Green Hills looks to ARM78AE for safety critical designs

Green Hills looks to ARM78AE for safety critical designs

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Green Hills Software (GHS) has developed working prototypes for the latest ARM Cortex-A78AE core to support early adopters for use in high-performance safety critical electronic systems.

The Cortex-A78AE was announced in September as ARM’s highest performance safety-capable CPU, offering the ability to run different, complex workloads for autonomous applications such as mobile robotics and driverless transportation.

The core delivers a 30 percent higher performance compared to its predecessor and supports features to achieve the relevant automotive and industrial functional safety standards, ISO 26262 and IEC 61508 for applications up to ASIL D/SIL 3, including Split-Lock lock step, pointer authentication, enhanced virtualisation, System Ready portability and planned software test libraries (STLs).

The core uses a macro-operation cache, a structure designed to hold decoded instructions that decouple the fetch engines from the execution enabling dynamic code sequence optimization. This requires significant skills in porting software such as an RTOS.  

GHS has ported the Integrity real time operating system (RTOS) C/C++ development tools  to the core, which is designed for complex and mission-critical functions in automated driving and critical industrial systems.

The amount of software controlling critical systems is rising – from cars to utility grids to aircraft – and is being consolidated from smaller processors onto more centralised high-performance units. ARM Cortex-A5x and Cortex-A7x-based SoCs with the Integrity RTOS and virtualisation are widely deployed in safety and security-critical systems.

The separation kernel technology in Integrity is certified at the highest levels of safety and security standards including Automotive (ISO 26262 ASIL D), Industrial (IEC 61508 SIL 3), Railway (EN 50128 SIL 4) and airborne systems (DO-178C DAL A). The automotive cybersecurity ISO 21434 is also being adopted. Integrity secure virtualisation enables running multiple guest operating systems such as Linux in certified secure partitions. For development, the Multi debugger enables unified debugging and analysis across multiple cores on complex Cortex-A78AE-based SoCs and executes programs forward or backward in time.

“The future of autonomous machines requires a high-performance processor and the ARM Cortex-A78AE has been designed from the ground up for handling the most complex safety-critical applications,” said John Heinlein, VP of automotive partnerships, Automotive and IoT Line of Business, Arm. “ARM’s partnership with Green Hills Software to provide early availability to mature base software and development tools accelerates the journey to Arm-based automated driving and critical industrial systems.”

“Green Hills Software’s decades of cross-industry proven safety and security solutions when combined with ARM’s purpose-built high-performance Cortex-A78AE multicore safety SoC, deliver the ability to tame system design complexities possible with this next-generation safety SoC,” said Dan Mender, VP of business development, Green Hills Software.

Prototypes of Integrity, Multi and the Green Hills Probe are available today on the Arm Neoverse N1 SDP board.

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