MADISON, Wis.— ARM has unveiled its new microprocessorarchitecture specifically designed to rundeterministic, real-time embeddedapplications in automotive electronics andother industrial control systems.
One of the highlights of the newarchitecture — dubbed ARMv8-R — is ahardware-assisted virtualization modedesigned into its real-time embeddedprocessor. EE Times has learned that Nvidiais likely to be among the first companies tolicense the ARMv8-R architecture.
Described by ARM as a “bare-metal”hypervisor mode, the new architecture'svirtualization feature is in big demandamong real-time embedded system designerssaddled with the “increasingly stickyproblem of combining different software withsafety-critical applications,” says RichardYork, director of product marketing at ARM.The need to run different operating systems,applications, and real-time tasks on asingle processor is paramount. Yet systemdesigners are asked to do so by ensuringthey are strictly isolated from one another.
Automotive customers — carmakers and Tier1s included — are particularly eager forthe virtualization feature, according toYork.
The ARMv8-R architecture is designed to runrich OSs (such as Android for a graphicaluser interface) and real-time operatingsystems on the same processor. It is alsodesigned to allow both virtual memory andprotected memory systems to coexist on oneprocessor.
Kevin Krewell, senior analyst at the LinleyGroup, summed it up: “A system designer canconsolidate multiple real-timemicrocontroller functions into oneARMv8-R-based processor without losingreal-time responsiveness and processisolation.”
Those looking to play a bigger role in theautomotive market are paying close attentionto ARM's new microprocessor architecture.Asked about ARMv8-R, Nvidia told EE Times ina separate interview:
- Nvidia is investing heavily in thedevelopment of hypervisor solutions for anumber of markets, including automotive.Based on the ARM architecture, Nvidiaautomotive solutions will be able to runmultiple operating systems on a singleprocessor to enable simultaneous use ofboth infotainment applications and moresafety-critical functions.
Why hypervisor for automotive?
A big change in the automotive landscape inrecent years is that more and more featuresin new cars are defined in software andelectronics, rather than mechanical systems.As a result, “more and more car OEMs havebegun writing their own software codes,”explained York. Carmakers, seeking a littlebit more control over their own cars, arecoming up with clever new features throughtheir own software.
To read more, go to “ARM Unveils New Architecture for Automotive.”