Cambridge, UK, September 15, 2021 – Arm, in collaboration with leaders across the automotive supply chain, today announced it is delivering a new software architecture and reference implementation, Scalable Open Architecture for Embedded Edge (SOAFEE), and two new reference hardware platforms to accelerate the software-defined future of automotive.
As vehicle architectures and capabilities evolve, automotive developers today are challenged by the increasing code complexity needed to deliver Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), In-vehicle Infotainment systems (IVI), electrified powertrains, and autonomy. To meet these evolving consumer demands, computing must become more centralized, and software is increasingly critical to allowing this. The resulting changes to how software is being developed, deployed, and managed means that cloud-native development, best known for driving reductions in cost, time and complexity across the cloud infrastructure industry, is more applicable to automotive development than ever before.
However, to address the software-defined needs of cars today quickly and seamlessly, it is imperative to deliver a standardized framework that enhances proven cloud-native technologies that work at scale with the real-time and safety features required in automotive applications. This same framework can also benefit other real-time and safety-critical use cases such as robotics and industrial automation.
“The automotive sector is at a critical inflection point and the supply chain – from IP design to carmakers – is being re-examined and redefined,” said Chet Babla, vice president of automotive, Automotive and IoT Line of Business at Arm. “The industry has asked Arm and its ecosystem to accelerate the vision for a software-defined future. By virtue of Arm’s unique position in the supply chain, we’re leading a collaborative effort that is delivering the standards, software, developer resources and specialized processing platforms designed for the safety and real-time needs of automotive applications.”
Delivering a roadmap for success
SOAFEE is the result of automakers, system integrators, semiconductor, software, and cloud technology leaders coming together to define a new open-standards-based architecture for the software-defined vehicle. In addition, the SOAFEE reference implementation, an implementation of the architecture defined by a Special Interest Group (SIG) of these leaders, will be free open-source software aimed at allowing broad prototyping, workload exploration and early development. Arm is working with leading commercial solutions providers to maximize compatibility and provide a faster route to functionally-safe designs.
Based on the success of Project Cassini and SystemReady from Arm, which enable a standards-based cloud-native experience at the edge, SOAFEE now builds on these initiatives to enable cloud concepts like container orchestration with automotive functional safety and in real-time – a first in the industry. An initial release of the SOAFEE collateral and reference implementation is available to download now here.
Unlocking critical development time today
The development timeline for new automotive applications needs to be as fast and seamless as possible. The immediate availability of SOAFEE will empower cloud-based developers to apply their expertise and contribute to the future of mobility, built on Arm technology.
“Major technology leaps are transforming vehicle electronics and software-architecture requirements, and driving the industry to a software-centric future. At AWS, we’re committed to innovation with key industry players like Arm to help solve complex challenges for delivering Software-Defined Vehicles with a service-oriented architecture,” said Bill Foy, Director, Worldwide Automotive Business Development at AWS. “In collaboration with Arm, and AWS’s Arm-based AWS Graviton2 instances, we can bring significant cost savings, and make it possible to run applications on the same architecture in the cloud and at the automotive edge to simplify developer workflow.”
In partnership with ADLink, Arm is delivering unconstrained performance on a new SystemReady-compatible development platform to help accelerate time-to-market. The platform, powered by Arm Neoverse-based Ampere Altra cores, will allow workload exploration and development on Arm-based silicon using the SOAFEE reference software stack for applications such as cockpit, ADAS, powertrain and autonomous driving. The development platform is comprised of a developer workstation plus a rugged in-vehicle product, and both are available for pre-order here, with general availability expected in Q4 2021.
- The AVA Developer Platform is a high-performance, 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 central processing units (CPUs).
- For in-vehicle prototyping and testing, the high-performance AVA-AP1 has 80 cores for increased CPU performance, extra input / output (IO) capabilities and includes a safety processor to enable in-vehicle execution using real sensors.
