More than 50 members join SOAFEE to enable the software-defined vehicle of the future

By Dipti Vachani, SVP & GM Automotive

October 25, 2022 — The challenges and opportunities facing our developer community are top of mind as we kick off Arm DevSummit 2022 – our most important development event of the year. The future of the automobile is software-defined, but with it come new levels of complexity. Today, 30,000 developers focus on automotive-related software, including the 100 million lines of code that today’s advanced vehicles require. In the future, fully autonomous vehicles are expected to have at least half a billion lines of code. And by 2030, there will be over 250,000 automotive software developers. Traditional design techniques cannot evolve to meet the increasing software demands in our vehicles.

This is why we launched SOAFEE last year, an open standards-based architecture for the software-defined vehicle that will bring modern software development techniques into the automotive world. SOAFEE creates an opportunity for the traditional automotive industry and the software development community to come together and share their expertise, technologies and products as we define the future of the software-defined vehicle.

I am proud to share that since its launch, SOAFEE has quadrupled the number of its members to more than 50 members across the automotive supply chain, including silicon vendors, software vendors, system integrators, cloud service providers, OEMs, and Tier 1s — and it continues to grow every week. This rapid growth is proof of how seriously the automotive industry is taking the move to software definition and the opportunities it presents. When we launched SOAFEE, we sought to solve three problems: enabling software reuse across many silicon solutions, easy deployment of software from the cloud to the edge, and a “left shift” allowing developers to start the software development earlier and deploy updates after manufacturing. In just one year, we have made significant progress toward addressing these issues:

  • SOAFEE architecture now defined: Software reuse is key to solving the software-defined vehicle complexity challenge, and consistency is key to defining the base architecture from which to build. The first version of the SOAFEE architecture is now defined and documented by the GIS; it seeks to reuse existing open standards for various components, extending those standards as needed to meet the mixed-criticality requirements of automotive applications so that any software-defined function in a vehicle can use the same development methodologies.
  • Developing cloud applications at the edge: The SOAFEE SIG works with cloud service providers to bring cloud-native methodologies to the automotive world by activation of SOAFEE-based plans. These blueprints are specific to applications such as autonomous driving, ADAS and infotainment and this is done by hosting these workloads in the cloud and bringing them to the edge using a reference implementation SOAFEE or a commercial offer in conformity with SOAFEE. GIS will release the first SOAFEE plan, showcasing the development of an autonomous driving application using SOAFEE, later in 2022.
  • The first SOAFEE open source reference implementation: The SOAFEE Special Interest Group (SIG) has successfully released the first open source reference implementation, allowing developers to get started now by showcasing a containerized delivery of a software-defined workload using the Autoware.auto self-driving application as an example. The second release of the SOAFEE reference implementation is expected by the end of 2022. To further enable collaboration and expand a code-based community around SOAFEE, members like Linaro are now working to build a collaborative infrastructure around these reference software implementations and hardware platforms, called Integration Labs – more to come soon!

The future of automotive is software-defined and built on Arm

Much has changed since the days when I drove my sky blue 1978 Buick Century. Software is now ubiquitous in our vehicles and is creating challenges for the industry that we must address by rethinking and modernizing our approach to development. The good news is that we know how to do this. Bigger than the challenge the software creates is the opportunity to innovate new approaches to safety, durability and comfort – and that’s directly in the sights of Arm and our ecosystem as we can build on years of automotive, IoT, cloud and mobile device market revolution. SOAFEE is a key pillar of this journey, and I look forward to seeing more as we continue to define the vehicles of the future, built on Arm.

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Arm technology defines the future of computing. Our energy-efficient processor designs and software platforms have enabled advanced computing in more than 230 billion chips, and our technologies securely power products ranging from sensors to smartphones and supercomputers. With more than 1,000 technology partners, we enable artificial intelligence to work everywhere, and in cybersecurity, we lay the foundation for trust in the digital world – from chip to cloud. The future is built on Arm.