ARM releases autopilot chip architecture to re-declare sovereignty in the automotive system market
Jan 17, 2019

 ARM chip architecture, intelligent hand movement piece market share accounted for about 90% -95%. This is not hard to imagine. What is easy to overlook is the in-vehicle chip: Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) and In-vehicle Entertainment System (IVI)-based chips, more than 60% of which are built with ARM architecture.

  Today, ARM has introduced its first chip architecture for autonomous driving, known as the Cortex-A76AE. This may also be to Intel, Nvidia and other opponents, declared ARM's sovereignty in the autonomous driving market.

  Safety performance

  If you think the Cortex-A76AE name is familiar, it was developed on the basis of the Cortex-A76 architecture released in June, adding more security features to help autopilots adapt to difficult road conditions.

  Security is mainly reflected in the Split-Lock function. The chip developed with this architecture has two modes, one is Split and the other is Lock.

  Suppose there are 4 CPU cores. In Split mode, each core runs independently, each completing different tasks, in order to be efficient; in Lock mode, the four cores are divided into two pairs, each pair running the same instruction for security. High-speed cars are highly dependent on redundancy to ensure safety. In general, one core has a hardware error and another.

  Usually, a pair of cores should run exactly the same thing. Once the difference is found, the chip will alarm. After the alarm, let the core of the problem pause, return to normal, and then continue running. In this way, it is possible to avoid a system error caused by a Random Error. For a computer-controlled car, system failure is fatal. Therefore, this layer of protection is very important.

  The two letters of the AE in the new frame name refer to Automotive Enhanced, car enhanced.

  Other performance 7 nanometers, 64 cores

  The Cortex-A76AE architecture is optimized for the 7nm manufacturing process. Used to concentrate more functions in a smaller space.

  In addition, up to 64 cores can be run on a single chip.

  Low power consumption

  The team said that the 7 nm 16-core Cortex-A76AE can support 25,000 DMIPS calculations in less than 15 watts. If the power budget of a SoC is 30 watts, the architecture is very friendly.

  In fact, its low power consumption is still attributed to the Split-Lock design: combining adjustable and non-adjustable functions in the same part of the chip to enhance performance and reduce power consumption. Electric vehicles are also a trend in the future. Compared with several kilowatt chips, the Cortex-A76AE has an advantage.

  The game has just begun

  Two years ago, ARM was acquired by Softbank. Since then, the company has had more power to fight in autonomous driving. According to the team's plan, the chip developed with the Cortex-A76AE architecture will be put into use in autonomous vehicles in 2020.

  Of course, there must be support from chip manufacturers. NVIDIA, NXP, Samsung, Siemens, etc. are all users of ARM in the field of autonomous driving.

  ARM is fierce, and Intel as an opponent is not to be outdone. In March last year, Intel acquired the Israeli company Mobileye, which was a big step on the autopilot chip. Intel plans to ship the first chips used in fully automated vehicles in 2020.

  What happened afterwards, waiting for it.

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