Recently, Zosi Automotive Research conducted an exclusive interview with Xu Chao, vice president of Xinchi Technology, to discuss how Xinchi will be deployed and how to provide customers with better products and services under the trend of domestic substitution and software-defined vehicles.
Zuo Si: Xinchi chip can support AutoSAR, will use Elektrobit’s EB tresos Studio tool to develop the microcontroller abstraction layer (MCAL). Some people think that AutoSAR is very similar to Symbian, what do you think of the prospect of AutoSAR?
Xu Chao: AutoSAR is a layered structure framework jointly formulated by leading companies in the industry in response to the development trend of more and more complex in-vehicle vehicle control applications. Speed up development. With the improvement of hardware, especially processor capabilities, in recent years, the overhead caused by the layered framework has become smaller and smaller, and AutoSAR has been fully popularized. On the whole, AutoSAR or a similar modular layered architecture is very important for software-defined vehicles, but the differences and compatibility issues between various versions of AutoSAR have always plagued everyone. How to build modules more lightweight The underlying architecture and standards that can be reused and support rapid development and application are indeed the future trend, and AutoSAR is the actual practitioner of this trend.
Zuo Si: Xinchi Technology 9 series X9, V9, G9 chip products cover the three core applications of intelligent cockpit, intelligent driving and central gateway. Impressively, the X9 Pro supports 8 HD and 12 cameras, and the V9 supports 11-18 camera inputs, 5-7 Radar, 2-8 LIDAR. Is this indicator overall ahead of the opponent?
Xu Chao: One-core multi-screen, one-core multi-core is the future development trend of the cockpit. For example, it is not very difficult to support 8 high-definition displays on one chip, but it needs to be stable, reliable and efficient to achieve good smoothness. user experience, including the smooth operation of each interface and hardware resource scheduling such as audio channel allocation, etc., requires multiple cores with different functions to optimize implementation for specific applications, rather than simply using CPU/GPU. computing power to perform all specific functions. For example, in the X9 chip, CoreChi integrates the Voice Engine, which can handle environmental noise, echoes and identify wake-up keywords without occupying almost no CPU computing power. After correctly identifying the keywords, the CPU will be interrupted The dormant complex speech semantic processing process is activated to complete the processing of natural semantics. V9 can be said to lead the industry in terms of sensor access capability, but even so, it is unscientific to describe it with the word “comprehensive”.
When Xinchi designs the 9 series SoC, whether X9, G9 or V9 is defined for application requirements, it conforms to the concept of “4S + 6 dimensions”, namely: Safe, Secure, Scalable and Smart + Power/Performance/Price /Reliability/Safety/Longevity. Facing mainstream applications in the next 5 to 10 years, it provides highly reliable and cost-effective SoC products. The G9, on the other hand, fully utilizes the built-in SDPEv2 engine and the connection capability of the chip itself, for packets, signals and ports of two native Gigabit Ethernet, 20 CAN FD and 16 LIN, and other interfaces extended by PCIE. Accelerate processing without consuming CPU processing power. SDPEv3 can fully accelerate the C-V2X protocol stack and scene library.
Zuo Si: Traditional car companies are vigorously deploying software business and will take the initiative in core software development. Will the role of Tier1 be weakened? Will core chip manufacturers receive more attention?
Xu Chao: Traditional OEMs vigorously deploy software business not only to take the initiative in core software, but also in Electronic and electrical architecture. The core purpose of this is to define vehicles and platforms more deeply. As for whether the role of Tier 1 will weaken this question, we might as well look at whether the capabilities of Tier 1 need to be iteratively upgraded from another perspective. What we see more is the concept of “soft and hard separation” and “software Tier 1”. Core chip manufacturers have always been valued, but in the past, chip companies in Europe and the United States more often defined chip products with mainstream OEMs in Europe and the United States and Tier 1. This fundamentally restricts other OEMs and Tier 1 from using such chips. In order to define applications more flexibly, with the upgrading of application requirements and the trend of automobile four-mode, the application flexibility of chips is more valued by OEMs and Tier 1s.
