ARM Targets Automotive and Industrial Control Markets with New Architecture

October 23, 2013

ARMv8-R Architecture brings new capabilities to Embedded System Control and Safety Applications

WHAT: ARM has disclosed technical details of its new ARMv8-R architecture for real-time embedded processors for use in automotive electronics and other integrated safety and control applications.  The ARMv8-R architecture builds on the rich heritage of the 32-bit ARMv7-R architecture used for the company’s market-leading Cortex®-R series of real time processors and complements the ARMv8-A architecture announced in 2011. 

The ARMv8-R architecture specification will significantly enhance ARM’s real time 32-bit processor solutions with new features to expand their functionality and capability to meet for rapidly-evolving market requirements. In particular, processors implementing the ARMv8-R architecture will be suitable for the rapidly-expanding number of safety-related applications in automotive and industrial control.

A key innovation within the ARMv8-R architecture is the introduction of a ‘bare metal’ Hypervisor mode which enables programmers to combine different operating systems, applications and real-time tasks on a single processor whilst ensuring strict isolation between them.  This facilitates software consolidation and re-use which will accelerate time-to-market and reduce development costs. 

In addition, the ARMv8-R architecture will enable overall improvements in software quality and will support increasingly sophisticated embedded programming techniques such as model-based automated code generation.

The deployment of ARMv8-R architecture will reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve performance of embedded systems to support emerging automotive applications such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Vehicle to Vehicle communications as well as factory automation applications and Human-Machine Interface.  For example, a microcontroller incorporating an ARMv8-R processor could host Linux for graphical management and networking functions together with real-time operating system workloads such as motor control.

The ARMv8-R architecture also permits coexistence of both virtual memory and protected memory systems on the same processor enabling an Operating System using memory management, such as Linux, to be integrated with a Real Time Operating System.  Ecosystem support for the ARMv8-R architecture is anticipated in a number of Operating System products including INTEGRITY® from Green Hills Software, Nucleus® from Mentor Graphics, and eT-Kernel from eSOL. These integrated hardware and software solutions will be capable of supporting stringent automotive and industrial interoperability and safety standards, including AUTOSAR, ISO 26262 and IEC 61508.

Other ARMv8-R architecture features include:

- Improved memory protection scheme which substantially reduces context switching time

- ARM NEON™ advanced SIMD instructions for significantly improved image signal processing tasks

- Instructions carried over from the ARMv8-A architecture such as CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) for use in detecting the corruption of program code or data.

In support of the introduction of the ARMv8-R architecture, ARM is working to ensure a robust design ecosystem to support the new features. The DS-5 ARM tools and Fast Models already support the ARMv8-A architecture, and support for the ARMv8-R architecture will be available to lead partners Q3’14.  In addition timed models, automotive simulation system level tools and mechanical and electronic modelling tools are being developed by EDA partners in advance of silicon.

WHERE: Details of the new architecture will be disclosed at the ARM TechCon, Santa Clara, US (Tuesday 29th – Thursday 31st October 2013)

WHEN: The ARMv8-R architecture specification will be available to partners under license.  ARM processors which implement the new architecture are in development and details of these will be disclosed at a later date

FURTHER INFORMATION: A white paper containing details of the new architecture can be found here:



"eSOL has been providing competitive solutions using eSOL's strong OS technology optimized for ARM processors, for many years, and we look forward to providing support for processors based on the new ARMv8-R architecture when they appear," said Hiroaki Kamikura, general manager, Embedded Products Division, eSOL. "We consider ourselves as one of the very few real-time OS-centered software vendors who has deep skills and knowledge both in automotive information and control systems, key markets to be addressed by the ARMv8-R architecture. We expect our eT-Kernel real-time OS and its dedicated IDE to be certified for ISO 26262 automotive functional safety standard in the second quarter in 2014."

Green Hills Software

"The evolution to support concurrent general-purpose and real-time operating systems is a significant development for ARM architecture and the ARM ecosystem,” said David Kleidermacher, chief technology officer, Green Hills Software. “The combination of Green Hills Software’s virtualization technology and ARMv8-R will provide a powerful foundation for next generation real-time and safety-critical electronic products."


“Mentor’s support of the ARMv8-R architecture will enable both ARM licensees and embedded developers to create innovative solutions for automotive, industrial, and safety-critical applications,” said Glenn Perry, General Manager of Mentor Graphics Embedded Software Division. “Our mutual customers can make use of this innovative architecture ahead of silicon availability through virtual prototypes and also when ARMv8-R based devices are available with the small footprint, power-efficient Nucleus RTOS, Mentor Embedded Linux, virtualization technologies, AUTOSAR solutions and Sourcery CodeBench tools.”


“We look forward to providing VDKs (Virtualizer Development Kits) for ARMv8-R-based architecture designs to enable automotive and industrial developers to accelerate software development, system integration and fault testing for a broad range of applications,” said John Koeter, vice president of marketing for IP and systems at Synopsys. “By extending our VDK support, which already covers all existing ARMv7 and ARMv8-A architectures, to include the ARMv8-R architecture, Synopsys is enabling companies to start development earlier, improve developer productivity and mitigate development risks associated with the increasing software content and the need to ensure reliability through safety standards such as ISO 26262.”

About ARM

ARM designs the technology that is at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM’s comprehensive product offering includes RISC microprocessors, graphics processors, video engines, enabling software, cell libraries, embedded memories, high-speed connectivity products, peripherals and development tools. Combined with comprehensive design services, training, support and maintenance, and the company’s broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. 

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