ARM HAS REVEALED as Cortex processor dedicated to powering self-driving car systems in the form of the Cortex-A76AE.
The new processor is effectively a Cortex-A76 design with additional "automotive enhanced" features to give it the extra letters after its name.
Specifically, the processor design now rocks ARM's Split-Lock feature taken from Cortex-R processors normally used for safety-centric systems.
The Split part of Split-Lock enables the cores in the Cortex to run separately, maximising performance or handling split workloads.
The Lock part involves two cores effectively pairing up and doing the same task in parallel. This means that if one core hist a bump in its workload it will show up as a discrepancy when compared to what the other core is doing - that's acting under the provision that two cores aren't likely to fail at the same time.
If and when one of the cores heads to Borksville, the electronics on an SoC using the Cortex-A76AE will be alerted and the malfunctioning core will be switched back to a previous state where it was merrily clocking along.
The idea of this safety feature is to stop misbehaving cores from causing problems in critical software, which in the case of a driverless car could be steering control or braking, which, to state the obvious, is not something you'd want to go wrong in an autonomous car.
The rest of the 7nm Core-A76AE processor design has also been geared up for running autonomous driving systems, including boosted performance for crunching through AI algorithms. And the design allows for 64 cores to be supported on a single SoC, thereby making it good for scalable systems that require a serious dose of local compute power.
In a 16-core configuration, the Core-A76AE has a thermal design power of 15W, which should make it pretty power-efficient, which is handy for chips in embedded systems.
ARM doesn't seem to be messing around with its processor designs this year given it is working on a laptop-class processor that could take Intel on in the notebook world. µ
Slack, hack and crack
A flaw in the protocol affects iOS, macOS and Windows 10
Wig wearer has issue with non-wig-wearer