Arm creates virtual IoT chips to accelerate development


It can take years for a processor to move from design to silicon, which is why Arm is helping developers take the plunge by putting virtual models of their chip designs in the cloud. Virtual models will allow developers to write and test applications before silicon is delivered.

Called Arm Total Solutions for IoT, the project is a complete solution for Internet of Things applications and use cases. Arm says early access for developers, OEMs and service providers, along with reduced product design cycles, could speed deployments up to two years.

Arm does not make chips like Intel and AMD. It designs and licenses them to more than 800 OEMs, who are responsible for everything from onboard devices to servers. Once Arm communicates the basic chip design to its partners, they then add their own IP to differentiate themselves from the competition, which takes time.

The IoT service is built on Arm Cornerstone, a core subsystem of Arm processor designs used to start building applications. This cloud-based service, called Arm Virtual Hardware, offers a virtual model of the Cornerstone subsystem to enable software development without the need for physical silicon.

“All together on Total Solutions for IoT, [we’re] reduce the typical IoT product development schedule from five years to three years, ”said Mohamed Awad, vice president of IoT and embedded business at Arm, during a conference call.

Arm Virtual Hardware is available on the AWS Marketplace and uses Agile software development methodologies such as Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI / CD), DevOps and MLOps to IoT platforms.

“We optimize and streamline technology specifically for modern cloud development. This means that we are putting the technology in the hands of millions of software developers who previously simply wouldn’t have access to it, ”Awad said.

Amazon used Arm Virtual Hardware to test Alexa’s functionality, Awad said. “By removing physical hardware dependencies, they are able to speed up updates and take advantage of the cloud-based CI / CD and their support for over 150 different Alexa-enabled devices,” he said. -he declares.

The Centauri project provides reference designs

Arm is also driving the standardization of IoT design with the launch of the Centauri project, which provides device and platform standards and reference implementations for device startup, security, and integration into the cloud for the Cortex-M SoC product line.

Arm has a similar project, called Project Cassini, for its Cortex-A processors. Cortex-A is Arm’s top-of-the-line range, used in server and AI / heavy compute tasks, while the Cortex-M is intended for less complex and less demanding applications.

The Centauri Project APIs include support for PSA Certified and Open-CMSIS-CDI, which are open standards for cloud-to-device communication, so that different cloud solutions can easily interact.

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Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.


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