Virtual platform accelerates development of vehicle software

Virtual platform accelerates development of vehicle software

New Products |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The environment includes a virtual turnkey platform that allows engineers to develop application software before electronic components or evaluation boards are available. In addition, the new environment provides a multicore debug and trace tool that allows users to analyse and evaluate the operation of their software as if it were running on a real chip. With these tools, users can start their development work earlier and thus bring their products to market faster with state-of-the-art software.

“As E/E architectures evolve, the demand for software design that can maximise system-level performance is increasing. At the same time, the increasing time and cost of software development have become a major challenge,” explains Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Vice President, Automotive Software Development Division at Renesas. The new software development environment can be used to develop gateway systems, ADAS and xEV, and supports common Renesas hardware such as the R-Car and RH850 families.

The platform consists of the R-Car Virtual Platform (R-Car VPF) development environment and a Software Development Kit (R-Car SDK), which contains pre-built and tested software libraries and sample code. R-Car VPF is based on Virtualizer Development Kits (VDKs) from Synopsys and integrates virtual IP models (Intellectual Property) specifically designed for R-Car SoCs and their requirements. By integrating the R-Car SDK into this platform, engineers can start developing application software immediately. The platform accurately replicates the behaviour of the actual device, eliminating the need to build a development environment with a physical evaluation board. In addition, multiple users can develop software simultaneously on separate PCs or servers.

Once users have completed the development of multiple software components independently on the virtual turnkey platform, the next step is to integrate the software. This is necessary to verify that it runs on a single chip, as the software components share resources, such as the different processor cores and IPs on the R-Car SoCs. If problems occur after the software components have been integrated, a huge amount of work is often required to analyse and fix them. With this in mind, Renesas has developed the Multicore Debug and Trace Tool to simplify the analysis process and the identification of error causes that may arise from the interaction of the various hardware resources in SoCs. The tool enables synchronous debugging of the entire heterogeneous R-Car architecture without using the actual device. This helps identify potential problems and thus speeds up the development process.

The development environment is available for the R-Car S4 SoC for automotive gateways. Renesas also plans to support the R-Car V4H and future R-Car versions, as well as the RH850 automotive MCUs.

More information can be found here

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