ARM has released a new microprocessor designed for real-time applications where safety is critical such as automotive, robotics and healthcare.
The new processor, called the Cortex R-52, has been in development for five years and is based on the ARMv8-R architecture.
It will meet safety standards such as IEC 61508 SIL 3 and ISO 26262 ASIL D, which should enable adoption by manufacturers of autonomous cars and surgical robots.
James McNiven, general manager for CPU and media processing groups at ARM, explained that the new processor was "designed from the ground up" with safety as the number one focus.
"We are helping partners to meet particular market opportunities, especially in fully autonomous vehicles and robotics systems where specific functionality is required for safety-critical tasks," he said.
"By documenting the strict development process, fault modelling and supporting software isolation, ARM is enabling a faster route to market for partners addressing these applications."
Among the more visible applications of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) is the arrival of driverless cars and robots that assist surgeons with very delicate operations where human hands are too imprecise to operate effectively.
These IoT applications, where machine-human interaction could cause injury or death, are growing in number and importance.
Automobiles are becoming increasingly dependent on software to optimise performance and increasingly to make autonomous decisions, but one of the key problems holding back developments such as driverless cars is concern over how easily they can be hacked and the consequences of software bugs.
Chip manufacturers see the safety-critical processor as an important growth market as the IoT moves more into the consumer realm and machine-human interaction becomes increasingly common.
Intel acquired Yogitech in April, an IoT startup focused on functional security for semiconductors. Yogitech's focus up until this point has been on advanced driver assistance systems, and robotic and autonomous machines.
Formerly the UK's biggest technology firm, ARM was recently acquired by Japan's SoftBank Group for £24.3bn.
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