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ARMv8-R geared for automotive, industrial control apps

Posted: 28 Oct 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:industrial control? automotive electronics? Cortex-R series?

ARM has rolled out its ARMv8-R architecture aimed at real-time embedded processors for automotive electronics and other integrated safety and control applications. According to the company, the architecture builds on the 32bit ARMv7-R architecture used for the company's Cortex-R series of real time processors and complements the ARMv8-A architecture.

A key innovation within the ARMv8-R architecture is the introduction of a 'bare metal' Hypervisor mode that enables programmers to combine different OS, applications and real-time tasks on a single processor while 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 company added.

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, an MCU incorporating an ARMv8-R processor could host Linux for graphical management and networking functions together with real-time OS 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 OS using memory management, such as Linux, to be integrated with an RTOS. Ecosystem support for the ARMv8-R architecture is anticipated in a number of OS products including INTEGRITY from Green Hills Software, Nucleus from Mentor Graphics and T-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 that substantially reduces context switching time, ARM NEON advanced SIMD instructions for significantly improved image signal processing tasks and instructions carried over from the ARMv8-A architecture such as 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 latest features. The DS-5 ARM tools and Fast Models support the ARMv8-A architecture, and support for the ARMv8-R architecture will be available to lead partners in 3Q14. 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.

The ARMv8-R architecture specification will be available to partners under licence.

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