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10 October, 2019 - 11:21 By Kate Sweeney

New consortium to accelerate autonomous vehicle progress

Cambridge supechip company Arm is a key figure in a new global consortium of power players to advance autonomous vehicle technology. Partners include General Motors, Toyota, DENSO, Continental, Bosch, NXP and Nvidia.

Dipti Vachani, senior vice president and general manager, Automotive and IoT Line of Business at Arm revealed the initiative at Arm TechCon in San Jose this week.

The main objective is to accelerate the delivery of safer and affordable autonomous vehicles at scale. 

Vachani, said: “Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are already saving lives of drivers, passengers and pedestrians around the world and the dream of self-driving vehicles now seems to be within our capabilities, bringing with it the potential for safer roads, more accessible mobility for all, and more sustainable cities.

“But delivering autonomous vehicles is not something that one company can do on its own – it requires collaboration at an industry level. This significant new initiative takes us one step closer to this goal.

“Mobility will play a critical role in addressing some of the most pressing challenges society faces globally today, from urbanisation and an ageing population to higher levels of pollution and congestion. 

“Technology is evolving to help to overcome these challenges and new approaches to transport are emerging, spurred by innovation in autonomy, electrification, smart infrastructure, shared services and connectivity.”

The company also unveiled Arm Total Compute at Techcon 2019. Arm’s advanced, energy-efficient processor designs have enabled intelligent computing in more than 150 billion chips and its technologies now securely power products from the sensor to the smartphone and the supercomputer. 

In combination with its IoT device, connectivity and data management platform, Arm also enables customers with powerful and actionable business insights that are generating new value from their connected devices and data. 

Together with 1,000+ technology partners Arm is at the forefront of designing, securing and managing all areas of compute from the chip to the cloud.

Ian Smythe, vice president of marketing, Client Line of Business said: “Our industry is reaching a pivotal crossroads, specifically as we try to solve a significant integration challenge: individual IP and fragmented solutions are hard to optimise. 

“If we are to take advantage of the enormous future technology opportunities, we need to put use cases, consumer experiences, and the needs of the ecosystem at the heart of our IP design.

“There will be a range of elements involved in any Total Compute solution, whether it’s for a VR headset or a wearable, a smartphone or a DTV. Our aim is to provide the foundation of the future compute platform and with a Total Compute approach, we will simplify security, improve performance and efficiency, and give developers more access to performance throughout the Arm ecosystem, ultimately delivering true digital immersion.”

Smythe unveiled an expanded partnership with Unity Technologies. The companies will work together to further optimise performance on Arm-based SoCs, CPUs, and GPUs allowing developers to spend more time creating new, immersive content. 

Smythe said: “With 70 per cent of VR content development today happening in Unity, this is a massive win for the entire ecosystem and key to our future success.” Security enhancements are a key plank of what Arm and Unity are bidding to achieve.

Smythe promised a paradigm shift in thinking. “We are moving from a single product evolution focus to a use-case and experience-driven system solution by optimising within and across IP, software, and tools to provide a secure foundation and deliver the performance required for the complex compute challenges of tomorrow’s workloads.”

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