AUTOSAR adds functions, reduces incompatibilities

  • 30-Apr-2012 05:40 EDT
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Vendors like dSpace are helping developers create AUTOSAR products that are compatible with others' solutions.

As AUTomotive Open System Architecture (AUTOSAR) continues to gain acceptance, it’s being upgraded to address more functions. Revision 4.0.3 of the protocol adds some networking capabilities and focuses on improving compatibility between AUTOSAR 3.0 and 4.0. The enhancements come at a time when the standard’s reach is extending rapidly.

“The majority of the AUTOSAR Core Partners will finish their migration to fully compliant basic software in 2015,” said Frank Kirschke-Biller, AUTOSAR's spokesperson. “25 million ECUs produced by the AUTOSAR Core Partners in 2011 were already based on the AUTOSAR architecture, with 300 million planned for 2016.”

The latest revision aims to reduce the likelihood that incompatibilities between AUTOSAR 3.0 and 4.0 hardware will cause problems. The standard is designed to help OEMs intermix hardware from various suppliers by using a common interface. Reducing compatibility issues means system designers and integrators won’t have to worry as much about which version of AUTOSAR each module was designed for.

Revision 4.0.3 also offers improved networking capability and adds a focus on energy management. A concept called partial networking helps reduce the number of active electronic control units at any given time, which reduces power consumption.

“By incorporating support for partial networking into the standard, AUTOSAR is the first initiative to standardize partial networking technology and address the important need for efficient energy management,” said Kirschke-Biller, who’s also Manager of Electrical Integration at Ford.

In recent months, development software suppliers have made a number of moves to tap the growing market for AUTOSAR projects. dSpace unveiled a production code generator, TargetLink 3.3, which added several features and support for AUTOSAR 4.0. dSpace has also enhanced its integration with MathWorks Matlab/Simulink.

MathWorks also upgraded its AUTOSAR 4.0-compatible tools, MATLAB and Simulink, with Release 2012a. It generates HDL (hardware description language) code from either MATLAB or Simulink for prototyping and implementation on FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) or ASICs (application specific integrated circuits).

In another link up, IBM and Elektrobit recently partnered to deliver design tools based on AUTOSAR 4.

The consortium that manages the standard continues to develop the specification. Members are working on conformance tests, which should be ready this summer. The next revision of the standard itself will be Release 4.1, which was originally scheduled for release late this year. The initial standard was released in 2006.

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