Reference platform for virtual automotive ECUs

May 14, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Reference platform virtualizes telematics systems
In a joint effort, software vendors OpenSynergy and Mobica, connectivity technology provider Actia and chipmaker NXP have developed a reference platform for ha hypervisor-based Telematics Control Unit (TCU). By means of virtualization, the platform enables consolidation of multiple telematics applications with different safety and security requirements on a single TCU.

A Telematics Control Unit (TCU) is an embedded system connecting the vehicle’s external and internal world. Typical applications include services such as eCall crash notification, stolen vehicle tracking and wireless access point as well as vehicle data exchange for diagnostic purposes. In many cases, this necessitates state of the art security. Carmakers also use TCUs for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) or vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), collectively referred to as V2X. Such applications introduce tough requirements in terms of functional safety. TCUs are also expected to play a key role in autonomous driving.

In the reference design at hand, OpenSynergy‘s virtualization platform Coqos hypervisor SDK runs on a telematics reference hardware from Actia, a manufacturer of electronics for embedded system management. The hardware is based on the i.MX 8QuadXPlus applications processor from NXP. This multicore SoC, in turn, SoC is part of NXP’s i.MX 8X applications processor family with specific features to support safety-certifiable and efficient performance functions. The platform hosts multiple virtual machines (VMs) running TCU applications, provided also by Actia. The software services company Mobica supported the integration work with its specialized know-how. The reference platform proves resilience on key characteristics of a hypervisor-based TCU, such as freedom from interference, safety, performance, stability, power management and early availability.

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