NXP Semiconductors announced a new strategic partnership with Kalray. The partnership will combine NXP’s safety products for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and central compute with Kalray’s massively parallel processor array (MPPA) processors. The new platform is designed to address the performance, safety, and near-term commercial needs of Levels 2 and 3 driving with an eye to longer-term release in Levels 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles. The collaboration also aims to take on the safety shortcomings of today’s pilots and experimental offerings in the autonomous development space. 

NXP and Kalray plan to co-develop a central computing platform with safety as a foundation. NXP will offer the host processor of the platform, its high-performance S32 processor, with its safety-critical ASIL D and ASIL B capabilities. This is expected to help the platform tackle the requirements of automotive central computing and will target path planning functions. Kalray will deliver its MPPA processors to handle the machine-learning aspects of perception.

The first example of this partnership will be the integration of Kalray’s MPPA processors into the NXP BlueBox, an embedded autonomous driving platform. This iteration will address autonomous challenges in power and safety with Arm-based technology and will be designed to support open standards.

“We are happy to partner with Kalray to take on the safe performance challenges of increasingly autonomous driving,” said Kamal Khouri, Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Driver Assistance, NXP.  “Our platform offers the performance and functional safety needed for reliable autonomous driving as opposed to the risky and power-hungry consumer grade solutions that are currently being tested in vehicles.”

“We are pleased to announce this strategic partnership with NXP, the leading supplier of semiconductors to the automotive industry,” said Eric Baissus, CEO, Kalray. “Safety is unquestionably the single most pressing issue holding back the momentum of the autonomous vehicle movement globally, and we are confident that by leveraging the strengths of both companies we can overcome this critical industry challenge and provide a leading solution to the market.”

At CES 2019, the partners demonstrated the platform running a prototype of Baidu’s Apollo open automotive software solution.