New Arm technology will strengthen driver trust on the road to safe mass autonomous deployment

December 18, 2018

By Lakshmi Mandyam, VP automotive, Arm

News highlights:

  • Arm introduces latest addition to the Arm Safety Ready program, a new “Automotive Enhanced” processor designed to help enable safe next generation driver experiences
  • Optimized for 7nm: Cortex-A65AE is Arm’s first multithreaded processor with integrated safety for handling sensor data in autonomous and high throughput needs in IVI/cockpit systems
  • Simultaneous multithreading optimized for high throughput workloads and offers best performance efficiency

According to recent data from AAA, 73% of American drivers are too afraid to ride in fully self-driving vehicles and 63% of US adults feel less safe sharing the road with self-driving vehicles while walking or cycling. Human acceptance of new advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and increasingly autonomous technologies will only happen if drivers and passengers feel safe relying on them.

Winning the trust of consumers is critical, and to deliver these trusted experiences carmakers need solutions that achieve the right balance of innovation and safety while being deployable, scalable and ready for mass production. In my regular conversations with leading OEMs and tier ones, it’s clear that a broad range of compute is required to meet the needs of tomorrow’s vehicles, and one size will not fit all when it comes to the compute powering these vehicles.

Earlier this year Arm demonstrated its commitment to accelerating the deployment of safe fully autonomous vehicles for OEMs and tier ones with the launch of our Safety Ready program and a dedicated range of Automotive Enhanced IP, including the Cortex-A76AE, which delivers the processing performance required for autonomous applications while changing the game with integrated safety. Today, to further expand our Automotive Enhanced IP portfolio, we are announcing the release of Arm Cortex-A65AE, formerly known as Helios-AE on our product roadmap.

Cortex-A65AE: First multithreaded processor with integrated safety

The Arm Cortex-A65AE (Automotive Enhanced) is the latest addition to Arm’s Automotive Enhanced portfolio of IP, designed for more efficient processing of the multiple streams of sensor data being generated in next generation vehicles, and to help enable innovative new driver experiences safely. It does this by delivering enhanced multithreading capability combined with integrated safety through our innovative Split-Lock technology.

In order to achieve higher levels of autonomy, there will be a large increase in the number of sensors monitoring the surroundings of the vehicle, including cameras, LiDAR and radar, resulting in a significant increase in throughput and compute requirements to safely process this data. Multiple sensor inputs allow cars to view their environment, perceive what is happening, plan possible paths ahead, and deliver commands to actuators on the determined path.

With so much data being collected at different points of the vehicle, high data throughput capability is a key part of the heterogeneous processing mix required to enable ADAS and autonomous applications. It’s also critical that safety is at the heart of these systems. The Cortex-A65AE is ideal for managing the high throughput requirement for gathering sensor data and can be used in lock-step mode connected to accelerators, such as ML or computer vision, to help process the data efficiently. But what’s most critical, is that it does this with a high level of safety capability.

Alongside the increase in sensor inputs, more autonomy and advancing driver aids will dramatically change the human automotive experience. As part of this transition, there will be many more screens in our cars delivering enhanced experiences. Drivers will be informed through augmented reality head-up-displays, alerts and improved maps. Passengers will be immersed by rich video entertainment delivered by many screens throughout the car, but trust, reliability and safety are all critical to the acceptance of these new cabin experiences. Sensors will not only be sensing out, but will be sensing in, monitoring drivers. They will be able to monitor eyelid movement to detect tiredness, body temperature, vital signs and behavioural patterns to personalise the in-car experience. These capabilities require high throughput, ML processing and a lot of heterogeneous compute.

To deliver rich, immersive in-vehicle experiences efficiently, a heterogeneous compute cluster is necessary. Cortex-A65AE is Arm’s first throughput focused application class core with Split-Lock. Together with Cortex-A76AE (also with Split-Lock), these cores enable the highest safety integrity level with leading performance and power efficiency.

The addition of the multithreaded Cortex-A65AE processor to the Arm automotive platform further cements Arm’s bumper-to-bumper automotive leadership, and the Arm software ecosystem is ready for Cortex-A65AE, with support from Arm Safety Ready developer tools and Linux patches already up-streamed.

Accelerating a safer path to fully-autonomous driving

Per year, 5.3 trillion miles are driven in cars and light vehicles depending on Arm processors. Looking ahead, the Arm automotive roadmap includes Hercules-AE optimized for 7nm in 2019 as well as future Cortex-R solutions. Arm is transforming what’s possible by extending our portfolio to deliver the broadest range of functional safety capable IP products in the industry. The entire platform is supported by the Arm Safety Ready program, drawing on our extensive experience in safety for the faster delivery of safer automotive solutions by OEMs, automotive tier ones and silicon partners.

For more information on our commitment to vehicle safety, please visit our Safety Ready page.

Alex Harrod

Senior Director Public Relations, Arm
+44 7795 363057

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