Autonomous vehicles with most advanced safety processor yet

21st September 2016
Anna Flockett

Real-time processor with advanced safety features for autonomous vehicles and medical and industrial robots has been launched by ARM. The ARMCortex-R52 was designed to address functional safety in systems that must comply with ISO 26262 ASIL D and IEC 61508 SIL 3, the most stringent safety standards in the automotive and industrial markets.

The Cortex-R52 is ideally-suited for systems that demand advanced safety features alongside efficient and responsive execution. It will enable applications as diverse as surgical automation, safety management and automotive powertrain control. STMicroelectronics is the first ARM partner to announce it has licensed the high performance processor to enable it to create highly integrated SoCs for the automotive market.                                                                                                             

James McNiven, General Manager for CPU and media processing groups, ARM said: “We are helping partners to meet particular market opportunities, especially in fully autonomous vehicles and robotics systems where specific functionality is required for safety-critical tasks. By documenting the strict development process, fault modelling and supporting software isolation, ARM is enabling a faster route to market for partners addressing these applications.”

How the Cortex-R52 works

The Cortex-R52 offers hardware-enforced separation of software tasks to ensure safety-critical code is fully isolated. This allows the hardware to be managed by a software hypervisor policing the execution and resourcing of tasks. By enabling the precise and robust separation of software, the Cortex-R52 decreases the amount of code that must be safety-certified, so speeding up development as software integration, maintenance and validation is easier. The processor also deals with increased software complexity while delivering the determinism and fast context switching that real-time systems demand.

Automotive & Discrete Group Vice President and Automotive Digital Division General Manager, STMicroelectronics,  Fabio Marchiò, said: “The Cortex-R52 supports our Smart Driving vision by enabling a new range of high-performance, power-efficient SoCs for any in-vehicle application demanding real-time operation and the highest levels of functional safety, including powertrain, chassis and ADAS.”

Marchiò added: “The Cortex-R52’s ability to compartmentalise software provides our users with the best solution for safety without loss of determinism. Its virtualisation support simplifies the consolidation of applications and functions into a single processor, delivering a shorter integration time.”

DENSO, a leading global supplier of advanced automotive technology, systems and components is supporting the launch.

"DENSO welcomes the development of new processor technology to drive the evolution of embedded real-time control, which is critical to advancing capabilities for autonomous systems,” said Hideki Sugimoto, Project General Manager, ePF Advanced R&D Department, DENSO Corporation. “We look forward to seeing the first devices powered by the Cortex-R52."

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