Arm unveils new Cortex CPU built for autonomous applications

The new Cortex-A78AE CPU is Arm's answer for the automotive and industrial sector's next-gen compute needs.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Arm on Tuesday unveiled a new suite of intellectual property that promises to bring greater compute performance and efficiency for automotive and industrial automation systems. The new products include the Cortex-A78AE CPU, the Mali-G78 GPU, the Mali-G78AE GPU and the Mali-C71AE ISP. 

The new Cortex-A78AE CPU is Arm's answer for the automotive and industrial sector's next-gen compute needs. Arm said the CPU is its highest performance safety capable processor, allowing enterprises to run complex workloads for autonomous applications such as mobile robotics and driverless transportation.

The CPU's micro-architecture was revamped on a number of fronts and now offers 50% higher bandwidth than the previous generation and a 30% performance uplift compared to its predecessor, according to Arm.

"Autonomy has the potential to improve every aspect of our lives, but only if built on a safe and secure computing foundation," said Chet Babla, VP of Automotive and IoT Line of Business at Arm. "As autonomous decision-making becomes more pervasive, Arm has designed a unique suite of technology that prioritizes safety while delivering highly scalable, power efficient compute to enable autonomous decision-making across new automotive and industrial opportunities."

Also: Arm processors: Everything you need to know

Meanwhile, Arm said the new Mali-G78AE is the company's first GPU that is designed to provide functional safety in autonomous systems. According to Arm, the G78AE delivers heterogenous compute to safety-critical autonomous applications through a new Flexible Partitioning approach to autonomous GPU workloads.

For example, with the Mali-G78AE GPU, "an infotainment system, an instrument cluster with ASIL B requirements and a driver monitoring system can all run concurrently and independently with hardware separation within an automotive application," Arm said.

The Mali-C71AE is also focused on safety within vision applications across automotive and industrial. The ISP can support for four real time cameras, or 16 buffered cameras, and delivers a 1.2 giga pixel per second throughput.

Arm's latest batch of IP comes just weeks after Nvidia announced a deal to acquire Arm from its parent company, Tokyo-based Softbank Group, in a cash and stock exchange valued at $40 billion. The deal is pending regulatory review in the European Union, United States, Japan, and China, in separate processes that could take as long as 18 months to conclude.

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