DSP Optimisation – Optical Flow

The research team of an established automotive company in Germany is developing highly complex image processing algorithms for new driver assistance and safety systems. An example of this is the calculation in real time of several thousand displacement vectors in an image sequence (optical flow) without restrictions to vector length. With the aid of this information, vehicles will be able to assess the situation in their immediate vicinity in the future, distinguish between moving and motionless subjects, and calculate the position of other road users in advance.

“Automotive”-compliant DSP instead of the PC

The complicated image processing software has been developed on a Pentium Dual PC. The objective of the project was to clarify, in terms of the pre-production, whether the algorithm is suitable for implementation in an automotive-compliant DSP. Furthermore, an adaptor board was created which enables a camera to be connected to a DSP board.

The Optimum Solution

SCS opted for a development board with a Texas Instruments DSP (DM6437) and a plug-in adaptor board for connection with the camera. Porting the software onto the DSP was then followed by elaborate optimisation, whereby computing performance was increased by a factor of 43. With the prototype as PCI card in the test vehicle, the researchers could verify the practicability of the algorithms in vehicles of the future.

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