ETRI develops high-performance autonomous vehicle processor

Researchers from Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) have developed Aldebaran, a ISO-26262-compliant 1GHz quad-core processor that targets automotive applications. Manufactured with 28 nm CMOS process technology, it offers a superscalar architecture, 32 kB cache memory, a memory management unit (MMU), and an object recognition vision engine. Aldebaran’s I/O interface comes equipped with CAN and CAN-FD, serial communication via UART, and I2C.

The processor monitors the activities of multiple cores in real time and the four cores are capable of operating independently at 1 GHz. One core in the Aldebaran processor consumes 0.24 W/GHz, and the processor can operate at less than 1 W/GHz when all four cores are operational. The Aldebaran exhibited a 1.0 GHz operating frequency and 4.0 GOPS performance in operational verification tests, while demonstrating a power consumption of 0.24 mW/MHz.

In collaboration with autonomous vehicle manufacturers, the Aldebaran processor was installed on an actual vehicle for steering control via image recognition, lane detection, and lane recognition result analysis. The Lane Keeping Assistance System (LKAS) demonstrated successful compliance to ASIL D level functional safety as defined in ISO 26262 Part 11 and Part 5 (see a video below).

The chip is functional with general operating systems such as Linux, as well as real-time operating systems. A software development kit (SDK) that includes a C / C ++ compiler is also available.

For more information, contact Dr. Youngsu Kwon, Group Leader, Processor Research Group, ETRI at