ARM Holdings announced today the launch of the Mali-C71 image signal processor (ISP), the first product in their new Mali camera family, designed specifically for the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
ISPs are responsible for processing raw pixel data for display, encoding, and furthering computer vision processing. They can be used in self-driving cars in pedestrian protection systems or mirror replacement systems. All these require powerful image processing capabilities inside the vehicle. ARM says Mali-C71 will deliver uniquely for that market.
Higher-end vehicles will need many more built-in cameras in a single vehicle, with the ability to analyze and process unusual lighting and weather conditions. ARM Mali-C71 offers ultra-wide dynamic range up to an impressive 24 "stops" which, in certain cases, is more detailed than what the human eye can even perceive. The best DSLR cameras around can only achieve around 15 stops.
After the Mali-C71 removes noise and processes the multiple exposures from a camera, an ultra-WDR (wide dynamic range) frame is generated and sent to a display or a computer vision engine like a CPU, GPU, FPGA or ASIC. Next-generation ISPs must be able to generate data for display, while simultaneously processing the same data for use by a computer vision engine so that quicker decisions can be made. ARM says the Mali-C71's ability to provide these two differently processed outputs from a single image is a key strength of the ISP.
ARM says that Mali-C71 was designed and built "from the ground up" for ADAS System on Chips (SoCs). The Mali C71 boasts low-latency and error detection, and has over 300 dedicated fault detection circuits to ensure compliance with the highest ASIL safety and reliability standards.
ARM claims that the Mali-C71 is the first ISP to successfully implement parallel virtual processing outputs and built-in functional safety features within a single SoC.