Weltrend Semiconductor, a Taiwanese IC designer founded in 1989, has made its way into the supply chain of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). Weltrend specializes in a variety of ICs that have seen increasing application scenarios in EVs, from display drivers to power management controllers.
In 2014, Weltrend released the first generation of its Around View Monitor (AVM) video processor, WT8892. With industry pioneers, especially Tesla, betting on computer vision for ADAS, ruling out the future potential of lidars in autopilot, Weltrend has ridden on the this trend, starting to focus on its product line for computer vision, completed with its in-house AI algorithms.
It has developed a series of processors for ADAS applications, including Blind-Spot Detection (BSD), Lane-Departure Warning (LDW), Moving-Object Detection (MOD), Active High Beam (AHB) etc. For the first half of this year, Weltrend’s AVM video processors have already entered low-volume production, supplying the module manufacturers in Taiwan and China. Growth in volume is expected for the second half of this year.
Elon Musk once famously remarked that lidar technology was “a fool’s errand” when it came to autopilot, calling it expensive and unnecessary. Instead, Tesla’s self-driving technology relies on several sources of data, including cameras, radar, maps and GPS.
Tesla’s Senior Director of AI, Andrej Karparthy, also expressed his belief in the role of visual recognition, driven by neural network training, in Level 4 and Level 5 autonomy. Karparthy calls lidar technology a “shortcut” that gives “a false sense of progress”, accusing it of sidestepping the fundamental problems faced by autonomous driving.