Embedded ADAS Algorithm Optimization with High-Performance DSP IP and CV Software Library

January 19, 2017 // By Charles Qi, Han Lin, Cadence
Recently computer vision (CV) technology has seen a rapidly increasing rate of adoption in the application of autonomous driving. CV algorithms are very compute intensive. Deployment of these algorithms often requires specialized high-performance DSPs or GPUs to achieve real-time performance while maintaining flexibility.

It is a challenging task for algorithm developers to be able to map a state-of-the-art vision algorithm derived from theoretical research to performance-optimized software that is running in real time on an embedded platform. In this paper, we take the implementation of the ADAS lane-detection algorithm as an example to present the embedded CV software-development flow and the challenges facing CV algorithm developers to achieve high-performance under constrained system resource. We further showcase how a feature-rich, performance-optimized CV library can be used to reduce the software-development cycle to only a few weeks from having generic functional C code to DSP-optimized code that supports high-performance vectorized computing in real time. Finally, we demonstrate how to optimize CV software using advanced features offered by high-performance embedded vision DSPs, represented by Cadence’s Tensilica Vision DSP family of products.

Introduction to Embedded CV Software Development Flow

Recently computer vision (CV) technology has seen a rapidly increasing rate of adoption in the application of autonomous driving. CV algorithms are very compute intensive. Deployment of the algorithms often requires specialized high-performance DSPs or GPUs to achieve real-time performance while maintaining flexibility. It is a challenging task for algorithm developers to be able to map a state-of-the-art vision algorithm derived from theoretical research to performance-optimized software that is running in real time on an embedded platform.

CV application development for embedded systems is often severely constrained by the computation and hardware resources of the corresponding systems, as well as the real-time operating conditions under which the systems are utilized. Embedded developers must be able to optimize the performance of their applications within the constraints imposed to the systems. Performance metrics in terms of data processing throughput and accuracy have to be balanced with other optimization objectives, such as code/data size, memory footprint, latency, and power consumption.

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