Renesas Electronics Corporation announced an integrated automotive ECU Virtualization Platform that enables designers to integrate multiple applications into a single ECU (Electronic Control Unit) that are safely and securely separated from each other to avoid interference. The solution enables customers to adopt new electrical-electronic (E/E) architectures using MCU-based zone ECUs supporting multiple logical ECUs on one physical ECU. Migration to the new platform maximizes legacy reuse with minimum development effort to leverage gains in lower power consumption and reduced wiring harness weight and complexity in the vehicle.
The ECU virtualization solution platform combines Renesas’ RH850/U2x MCUs together with ETAS’ RTA-HVR software, a hypervisor designed for microcontrollers with hardware virtualization support. This platform provides a ready-to-use demonstrator environment comprising pre-configured embedded software, tools, and an interactive demonstrator environment for RH850/U2x MCUs, allowing automotive customers to explore design choices for the development of their individual Zone-ECU projects.
The RH850/U2x MCUs including RH850/U2A and RH850/U2B delivers a cost-efficient and high-performance solution for next-generation Zone-/Integration-ECUs due to a rich set of embedded hardware that realizes the integration of multiple ASIL D-compliant software partitions. The MCUs are specifically designed for Zone-applications targeting reduced ECU component count with minimal re-engineering overhead. RH850/U2x MCUs include features such as Hypervisor hardware support, Quality-of-Service (RH850/U2B only) support, Safety & Security functions to enable freedom from interference, and a high-performance NoC (Network-on-Chip) structure to ensure proper real-time behavior of the individual integrated applications.
ETAS’ RTA-HVR software works with the hardware virtualization features of the Renesas RH850U2x MCUs to provide one or more virtual machines (VMs). VMs are separated from each other in both spaces (using the RH850U2x memory protection unit and guard features) and time (using the RTA-HVR VM scheduler) to meet strict automotive safety and security requirements. RTA-HVR provides a toolkit to build a virtual device extension (VDE). Each VM comprises one or more virtual CPU cores, a subset of device memory space, and a collection of peripherals.
The unique RH850/U2x Zone-ECU Starter Kit is available as part of the solution. The new kit provides a “ready-to-run” configuration of RTA-HVR showcasing different VM configurations (single-core, multi-core, and multi-VM per core). Guest software images are provided for each of the configured VMs, including bare metal and guest images using ETAS’s RTA-CAR Classic AUTOSAR solution. It offers example virtual devices for peripheral sharing and virtual inter-VM networking (a “virtual CAN”).
In addition, a PC-hosted application enables users to observe and interact with the VMs at runtime. The PC application supports numerous actions including Triggering faults in the system at runtime to explore VM behavior during memory violations, timing overruns, etc; Updating one VM while the other VMs are running using the no-wait OTA capabilities of the RH850/U2x; Exploring the performance impact of alternative VM switching mechanisms; Enabling developers to see the impact of HW QoS features;
The ECU Virtualization Software Platform, including the RH850/U2x Zone-ECU Starter Kit, is available from Renesas starting from the end of May.