NEC starts shipping image detection chips for cars

NEC Electronics is shipping image detection chips that can tell cars to hit the brakes, before hitting a person or another car. The chips will first go into Toyota's Lexus LS460 car this fall and NEC hopes other car companies will adopt the chip. The Imapcar, short for Integrated Memory Alley Processor-Car, has 128 parallel processing units and can detect objects at 30 frames per second.

NEC claims the chip can process 100 billion operations per second and will dissipate close to 2 watts of power. Toyota hopes the chip, along with forward-facing cameras, will be able to detect objects better than the company's current collision avoidance system that uses only radar.

The 2007 Lexus LS 460 will have a 4.6-liter V8 engine that will produce 380 horespower and 370 pound-feet of torque. The eight-speed automatic transmission will take the car from 0-60 mph in less than 5.5 seconds. In addition to anti-collision computers, the 460 will have sensors that detect and correct out of control skids.

NEC hopes monthly production of the chips will hit 10,000 units by the end of the fiscal 2007 year. According to the Red Herring, the chips won't be cheap and will cost about $200 each.

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