Texas Instruments chip helps you stay on the road

The company uses a mixture of ARM cores and ones developed in-house to assist drivers

If you want to avoid traffic accidents or aren't very good at parking, the latest SoC (System-on-Chip) from Texas Instruments offers relief.

On Wednesday, the chip maker announced the TDA2x, which will be used to power so-called advanced driver assistance systems that help improve safety and reduce the number of collisions on the road.

The TDA2x uses a mixture of ARM cores and ones developed by TI in-house to simultaneously run front-camera applications such as high beam assist, lane keeping assist, traffic signal recognition, pedestrian or object detection, and collision avoidance, according to TI. Additionally, the SoC enables park assist applications with surround view and rear collision warning, TI said.

To help improve performance, the TDA2x can combine radar and camera sensor data.

Higher levels of integration combined with better programmability and improved power efficiency should cut the cost for car manufacturers and allow them to put driver assistance features in cheaper cars.

The TDA2x is available in smaller volumes and is intended for large automotive manufacturers, according to TI. The company didn't say when it expects the first vehicles using the SoC to hit the road.

With PC sales slipping and the mobile device market proving highly competitive, Texas Instruments isn't the only chip maker looking for greener pastures in the automotive sector, with both in-car entertainment and safety in mind.

Broadcom and Renesas Electronics are both focusing on in-car entertainment with faster processors and networks for wireless HD movies and navigation, aiming to keep drivers informed and passengers entertained.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

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