Zuo Si: Xinchi Technology’s intelligent cockpit chip X9 has been successfully taped out. Will it be the first to mass-produce the cockpit? When is the mass production time?
Xu Chao: The X9, G9, and V9 of the 9 series have been successfully taped out, and small batches of samples have been provided to key customers. The large-scale supply will be in the fourth quarter of this year. In terms of models, there will be a model SOP mass production project starting in the first half of next year.
Zuo Si: Does Xinchi have any cooperation projects with foreign OEMs?
Xu Chao: At present, there is no cooperation with foreign OEMs, but substantial cooperation with foreign Tier1 has been launched.
Zuo Si: Under the risk of decoupling between China and the United States, not only domestic OEMs are seeking domestic replacements, but even leading foreign OEMs are also trying to compete.
Create two sets of supply chains, foreign and domestic. Does Xinchi benefit from this?
Xu Chao: I have to say that in the current international environment, in terms of high-tech products, especially automotive electronic components, supply chain security must be considered from OEM and Tier 1, which has positive significance for Xinchi. However, the goal of Xinchi’s establishment is to become a global enterprise that provides high-reliability and high-performance automotive chips.
Zuo Si: Xinchi Technology has integrated a hardware security module on the chip, designed according to the requirements of the national secret, and supports the national secret SM2, SM3, SM4 and SM9 algorithms. In terms of localization, Xinchi seems to have done more than international manufacturers. What localization support has it done?
Xu Chao: In addition to the national secret SM algorithm, localization support is more reflected in ecological construction, design services and technical support. Corech currently has 71 partners, covering hardware, algorithms, operating systems, virtualization, protocols stack etc. In addition, Xinchi has mass production experience teams from OEM and Tier 1. Based on Xinchi’s 9 series chips, the application reference board is designed according to the standard of automotive grade A sample, and all the design materials are provided to the contracted partners to speed up the customer’s development. Design and mass production process.
Zuo Si: Xinchi Technology cooperates with Zhongling Zhixing in terms of hypervisors, how does it support foreign hypervisor products?
Xu Chao: At present, in addition to the domestic Zhongling Zhixing, Xinchi also maintains a set of open source Xen system for 9 series SoC. At the same time, cooperation with WindRiver, QNX and ACRN has also been carried out. Because it maintains Xen, when other hypervisor partners provide support for the Intel 9 series, Intel Chi can provide detailed references to facilitate the partners to quickly complete the migration.
Zuo Si: In addition to the three core chips of cockpit, intelligent driving and gateway, will Xinchi cut into other chips? What kind is expected?
Xu Chao: Coretronic has a detailed and long-term roadmap for cockpit, intelligent driving and gateway SoC core chips. As for other vehicle-specific chips, Coretronic will soon launch a high-reliability and high-performance MCU controller product line.
Zoth: Does the FSD chip developed by Tesla have any lessons for other automotive chip companies?
Xu Chao: The FSD developed by Tesla is based on the iterative evolution of its 3rd-generation Autopilot hardware. It can be considered that Tesla’s technical route in assisted driving and unmanned driving is very clear. For other automotive chip companies, with a clear technical route, it is a very reasonable path to use high-integration chips. Corech has reserved complete capabilities in this area, and is also looking forward to other OEMs and Tier 1s to be able to do it. Form a clear and stable technical route as soon as possible.
Zuo Si: The promotion of chips requires the support of the tool chain. What are the layouts of the chip tool chain?
Chao Xu: Xinchi itself supports ARMCC and GCC. At the same time, we are also cooperating with IAR, WindRiver, etc. There are open source and free options, as well as options that meet high functional safety. In terms of IDE mass production and configuration tools, Xinchi has a dedicated team for maintenance.
Zuo Si: How is the development of the Xinchi team? What is the next major development direction?
Xu Chao: With the support of the government and capital, the Xinchi team has been fully recognized by the industry with a pragmatic attitude and good experience and capabilities. The main direction for the next step is to provide better products for domestic customers around automotive SoCs and MCUs. and service.
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