New S32 series by NXP brings the power of the edge to connected and autonomous vehicles
New technologies are only as strong as the smallest of their parts, built by innovators such as NXP Semiconductors. In today’s keynote address, president and CEO Kurt Sievers shared with #COMPUTEXVirtual his vision for how NXP will create this future by “accelerating the secure intelligent edge.”
Our current devices are fast when told what to do, but “my vision of technology for us as people is very different,” Sievers told attendees of the virtual show organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). “It is about a world where technology is actually automated. It is anticipating what we want.”
The semiconductor industry “has always been driven by waves of innovation,” from the computer boom in the 2000s to the cloud computing surge of the 2010s, but Sievers believes the next decade is to be defined by the rise of the edge.
“I see this massive opportunity of probably 50 billion intelligent and securely connected devices in the year 2025, and that goes hand-in-hand with a significant change in what technology is going to do,” he added, announcing NXP’s latest tools for enabling this shift.
Starting from today, NXP in collaboration with TSMC began mass production of the S32R294 automotive radar and S32G2 processor, designed to ease chip constraints by utilizing new 16nm FinFET processes.
“The car is the most complex edge device in the world,” said Shelly Van Dyke, vice president of automotive strategy and processing. “Already we’re at 100 to 200 million lines of code, more than a spaceship,” necessitating efficient and secure solutions.
Complemented by NXP’s development platforms, the S32G2 “extends advanced cloud capabilities into the car,” enabling vehicles to receive and process data on weather, traffic, road gradient and more to optimize performance. Paired with Amazon Web Services’ Greengrass, the tools would make it easy for manufacturers to “integrate and expand, do regular updates and continue to advance the capabilities of their cars,” AWS vice president of technology Bill Vass said.
The power of edge computing with the cloud also extends to IoT and manufacturing, as AI has never been easier to deploy, NXP executive VP and general manager of edge processing Ron Martino said.
People believe that it is expensive and complex, “but the truth is the opposite,” he said. “AI doesn’t always need large, complex, costly processors, and you don’t need a PhD in mathematics if you have the right development tools.”
With NXP’s scalable EdgeVerse platform, advanced processes such as facial recognition can be included in IoT devices as simple as a doorbell, protected through secure enclaves in the chips themselves. Efficiency is another strength, as up to 90 percent of “vampire power” — energy wasted by idle devices — could also be eliminated with Energy Flex architecture. All of these benefits also apply to factories, which could be made situationally aware to keep people safe and optimize production.
Achieving this vision of the future “is a task that cannot be achieved by any company alone,” Sievers said, thanking additional partners Advantech, BMW, Garmin, Microsoft and Samsung. “2021 is only marking the beginning of the edge era. It is going to be long and challenging, but also very rewarding.”