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Arm-backed automotive project marks milestone in software-defined vehicle development

Misha Lu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

The software development framework Scalable Open Architecture for Embedded Edge (SOAFEE), launched in September 2021 with the backing of Arm, has seen its members quadrupled to more than 50 as it marks the anniversary of its foundation. As automotives become increasingly software-defined, SOAFEE sees members from across the automotive supply chain, including silicon vendors, software providers, system integrators, OEMs, cloud service providers and tier ones.

According to Arm, automotive developers are increasingly challenged by the growing code complexity needed by Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), in-vehicle infotainment, electrified powertrains and autonomy, changing how software is being developed, deployed and managed. As a result, cloud-native development is deemed more applicable to automotive development, thanks to the reductions in cost, time and complexity it enables.

In this context, it is necessary to provide a standardized framework that can enhance proven cloud-native technologies to deal with real-time and safety requirement of automotive development. Arm observes that the auto sector is at a critical inflection point that sees its supply chain undergoing redefinition, and see SOAFEE the key to deliver the standards, software, developer resources and specialized processing platforms to meet the particular needs of auto development.

According to Dipti Vachani, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Arm's Automotive and IoT lines of business, the first version of the SOAFEE architecture has already been defined and documented. The architecture seeks to reuse existing open standards for various components and extend them to meet mixed-criticality requirements, so any software-defined function in a vehicle can use the same development technologies. In addition, the first SOAFEE open-source reference implementation has been released as well, with the second release due by the end of 2022, Vachani indicated.

Currently, the SOAFEE Special Interest Group is also working with cloud service providers to bring cloud-native methodologies to vehicle development applications. SOAFEE-based blueprints specific to different domain-specific applications, such as ADAS and infotainment, will enable this transition. According to Arm, the first SOAFEE blueprint showcasing the development of autonomous driving will be released later in 2022.

Apart from Arm, the governing body of SOAFEE includes prominent industry players like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Bosch, Continental and Volkswagen subsidiary Cariad. Voting members of SOAFEE include AMD, Synopsys, Panasonic Automotive, LG Electronics and the Foxconn-initiated MIH Consortium.