NXP in major software defined vehicle SDV push

NXP in major software defined vehicle SDV push

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

NXP has launched an ecosystem of software for software defined vehicles (SDV) along with its first 5nm chip.

The S32 CoreRide SDV platform brings together real time operating system and AutoSAR software providers such as Vector, TTTech Auto and Green Hills Software (GHS) as well as Yocto Linux supplier Wind River to provide centralised computing resources.

However the first chip in the S32N ecosystem is a 5nm, 16 core device with ARM Cortex V8 R52 real time controllers, which will run an RTOS but not Linux. This was developed for a specific customer and will be followed by more general purpose silicon. These will be monolithic system on chip (SoC) designs and NXP says it is not looking at automotive chiplets.  

“Today SDV is an engineering question rather than a product, its about engineering efficiencies,” said Henri Ardevol, executive vice president and general manager, automotive embedded systems at NXP.

“Centralisation of resources clearly allows a simplification of the vehicle architecture, which gives the ability to rethink how to distribute the functionality,” he said. “Centralising the software development means you can use more modern software development methodologies and you are also able to create headroom for the applications.”

The key challenge has been the software stack, he says.

“It’s a system of systems so how do we cope with those layers,” he said. “Moore’s Law is clearly part of the answer with higher levels of integration that enables customers to choose between performance and functionality, system BoM and cost.”

“Centralisation goes beyond the ECU. The OEMs want to marry the electrical architecture and the software architecture with the power distribution architecture with functional safety.”

He points to a modern vehicle having from 25 up to 150 ECUs which is a space challenge. “Every time an OEM wants to change a function they change one of the boxes but that means changing the whole stack so from a system integration perspective they have to start from scratch and this means 70% of the development effort is on reintegrating and recertifying the existing functions.”

“The OEM challenge is how to migrate a homologated function from one place in the architecture to another with minimum impact on timing, integration and resources – this is the core of the work we are doing with partners,” he said.

However the OEMs all have different software partners for SDV developments, so there needs to be an eco-system. For CoreRide this also includes Accenture ESR Labs, ArcherMind, Blackberry QNX, Elektrobit, ETAS, Sonatus and Synopsys.

The aim is to support the portability of code across the S32 range, from the S32E and Z controllers to the S32G networking devices and future multicore chips that are under development in the S32N family.

 “The S32 CoreRide open platform is about bringing together what we already do with middleware for a more complete solution to the OEMs,” said Manuel Alves SVP and GM for automotive microcontrollers at NXP.

“The middleware we may do ourselves, partner with Tier 1s or even with OEMs,” he said, “We are open to having more partners, its about optimisation and pre-integration to speed up time to market.”

 “We are sampling at 5nm with first generation 16 x R52 ARMv8.2 cores for an early customer for lock step real time or virtualised to support other operating systems such as Integrity µC or Zephyr, even FreeRTOS/SafeRTOS,” he said. “We have more devices with A class cores in development.”

Although Green Hills provides both real time and mainstream operating systems, it is the development and debug tools that can be used across the stack that is key, says Dan Mender, VP business development at Green Hills Software.

“Our production-proven RTOSes, virtualization services and advanced development tools enable customers to elevate their use of the S32 CoreRide platform by enabling ECU consolidation, accelerating complex system development and reducing cost and time to market for the core vehicle functions of mixed-criticality multi-core SDV architectures,” he said.


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