OMNIVISION, Seeing Machines Announce "World's First" Combined ISP and Occula NPU SoC

Designed for installation in rear-view mirrors to monitor the driver and occupants of a vehicle, the combined-tech chip launches in 2H 2022.

OMNIVISION and Seeing Machines have announced joint work on what they claim to be a "world first ASIC" (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) to feature both an image signal processor and the latter's Occula Neural Processing Unit (NPU).

"OMNIVISION has been working with Seeing Machines for more than five years now and was the first to execute a silicon license for the Occula NPU in 2021," says Andy Hanvey, director of automotive marketing at OMNIVISION, of his company's work with Seeing Machines. "Today, we are unveiling our unique ASIC implementation, the OAX4600, featuring an integrated ISP and NPU, capable of higher resolution processing of up to 5 megapixels (MP)."

Designed for driver and occupant monitoring systems, the OAX4600 processor β€” to be partnered with the OX05B1S RGB-IR back-side illuminated global shutter camera sensor β€” claims to offer reduced DDR memory bandwidth requirements and take up a minimum amount of space compared to its competitors.

"We are excited to be working with OMNIVISION to bring this optimized DMS/OMS [Driver Monitoring System/Occupant Monitoring System] solution to the market. With the introduction of the OAX4600 device, OMNIVISION now occupies a unique position in the silicon space as the only company that can offer a physical pipeline from pixel to the processing," adds Seeing Machines' Nick DiFiore.

"Pairing Seeing Machines' Occula NPU, and expert knowledge of the associated algorithms and optical space, with OMNIVISION's market leading imaging solutions, the OAX4600 brings the first truly optimized DMS/OMS standalone SoC processing solution."

"We will be releasing the combined solution which is ideal for space-constrained automotive integrations, such as in rear view mirror, in the second half of this year," Hanvey confirms, "to deliver improved efficiency and the lowest power to automotive OEMs."

Although unveiled this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the OAX4600 has not yet appeared on the company's website β€” though interested parties can contact OMNIVISION for more details.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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