A unique position to lead the software-defined revolution, supported by industry leaders
Riclef Schmidt-Clausen, Senior Vice President, Head of Intelligent Cockpit and Body at CARIAD, a Volkswagen Group Company said, “The software-defined car is coming much sooner than anticipated and the infrastructure needed for this is being developed right now, however the industry faces some macro challenges. These include enabling software portability across a wide range of hardware platforms and building the cloud-native software infrastructure to ensure seamless deployment of applications developed in the cloud to a heterogeneous edge platform. As the pioneers of this new evolution, CARIAD and Arm are working closely together to solve key technical challenges and lay a strong foundation for the software-defined future.”
Software-defined functionality is a growing trend in many sectors, and the combined solution of SOAFEE and the new development platform will have applicability in other areas including robotics in medicine, manufacturing, and logistics. For automotive, software-defined functionality will deliver safe, new in-vehicle experiences and features that meet consumers demands and expectations, and crucially will unlock new revenue streams and customer engagement opportunities for automakers, tier ones, software vendors and cloud service providers.
In addition to support from AWS, ADLink, Ampere and CARIAD, the initiatives have received broad support from leaders across the supply chain including Apex.AI, AutoCore, Capgemini Engineering, Continental, Green Hills Software, Linaro, Marvell, MIH Consortium, Red Hat, SUSE, Tier IV, Woven Planet, Zing Robotics and others. The industry turned to Arm due to its unique position at the intersection of hardware and software. Arm and its ecosystem have answered by delivering the resources to bring safety and real-time aware cloud-native paradigms to automotive development, making the software-defined car a reality.
Supporting Partner Quotes
“The acceleration towards a software-defined future for automakers requires development platforms that enable exploration of tomorrow’s automotive compute platforms. Our collaboration with Arm on their reference hardware platform for SOAFEE, built on the requisite high-performance Arm-based silicon delivers that with criticality and security. We’re excited about the potential for innovation in automotive on these unconstrained 32 and 80 core hardware platforms.” - Joe Speed, Field CTO, Global Partners, ADLINK Technology
“The future of software-defined vehicles relies on cloud-native development paradigms. Ampere® Altra® and Ampere® Altra Max™ power high-performance cloud-native compute platforms that are opening new doors for automotive developers to seamlessly move workloads between the Arm-powered cloud and edge. These end-to-end Ampere Platforms combined with open-source frameworks like SOAFEE accelerate technology development cycles dramatically. This will enable developers to address the future needs of the cloud-native autonomous vehicle market faster than ever before.” - Jeff Wittich, Chief Product Officer, Ampere Computing
"At Apex.AI, we make the Vehicle OS for the automotive industry to develop and deploy safety-critical software. SOAFEE will enable cloud-native software development to accelerate software-defined functionality while addressing the safety and real-time requirements of the car, and we are proud to be working with Arm on this initiative." - Sanjay Krishnan, VP of Product, Apex.AI
“To successfully position themselves in an evolving landscape, automotive OEMs, suppliers and Tier 1s are taking automotive software to the next level. Arm’s SOAFEE initiative sets a clear direction for developers with a cloud-native reference architecture to code entertainment and driving features, improve AI safety or add security services. As the auto industry changes because of the growing importance of software engineering, Capgemini intends to work with Arm and its hardware and software ecosystem to drive value in product development.” - Walid Negm, EVP & Chief Research & Innovation Officer, Capgemini Engineering
“Continental is working closely with Arm on their SOAFEE and reference hardware ecosystem initiatives to adopt and populate cloud-native software engineering and technologies within the automotive domain. Together with the Continental Automotive Edge (CAEdge) platform the journey towards an IoT mobility ecosystem and software-defined vehicles is accelerated significantly.” – Michael Huelsewies, SVP and head of architecture and software, Continental
Green Hills Software
