Issues in the Development of Evolving E/E Architecture
Figure 1 shows the issues of the E/E architecture. Due to the huge amount of complicated processing required in next-generation vehicles, many ECUs shall be installed, and the system scale and software are increasing.
Figure 1. The issues of the E/E architecture
Figure 2 shows changes in the scale of in-vehicle software.
Software processing is increasing in size and complexity.
This leads to a significant increase in the importance of software, development periods and man-hours.
Figure 2. Changes in the scale of in-vehicle software
On the other hand, to enhance the value of vehicles, it is necessary to develop reliable software in a shorter cycle, so new development methods and development environments should be introduced.
Overview of Virtual Turnkey Platform
To solve the above problems, Renesas provides the Virtual Turnkey Platform that allows you to start software development without an actual device. By providing a Virtual Platform (VPF) that simulates the operation of the entire actual device and a Software Development Kit (SDK) that runs on the VPF, customers can start software development before obtaining the actual device. Since the software developed on VPF works on the actual device, it is possible to develop and verify the software on the actual device without delay after obtaining the actual device.
Figure 3 shows an example related to the R-Car S4 Virtual Turnkey Platform, which is indicated by the red dotted line in the figure.
Figure 3. An example of the R-Car S4 Virtual Turnkey Platform
R-Car S4 has the function of a communication gateway and is connected to the blocks for sensing, cognitive, cockpit, and various controls, which communicate with each other. Virtual Turnkey Platform consists of the R-Car S4 VPF, routing accelerator software that controls the Ethernet switch in R-Car S4, MCAL driver that controls communication, and so on. Customers can develop communication gateway application software by using the software provided by Renesas (Software Development Kit (SDK)).
Normally, when customers develop software, it is necessary to prepare hardware equipment and debugging tools, such as an evaluation board and an emulator. But, it takes much time to prepare. Instead, Virtual Turnkey Platform enables customers to start software development easily by the following two processes.
- Install the VPF provided by the tool vendor on your PC.
- Download the corresponding SDK from the Renesas homepage (R-Car Market Place) with a one-click license.
In this way, customers can easily start developing application software by obtaining the Virtual Turnkey Platform.
Development Status of R-Car Virtual Turnkey Platform
This time, we have released the R-Car S4 Virtual Turnkey Platform to our customers. In the future, we will prepare the Virtual Turnkey Platform for R-Car V4H and Gen 5, the next-generation R-Car series so that customers can accelerate their software development and system consideration.