities of such applications and an application development kit, which includes an Android multimedia framework that streamlines software development and integration effort, a set of software development tools and a range of software products and libraries optimised for the DSP.
For embedded systems targeting deep learning, the CDNN2 real-time neural network software framework streamlines machine-learning deployment at a fraction of the power consumption of GPU-based systems.
Founded in 2001, Rockchip is a Chinese fabless semiconductor company and mobile-internet SoC provider. Rockchip joined with industry leaders, including Google, Intel and ARM in 2015 to build an independent and complete industrial chain eco-system with mobile internet platforms and smart technology for PCs, communications devices, tablets, smartphones, OTT boxes and more.
The development and design headquarters are in Fuzhou, China, with three additional branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen focusing on services and marketing.