Cortex processor adds to automotive IP from Arm

Designed to process multiple streams of sensor data, the Arm Cortex-A65AE has been added to the Arm Automotive Enhanced IP.

The Cortex-A65AE processor delivers enhanced multi-threading capability with integrated safety through Arm’s Split Lock technology.

The processor is optimised for 7nm processes and is Arm’s first multi-threaded processor with integrated safety for handling sensor data in autonomous and high throughput needs in in vehicle infotainment (IVI) and cockpit systems.

For autonomous driving, multiple sensor inputs allow cars to view their environment, perceive what is happening, plan possible paths ahead, and deliver commands to actuators on the determined path. As more sensors are added, the requirement for multi-threaded processing increases. With data being collected at different points of the vehicle, high data throughput capability is a key part of the heterogeneous processing mix required to enable advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous applications. The Cortex-A65AE manages the high throughput requirement for gathering sensor data and can be used in lock-step mode connected to accelerators, such as machine learning (ML) or computer vision, to help process the data efficiently. This has to be done with a high level of safety capability.

In addition, more autonomy and advancing driver aids will mean that drivers will be informed through augmented reality (AR) head-up-displays, alerts and improved maps. Sensors will be able to monitor eyelid movement to detect tiredness, body temperature, vital signs and behavioural patterns to personalise the in-car experience. These capabilities require high throughput, ML processing and a lot of heterogeneous compute.

This requires a heterogeneous compute cluster. The Cortex-A65AE is a throughput focused application class core with Split-Lock to enable the highest safety integrity level with leading performance and power efficiency, claims Arm.

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32-bit MCU performance optimises motor control

Based on the third generation RXv3 CPU core, the RX66T group of microcontrollers (MCUs) improves performance, by as much as 2.5 times better than previous RX family MCUs, says Renesas Electronics Europe.

The RX66T MCUs combine the powerful RXv3 core with the strengths of the existing current RX62T and RX63T MCUs, to address the real-time performance and enhanced stability required by inverter control. The RX66T MCUs are designed for use in industrial applications in smart factory equipment, such as industrial motors, power conditioners and robots, as well as smart home appliances, including air conditioners and washing machines.

When operating at 160MHz, the RX66T MCUs achieve best-in-class performance of 928 CoreMark2, enabling more precise inverter control, reports Renesas. The MCUs can control up to four motors simultaneously, making them particularly well-suited to conventional motor control and applications requiring multi-axis motor control, such as compact industrial robots and personal robots. In addition, the RX66T’s extra processing capacity allows developers to add programs utilising embedded AI (e-AI) for motor fault detection. Such programs can detect motor faults and identify fault location in real time based on the motor’s current or vibration characteristics. The RX66T MCUs also integrate a 5V power supply that is claimed to deliver “excellent noise tolerance”.

The RX66T MCU group will accelerate the use of intelligent endpoints employing real-time e-AI performance, Renesas believes, a trend which will drive smarter home appliances and improve production efficiency in smart factories.

As devices join the IoT, motorised devices in the field will require online firmware updates throughout their life cycles. Applying e-AI for predictive failure diagnostics requires endpoint MCUs to be securely updated with learning results generated in the cloud. The RX66T MCU Group incorporates Trusted Secure IP (TSIP), which has a track record of CAVP certification3 and provides secure firmware updates and encrypted communication.

The RX66T group comprises 80 MCUs with pin counts ranging from 64 to 144 pins and on-chip flash memory sizes of 256 to 1024kbyte. Mass production has started today for the 100-pin package MCU with 256 or 512kbyte of program flash and 64kbyte of SRAM. Other MCU versions will be release over time.

Renesas is demonstrating the RX66T MCUs in Hall 10.1 – booth 130 at SPS IPC Drives, 27 to 29 November 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany.

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Software combines with self-encrypting SSD for industrial protection

Self-encrypting drives (SEDs) is industrial-grade data protection from Innovision. By employing a hardware-based encryption mechanism, located in the controller, the data is “next to uncrackable” says Innovision, and will have no impact on CPU loading.

To simplify implementing these devices, Innodisk has created iOpal, an intuitive software for SED management.

Rather than consumer-based solutions, such as software encryption to protect sensitive data, but these may have severe weaknesses, warns Innodisk. Software encryption is susceptible to cracking and other attempts to reach data, and, in addition, the encryption process will also increase CPU loading.

Innodisk’s SEDs uses 256-bit AES encryption. An internal AES-engine encrypts all data going into the device, meaning that data read directly from the NAND flash will be scrambled and unintelligible.

Implementing and managing the SED can be challenging without the right tools, advises Innodisk. TCG Opal 2.0 is set of specifications for SED management which defines how to create different ranges for different users, allowing for a system where data is shared on a strictly need-to-know basis.

iOpal moulds the detailed specifications of TCG Opal 2.0 into a user-friendly application. It comprises several key features such as data storage management, different user authorisations, and pre-boot authentication. iOpal and Innodisk’s SEDs can be used for mission-critical and heavy-loading environments, such as aerospace and server applications. The software is compatible with select form factors in the 3MG2-P, 3SE2-P, and 3MR2-P SSD series.

Three versions are available, the 3MG2-P is a 2.5-inch SSD, M.2 (S42, S80), mSATA and SATA Slim form factors, with the 3SE2-P is available as a 2.5 or 1.8-inch SSD and the 3MR2-P is available as 2.5-inch SSD.

The SED support Windows 7 and Windows 10, Linux Ubuntu and Linus Fedora.

Innodisk is a service-driven provider of flash memory, DRAM modules and embedded peripheral products for the industrial and enterprise applications. Customers are served across the embedded, aerospace and defence and cloud storage markets.

Innodisk was founded in 2005 and headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan.

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