February 18, 2024

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How Virtualization Solves 5 Automotive OEM Enterprise Challenges

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How Virtualization Solves 5 Automotive OEM Enterprise Challenges

How Virtualization Solves 5 Automotive OEM Enterprise Challenges

Virtualization — a key strategy in enterprise IT structure — is increasing into the world of embedded programs. The automotive trade sees the advantages of virtualization with growing readability as car onboard programs change into extra refined and connectivity ubiquitous. Enterprise challenges evolve, and new ones emerge, for automotive OEMs as they work to ship the automobiles of tomorrow – higher referred to as software-defined automobiles (SDVs).

The emergence of embedded hypervisors performs a vital half in assembly 5 key challenges that automotive OEMs face in the present day:

Problem 1: Lowering {Hardware} Complexity and Price

Chip shortages proceed to plague the trade, and the most recent forecasts point out this challenge will linger nicely into 2023. This is a significant component accelerating {hardware} consolidation onto single system-on-chip (SoC) designs.

Extra strategic, nevertheless, is the evolutionary path of ECU (digital management unit) consolidation – resulting in domain-driven car structure and in the end, to the holy grail of in-vehicle high-performance computing (HPC) platforms. The street to onboard HPCs presents a sophisticated journey for OEMs. Whereas it is going to yield a lower within the variety of {hardware} elements, thermal dissipation, and supply-chain dependence — in addition to financial savings in growth, testing, and toolchains — it means the software program wanted on the SoC turns into considerably extra complicated.

The SoC must carry out all of the capabilities of the programs consolidated onto it, simply as in the event that they have been separate programs. To try this, we have to run every part’s discrete working system (OS) concurrently, with each safely remoted by itself digital machine (VM). That is the position of the embedded hypervisor, working on high of an embedded real-time working system (RTOS).

Additional worth could be realized when one considers the flexibility to simply port legacy code to the most recent {hardware}, successfully re-using software program throughout a number of car platforms. That is all doable through virtualization.

Problem 2: Elevated Emphasis on Purposeful Security

The automotive trade has a robust security tradition working by way of its engineering and manufacturing operations, so it understands that security have to be systemic. It may’t be merely “bolted on” on the finish of any course of.

The consolidation of a number of discrete programs on a single SoC brings with it particular security necessities, emphasizing the significance of “security by design.” For instance, managing safety-critical instrument clusters alongside infotainment-related features means imposing strict isolation of 1 system from the opposite — a key precept of ISO 26262. Certainly, if superior driver help programs (ADAS), anti-lock braking programs (ABS), energy steering, or different vital programs are concerned, then the best diploma of certification – ASIL (Automotive Security Integrity Degree) D is required. This requires the hypervisor to ensure isolation of safety-critical processes, guarantee secure inter-process communication, and supply localized restoration of failed functions — all with excessive availability and reliability, and overlaying all programs working on the SoC.

Security can by no means be compromised, so it have to be commercially cost-effective to attain. This necessitates streamlining the certification course of as a key aspect. Certifying solely these components of the system which might be safety-critical and developed in-house — excluding non-safety-critical components working on Android™ or Linux® OSs, or toolchains used — results in important financial savings in time and value. Due to this fact, utilizing an embedded hypervisor that gives the best security certifications out-of-the-box is a should.

Problem 3: Cloudification

The time period “Cloudification” has achieved rising recognition within the automotive trade, because it adopts cloud-based approaches and instruments that maintain the potential for value financial savings. To grasp how a hypervisor performs on this enviornment, let’s break down what cloudification means to car makers, or OEMs (authentic gear producers).

Cloudification within the Lab

Operating OSes within the cloud (resembling Android, Linux, or QNX®) permits builders to work on algorithms independently from their goal {hardware}. Bringing these collectively, nonetheless within the cloud, is the place a cloud-based hypervisor is available in. It permits every OS to run in its personal respective VM, successfully simulating goal {hardware}. The software program is then taken from the cloud and launched on the precise goal {hardware}, through a related goal working an onboard hypervisor.