“As the leader in safe and secure automotive software, with hundreds of millions of vehicles using our technologies, Green Hills Software values an open standards-based framework for reducing the complexity and porting effort in foundational software for mixed-criticality automotive systems. Through the improved software-portability this delivers, we can help our OEM and Tier 1 customers to more quickly and efficiently bring new software-defined vehicles to market.” - Dan Mender, Vice President of Business Development, Green Hills Software
“Linaro has driven collaborative software innovation in the Arm ecosystem for over ten years and we believe the advancement of the software-defined vehicle is a huge opportunity for both users and automotive industry developers alike. We are delighted to work with Arm and our members on delivering the foundational technologies that enable the first SOAFEE reference implementations." - Andrea Gallo, Vice President of Business Development, Linaro
“It is paramount that the cloud, carrier networks and vehicles all work seamlessly together to enable smart, software-defined vehicles. With SOAFEE, Arm and our ecosystem offer an open-standards common framework that will enable industry innovators to develop scalable, flexible, and best-in-class car to cloud services and solutions.” – Will Chu, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Automotive BU, Marvell
“At MIH, we are creating an open EV ecosystem that promotes collaboration in the mobility industry. MIH is powered by the members, like Arm, in our Open EV Alliance. With collective wisdom, we develop reference designs and standards resulting in a lower barrier to entry that drives the growth of the overall EV market. The SOAFEE initiative led by Arm shares a similar vision and goal as they are also taking an open approach to foster collaboration. The cloud-native mechanisms in SOAFEE plays a critical role in the EVKit framework that we are developing in MIH that would help reduce development effort. We’re also involved the reference hardware platforms to accelerate our development.” – William Wei, CTO, MIH Consortium
“Red Hat believes that open hybrid cloud technologies will enable the future of the automotive industry, driven and defined by software. To accomplish this, we have engaged with many partners, including Arm, and are pleased to further this collaboration as part of the SOAFEE initiative. We look forward to helping SOAFEE apply Linux-based open source and cloud-native approaches to automotive applications as they are developed and tested on standardized prototyping solutions using Arm reference hardware.” – Francis Chow, Vice President, In-vehicle Operating System, Red Hat
"Cloud-native technologies offer huge potential for the automotive industry. These technologies will not only provide new experiences and new services, but also access to a rapidly expanding ecosystem from innovative partners. We’re excited to join Arm in the SOAFEE initiative, to bring the expertise of SUSE in operating systems and container management to the reinvention of the software-defined car."– Alan Clark, Office of the CTO, SUSE
“Woven Planet is developing its Arene platform to enable software-first vehicle development, providing open vehicle programming to everyone without compromising safety. As the leading hardware designer, Arm is uniquely positioned to bring together vehicle manufacturers who will in turn shape a common future for software-first development which targets Arm’s hardware ecosystem. Woven Planet is thrilled to join the SOAFEE program because it will enable tight integration between vehicle development and the cloud, lowering the barrier to entry for innovation, and allowing coders to invent in new and exciting ways.” - JF Bastien, Chief Architect, Woven Planet
“Zing Robotics’ electric, autonomous vehicle platform has a range of applications, from aviation to industrial to delivery. The transformative power of the platform comes from its software-defined capabilities, which is why we’re excited to be working with Arm on their SOAFEE software and reference hardware initiatives. The platform’s capabilities require enormous processing power and fail-safe design, so cloud-native technologies like Arm’s solutions are a great fit for us. Arm’s development hardware will be at the core of Zing’s autonomous workforce platform. “ – Brent Shedd, CEO, Zing Robotics
Arm technology is at the heart of a computing and data revolution that is transforming the way people live and businesses operate. Our energy-efficient processor designs and software platforms have enabled advanced computing in more than 190 billion chips and our technologies securely power products from the sensor to the smartphone and the supercomputer. Together with 1,000+ technology partners we are at the forefront of designing, securing and managing all areas of AI-enhanced connected compute from the chip to the cloud.