SFA 350A IP platform delivers faster time-to-market for ADAS ASICs

03 June 2021

Sondrel_SFA 350A hero
Sondrel_SFA 350A hero

Semi-custom approach cuts design cost & time-to-market by up to 30% and helps navigate ISO 26262 functional safety requirements.

Bringing a new chip to the automotive market can be daunting due to the high safety standards required – such as the ISO 26262 international standard for functional safety of electrical and/or electronic systems.

Sondrel_SFA 350A_vehicle
Sondrel_SFA 350A_vehicle

IC design & delivery consultancy, Sondrel has made this much easier for customers with the launch of its new, quad-channel, IP reference platform that has been architected with ISO 26262 applications and the fast integration of customer IP in mind from the start. This simplifies and speeds up the creation of the required evidence bundle, so the final product can swiftly achieve ISO 26262. The innovative, semi-custom platform approach, which Sondrel calls Architecting the Future™, can cut design cost and time-to-market by up to 30%. Full details can be found on the datasheet at www.sondrel.com/solutions/architecting-the-future

Sondrel_SFA 350A_chip
Sondrel_SFA 350A_chip

The SFA 350A IP platform has been specifically designed for ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) that are used to support driverless or autonomous vehicle applications. It has four channels for sensors, that can be either passive, such as optical via camera inputs, or active using LASER or RADAR. This is a very cost-effective solution compared to having a dedicated, one channel chip for each sensor. Uses can include collision avoidance, detection of crossing the central white line or gathering 3D information via a pair of cameras.

Sondrel_SFA 350A SoC
Sondrel_SFA 350A SoC

The SFA 350A is designed to be scalable due to its framework architecture design. This enables the processor units for the chip’s four channels to be selected according to the processing power required by the application, without requiring any changes to the interconnects and I/O to the rest of the chip. This modular approach makes the platform very versatile and scalable. Even more powerful solutions can be created by ganging identical, SFA 300 quad-core chips together to form a cluster, which is less expensive than creating a similar solution on one multi-channel chip. Communication to the vehicle’s central unit is via dual redundant links, based on standard protocols such as Ethernet or PCIe.

Sondrel_SFA 350A
Sondrel_SFA 350A

The Sondrel team includes a large number of experienced engineers, who have worked on many ASICs addressing a wide range of different markets. “Integrating customer IP into an SoC is not trivial,” explained Ben Fletcher, Sondrel’s Director of Engineering. “However, our experience lets us understand what aspects of a platform design may be effectively carried out in advance to form the framework architecture of the SFA 350A, and what parts will need customising for each specific implementation to include the customer’s IP and keep these to a minimum. Added to this, our experience on Functional Safety designs also allows us to create architectures that will provide a smooth path for our customers’ products achieving ISO 26262, and the semi-custom approach also ensures a faster time-to-market.

To further reduce risk and time-to-market, Sondrel also offers a full turnkey service that turns designs into fully tested, shipping silicon.


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