Arm has announced Scalable Open Architecture for Embedded Edge (SOAFEE) – a new software architecture and open-source reference implementation – and two new reference hardware platforms designed to accelerate the development of software-defined vehicles.

Through SOAFEE, Arm is delivering critical resources to accelerate the automotive industry’s software-defined future, with support from leading industry players including AWS, Continental, CARIAD and more.

SOAFEE is the result of a collaboration between OEMs, system integrators, semiconductor, software, and cloud technology leaders aimed at defining a new open-standards-based architecture for the software-defined vehicle. It builds on Arm’s previous initiatives to enable cloud concepts, such as container orchestration, with automotive functional safety and in real-time. SOAFEE’s reference implementation (an implementation of the architecture defined by Special Interest Group of these leaders) will be free on launch – with an initial version of it already available for developers. It will be supplied as an open-source software aimed at allowing broad prototyping, workload exploration and early development. Arm is also working with leading commercial solutions providers to maximize compatibility and provide OEMs with a faster route to functionally safe designs.

In partnership with ADLink, Arm is also developing a new SystemReady-compatible development platform to help automotive OEMs accelerate time-to-market. The AVA Developer Platform is a 32-core scalable compute system built for lab-based development and is capable of running autonomous workloads. It allows developers to leverage accelerator hardware to complement high-performance CPUs. Powered by Arm Neoverse-based Ampere Altra cores, the platform will allow workload exploration and development on Arm-based silicon using SOAFEE’s reference software stack for applications such as cockpit, ADAS, powertrain, and autonomous driving. The development platform is expected to be available from Q4 2021 and will be comprised of a developer workstation with a rugged in-vehicle product.

In addition to AVA, Arm announced AVA-AP1 – an 80-core high-performance version of its platform built for in-vehicle prototyping and testing. These additional cores enhance CPU performance and enable further input / output (IO) capabilities. It also provides developers with a safety processor to enable in-vehicle execution using real sensors.

SOAFEE and AVA will both provide a variety of applications within automotive. For customers, software-defined functionality will deliver new and secure in-vehicle experiences and features. Likewise, it will unlock new revenue streams and customer engagement opportunities for automakers, Tier 1 suppliers, software vendors and cloud service providers.