I have been to Embedded World in Nuremberg for the past 5 years, and this was the busiest I have seen it. New themes such as IoT (Internet of Things) were very evident, and it was clear that many software and hardware suppliers attending Embedded World are building their market strategies around these themes. In reality though, engineers want the detail. How does it actually work, what do I need to include it in my design? If your “Thing” is a car, there are very well defined ways to get it connected to other things, and it was the connectivity solution suppliers who had the busiest booths, whether hardware or software.
At the hardware level, it starts with supporting a range of communication technologies : Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC in the wireless domain, and connectivity standards such as CAN and Ethernet. These domains can no longer be treated in isolation – data from a vehicle CAN data bus for example needs to be available to new information consumers in the vehicle, such as Infotainment Systems and Digital Instrument Clusters. On the Mentor Graphics booth we show-cased a multi-core TI J6 platform that was hosting both an AUTOSAR 4.03 software ECU stack and a GENIVI 5.0 Linux run-time system, with secure communication between the two. The J6 SoC also has the ability to accept a twisted pair CAN bus data feed at a hardware level, so we could pass real time vehicle information into the combined system setup. For the consumer, this was presented back using a Qt 5.0 graphical user-interface as part of the J6 SoC.
The requirement to consolidate in-vehicle sub-subsystems onto highly-capable multi-core silicon platforms, whilst maintaining secure separation, is an emerging trend in automotive design. It can help to reduce ECU cost and wire harness complexity, as well as take advantage of industry consortium development efforts such as GENIVI Linux and AUTOSAR.
A video of the AUTOSAR Instrument Cluster and GENIVI Infotainment demonstration is available to view here: