Software drives forward integrated cockpit for connected cars

Renesas Electronics has announced the R-Car Virtualization software support package, claimed to enable easier development of hypervisors for the R-Car automotive system on chip (SoC).

The R-Car virtualisation support package includes – free of charge – both the R-Car hypervisor development guide document and sample software for use as reference by software vendors who develop the embedded hypervisors required for integrated cockpits and connected car applications. A hypervisor is a virtualisation operating system (OS) that allows multiple guest OS, such as Linux, Android, and various real-time OS (RTOS), to run independently on a single chip. Renesas announced the RCarhypervisor in April of 2017 and the new R-Car virtualisation support package was developed to help software vendors accelerate their development of R-Car hypervisors, explains Renesas.

As more and more R-Car hypervisors become available from software vendors, OEM and Tier 1 companies will have a wider choice of hypervisor options and will be able to select an optimal hypervisor for the combination of the guest OS to be run, and for the system of meter cluster and cloud services used. This will increase the flexibility of integrated cockpit system and connected car development and make development faster, predicts the company.

The third-generation R-Car SoCs were designed assuming that they would be used with a hypervisor. The Arm CPU cores, graphics cores, video/audio IP and other functions include virtualisation functions. Originally, for software vendors to make use of these functions, they would have had to understand both the R-Car hardware manuals and the R-Car virtualisation functions and start by looking into how to implement a hypervisor. Now, by following development guides in the R-Car virtualisation support package, software vendors can benefit from these functions and the advanced features of R-Car, together with sample software used as a reference to support rapid development.

Green Hills Software’s Integrity RTOS with Multivisor secure virtualisation, for example, is built on Renesas’ R-Car SoC, while the COQOS Hypervisor software development kit, based on OpenSynergy’s Type-1 hypervisor, uses the hardware virtualisation functions of the R-Car SoC and extends this with key features, such as shared display. The SDK with a cockpit controller use case supporting ASIL-B safety requirements will go into mass production by 2019.

By growing its ecosystem with partner companies, including hypervisor vendors, Renesas plans to further expand its line-up of the virtualisation package, a combination of a hypervisor and guest OS, and aims to lead the deployment of virtualisation into vehicles.

The R-Car Virtualisation support package is scheduled to be available from July 2018.

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