The world’s first autonomous-class processor with integrated safety: ARM Cortex-A76AE

The Cortex-A76AE is a game-changing new processor uniquely designed for automotive and optimized for 7nm process nodes. AE stands for “Automotive Enhanced”

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Cortex-A76AE processor

The Cortex-A76AE is a game-changing new processor uniquely designed for automotive and optimized for 7nm process nodes. AE stands for “Automotive Enhanced” and any Arm IP with the AE designator will include specific features addressing the requirements of in-vehicle processing.


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A high level of processing capability is required for autonomous driving, with inherent safety as standard. Cortex-A76AE delivers both without compromise as the industry’s first high-performance application processor with Split-Lock capability, combining the processing performance required for autonomous applications and high-integrity safety. While Split-Lock is not new to the industry, Arm is the first to introduce it to a processor uniquely designed for high-performance automotive applications such as autonomous drive. Split-Lock delivers:

  • Flexibility not available in previous lock-step CPU implementations
  • CPU clusters in a SoC can be configured either in ‘split mode’ for high performance, where two (or four) independent CPUs in the cluster that can be used for diverse tasks and applications
  • Or ‘lock mode’ where CPUs are in lock-step, creating one (or two) pairs of locked CPUs in a cluster, for higher safety integrity applications
  • The CPU clusters can be configured to operate in a mix of either mode, post Silicon production

Car makers can also design their autonomous systems to require watts and not the kilowatts required for today prototypes thanks to Arm’s leadership in power-efficient computing in Cortex-A76AE. Lower-power also enables a more energy-efficient use of vehicle battery power combined with thermal efficiency to aid the packaging of compute capability while extending the range of vehicles for a lower total cost of driving.

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As always, Arm takes the entire system into consideration and to complement Cortex-A76AE, Arm is introducing a new Automotive Enhanced system IP for designing a comprehensive autonomous-class SoC. The new CoreLink GIC-600AE, CoreLink MMU-600AE and CoreLink CMN-600AE provide critical elements such as high-performance interrupt management, extended virtualization and memory management, and connectivity to multiple CPU clusters to scale performance in safe multicore systems. These products have been designed to enable high-performance systems, targeting ASIL-B to ASIL-D safety integrity, and support the Split-Lock and systematic capabilities for functional safety designed into the Cortex-A76AE.


Scalability only the Arm automotive ecosystem can deliver

Development costs are increasing exponentially as the software complexity and volume for autonomous systems is rising dramatically. To put this in perspective, it’s predicted that a Level 5 vehicle will require a billion lines of code, whereas a Boeing 787 Dreamliner requires 14 million lines of code. Arm and its robust automotive developer ecosystem are simplifying and reducing costs across all layers of automotive software stacks and the tools on a common architecture.

Arm’s Automotive IP roadmap


The Cortex-A76AE is the first in a roadmap of “Automotive Enhanced” processors which will deliver the fullest functional safety capable IP portfolio in the industry. The new roadmap includes “Helios-AE” and “Hercules-AE”, all optimized for 7nm. More details to come as these products are launched. For more on the safety-first guiding principle driving our AE roadmap, visit the blog from Arm’s President of our Intellectual Property Group, Rene Haas.

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The arm has been designing chips for automotive applications since 1996 and the only Arm can address the compute needs of the entire vehicle from bumper to bumper. It’s why the top 15 automotive chip makers are Arm licensees, and why Arm-based silicon powers more than 65 per cent of today’s ADAS applications as well as 85 per cent of IVI applications. By delivering safe, autonomous-class compute solutions to the industry, Arm and its ecosystem are ensuring safety is not an afterthought and helping car makers earn the consumer trust required for the mass deployment of safe and fully-autonomous vehicles.

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