The Zone-ECU Virtualization Solution Platform, says the company, enables customers to adopt new electrical-electronic (E/E) architectures using MCU-based zone ECUs supporting multiple logical ECUs on one physical ECU. Migration to the new platform maximizes legacy reuse with minimum development effort to leverage gains in lower power consumption and reduced wiring harness weight and complexity in the vehicle.
The ECU virtualization solution platform combines the company’s RH850/U2x MCUs together with ETAS’ RTA-HVR software, a hypervisor designed for microcontrollers with hardware virtualization support. This platform provides a ready-to-use demonstrator environment comprising pre-configured embedded software, tools and an interactive demonstrator environment for RH850/U2x MCUs, allowing automotive customers to explore design choices for the development for their individual Zone-ECU project.
“The transition to a zone architecture increases the design burden by changing the functional role assignments between the central ECU and each zone ECU,” says Satoshi Yoshida, Senior Director, Automotive Digital Products Marketing Division at Renesas. “In addition to the high performance provided by the RH850/U2x MCUs, I am confident that this new ECU Virtualization Solution Platform will give our customers the advantage of easy, fast development of advanced systems with built-in safety and security features.”
Available as part of the solution is the RH850/U2x Zone-ECU Starter Kit, which provides a “ready-to-run” configuration of RTA-HVR showcasing different VM configurations (single core, multi-core and multi-VM per core). Guest software images are provided for each of the configured VMs, including bare metal and guest images using ETAS’s RTA-CAR Classic AUTOSAR solution. It offers example virtual devices for peripheral sharing and virtual inter-VM networking (a “virtual CAN”).
In addition, a PC-hosted application enables users to observe and interact with the VMs at runtime. The PC application supports numerous actions including:
- Triggering faults in the system at runtime to explore VM behaviour during memory violations, timing overruns etc.
- Updating one VM while the other VMs are running using the no-wait OTA capabilities of the RH850/U2x.
- Exploring the performance impact of alternative VM switching mechanisms
- Enabling developers to see the impact of HW QoS features
The ECU Virtualization Software Platform, including the RH850/U2x Zone-ECU Starter Kit, is available from Renesas starting from the end of May.