Dozens of processors control every performance aspect of today’s automobiles, and not a single feature of the “vehicle experience” remains untouched by technology. Whether it’s climate control, engine control, or entertainment, there has been constant evolution of capabilities in manufacturer offerings over the last decade. One of the forces behind this evolution, the rapidly increasing performance-to-cost ratio of signal processors, is about to have a profound impact on another critical automotive component—the safety subsystem.

While most currently available safety features utilize a wide array of sensors—principally involving microwaves, infrared light, lasers, accelerometers, or position detection—only recently have processors been introduced that can meet the real-time computation requirements that allow video image processing to contribute substantially to safety technology. The Analog Devices Blackfin media-processor family offers attractive solutions for this growing market, with its high processing speeds, versatile data-movement features, and video-specific interfaces. This article will discuss the roles that Blackfin processors can play in the emerging field of video-based automotive safety.

Reproduced with the permission of Analog Devices, Inc.