Using a hypervisor within the cloud, appearing in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) capability, brings important worth for OEM software program growth groups, by doing the next:

  1. Lowering “developer friction” — something that causes a “drag” impact on effectively performing each day work. Effort and time spent on procuring goal {hardware}, or studying/establishing instruments, creates friction. Lowering cognitive load on a developer permits extra time to resolve issues and create market-differentiating options. Cloud-based instruments which might be stored updated by the seller, want no set up, have fast ramp-up, and provide further developer seats, could also be bought simply through a cloud supplier market — an strategy that’s doubtless acquainted to most groups.
  2. Accelerating software program growth cycles. This de-risks schedules, improves time to market and reduces prices. The time period “shift left” (shifting growth and testing to the left of the timeline, thus earlier within the course of) is gaining traction within the automotive trade. Growth and testing could be built-in extra simply inside a steady integration/steady supply (CI/CD) pipeline — a well-recognized idea in fashionable software program engineering circles, which OEMs are adopting quickly.

Cloudification within the Car

Large quantities of knowledge shifting between the car and cloud-based programs will solely pattern upward with autonomous automobiles, as machine studying (ML) algorithms working within the car are educated utilizing huge knowledge units through related processing energy within the cloud. Moreover, new automotive enterprise fashions (ridesharing, insurance coverage) that require vehicle-to-cloud connectivity have to be facilitated. The idea of “mixing” between the sting (aka, the car) and the cloud — when it comes to knowledge switch and shifting computing assets — presents an more and more vital side of cloudification.

With an SDV producing one to 2 terabytes (TBs) of knowledge on a mean day of driving — a lot of which is processed on-board, with a subset despatched to the cloud as vital — the ability of an embedded hypervisor turns into important for facilitating car domain-based structure and the HPC.

Problem 4: Car Consumer Expertise as a Market Differentiator

Car patrons take into account their new car an extension of their digital selves. Much like smartphones, customers have change into accustomed to ease of use, near-constant connectivity, and progressive options at their fingertips. They usually anticipate the identical from their car, whereas not compromising security. This presents OEMs with challenges, but additionally monumental alternatives to distinguish in a aggressive market.

With the emergence of ridesharing, last-mile supply, and different fleet-oriented enterprise fashions, OEMs should additionally compete for fleet procurement contracts that depend on custom-made options and capabilities. As well as, they should present particular car features that change into “desk stakes” for staying aggressive, like ADAS or acoustics system administration options.

One technique to obtain these ends is to leverage a sturdy hypervisor that may assist complicated deployments, resembling a legacy Linux utility stack working in parallel with a more recent Android stack and a QNX stack on the identical SoC — all with out having to re-architect or rebuild the core functions. Consequently, the associated fee financial savings, approaches, and efficiencies that virtualization brings permit it to play a vital position in facilitating innovation and creativity, all resulting in making a market-differentiating car person expertise.

Problem 5: Scarcity of Experience in Software program Growth and Deployment

With OEMs endeavoring to do extra of the SoC {hardware} and software program stack growth in-house, a scarcity of growth experience in these organizations has been uncovered. The SDV, by definition, is inflicting OEMs to undertake methodologies and methods which might be well-proven in enterprise software program growth. Adoption of SaaS platforms and the cloud computing aren’t the one solutions.

OEMs do many issues extraordinarily nicely, together with cultivating security tradition and certification, {hardware}/software program end-to-end administration and integration, and reliability and value administration at quantity. In the meantime, cloud distributors excel at software program lifecycle administration, elastic scalability to deal with dynamic workloads, and ecosystem enablement at scale. Nonetheless, there’s a hole to be bridged when it comes to experience. Whereas vital instruments like an embedded RTOS or hypervisor deal with ease of use, and could also be “cloudified,” familiarity and experience with virtualization, containerization, and cloud-native microservices ideas can’t be achieved in a single day, nor can agile methodology, CI/CD pipelines, or use of software program toolchains.

Bridging this hole requires reliance on a software program vendor with a confirmed, trusted hypervisor and RTOS basis, in addition to cloud expertise coupled with in-depth automotive expertise and longstanding relationships with the OEMs.

The Street Forward

Embedded programs virtualization is a vital strategy to addressing quite a few enterprise challenges in the present day and sooner or later, because the automotive trade continues to evolve the software-defined car. This evolution is occurring not solely within the car, but additionally within the software program lab, as OEMs assume much less about combustion engines and extra about software-based connectivity and performance, and the challenges and alternatives this affords.

BlackBerry® QNX® Hypervisor and QNX® Hypervisor for Security, allied to our QNX® Neutrino® real-time working system, includes a few of the trade’s main automotive foundational software program. I encourage you to study extra, or contact us and take our BlackBerry® QNX® automotive software program platform out for a spin.

Alan Stranaghan

About Alan Stranaghan

Alan Stranaghan is Senior Product Advertising Supervisor, Automotive, at BlackBerry.


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