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A new automotive OS

John Day

John Day

Posted Nov 24, 2009

News usually travels pretty fast on the Internet. Someone puts out a press release and within minutes it’s posted on dozens of sites. Not last week, though, for one story in particular, and it looks to me like a good one.

Delphi, Geensys, and CEA (the French Atomic Energy Commission) announced the formation of a consortium to promote the PharOS, an operating system and tool chain that meets ISO 26262 requirements, is compatible with AUTOSAR, and promises to maintain the integrity of individual software modules while reducing the cost of software integration in automotive electrical and electronic systems designs.

The consortium notes that body computers integrate software blocks from multiple suppliers, and it’s important to protect software code. With the deployment of AUTOSAR in body computers, safety-and non-safety-related software components can coexist, so it’s also important to ensure that the failure of a non-safety related component will not impact the function of safety features.

PharOS, consortium members say, is a deterministic operating system with high-level built-in protection that is key to successful integration of multiple software blocks. How? In the past, software blocks had to be adapted to a specific electronic control unit (ECU), but PharOS allows integration of prewritten software blocks without requiring access to the code, which should help protect each supplier’s intellectual property. The PharOS tool chain completes data synchronization, which reduces development time and cost.

And by helping to ensure that the failure of a non-safety related component will not impact the function of safety features, PharOS should allow automakers to integrate more features into a single ECU while maintaining the integrity of individual software modules.

Those seem like worthy benefits. The consortium says a development program is underway with a European vehicle manufacturer (Renault?), and it plans to introduce PharOS in a body computer as early as 2013. That should give the consortium time to spread the word about PharOS.

What do you know about PharOS?


Renault, PharOS, Automotive Electrical and Electronic Systems Design, Automotive Body Computers, Geensys, ISO 26262, CEA, Delphi

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News ( to provide news and feature coverage of the automotive electronics industry. Earlier he wrote for Auto Electronics magazine, Auto E-lectronics, EE Times, and other business and engineering publications. Visit John Day

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