NEC Unveils IMAPCAR2 Image Processors for Automotive Safety Systems

Demonstrating its commitment to helping automobile manufacturers easily implement safety mechanisms and collision-prevention systems, NEC Electronics Corporation and NEC Corporation introduced the IMAPCAR2® image processors, which are available in four different configurations to meet a variety of customer requirements and provide the best cost/performance ratio.

The second generation of NEC’s innovative IMAPCAR offering, the new scalable processors execute up to 270 giga (or billion) operations per second (GOPS) and can be used to detect nearby objects such as vehicles, pedestrians and lane markers in real time, enabling the development of obstacle-detection, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning and other automotive safety systems that require intensive computing.

With support for both single-instruction multiple-data (SIMD) operations and multiple-instruction multiple-data (MIMD) operations, the IMAPCAR2 processors provide flexibility and performance for the effective implementation of advanced safety systems that combine multiple applications with different computation requirements simultaneously.

“Safety is an objective shared throughout the automotive industry. Passive safety technologies, including seat belt, child restraint and airbag systems, have dramatically improved automobile safety by protecting passengers in an accident,” said Shinichi Iwamoto, vice president, Microcomputer Operations Unit, NEC Electronics Corporation. “Going beyond these protections, we believe there is a tremendous need for active safety systems that can detect hazardous conditions and help prevent accidents. These advanced safety systems will benefit from the real-time vision processing capabilities of our IMAPCAR2 devices.”

High-Performance Image Processing for Automotive
The IMAPCAR2 lineup is the successor to NEC’s IMAPCAR processors, first introduced August 2006 featuring 128 processing engines (PE), 100 GOPS performance and an image processing rate of 30 frames per second (fps). The main features of the new IMAPCAR2 include:

  • An increase from 8 to 16 bits in the data processing capabilities of the 128 processing engines, as well as an increase from four to six instructions in the variable-length instruction word (VLIW) to enable faster processing speeds.
  • A new multicore architecture that enables high-speed parallel processing of multiple algorithms, compared to only SIMD operation — in which all processing engines were focused on the same operation — in the previous generation.
  • The four IMAPCAR2 devices offer a wide range of features designed for high-end as well as general systems. The lineup includes a device that runs three times faster than the previous generation IMAPCAR, as well as one that is priced 80 percent lower than previous products.

NEC Electronics and NEC expect that IMAPCAR2 image-recognition technology can be applied to a number of markets, including information technology, electronics, security, robotics, industrial and automotive. The companies plan to continue to develop products based on this technology, and to grow the business throughout worldwide markets.

NEC Electronics offers a wide range of IMAPCAR2 solutions to meet customer design requirements. Samples of the first device, IMAPCAR2-300, are scheduled to be available in first half of 2009. Availability is subject to change.

About NEC Electronics
NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) specializes in semiconductor products encompassing advanced technology solutions for the high-end computing and broadband networking markets; system solutions for the mobile handset, PC peripheral, automotive and digital consumer markets; and multi-market solutions for a wide range of customer applications. NEC Electronics Corporation has subsidiaries worldwide including NEC Electronics America, Inc. and NEC Electronics (Europe) GmbH.

About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is one of the world’s leading providers of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of its diverse and global base of customers. NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking and electron devices, by integrating its technical strengths in IT and Networks, and by providing advanced semiconductor solutions through NEC Electronics Corporation. The NEC Group employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. For additional information, please visit the NEC home page at:

NEC Electronics is either a registered trademark or trademark of NEC Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. IMAPCAR1 and IMAPCAR2 are registered trademarks of NEC Electronics in Japan.