Prototype platform tests real-time vehicle software

January 31, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With two prototyping platforms, Fraunhofer ESK is addressing the needs of software developers in the automotive industry. The platforms enable developers to test safety-critical software-based vehicle functions in particular in the domains of infotainment and driver assistance systems.

Fraunhofer's Automotive Real-Time Prototyping System (ARTiS) platform currently is available in two flavors - ARTiS-RT for real-time applications and ARTiS-XT for applications that require significantly higher computing performance.

ARTiS-RT is a real-time enabled platform based on the PowerPC architecture. As a prototype ECU it can run the algorithms for vehicle control systems in electric cars and gateway applications. The product supports all common automotive data bus systems such as CAN, MOST, FlexRay and Ethernet. It is Autosar-enabled and can be freely programmed, enabling users to expand the platform's functionality according to specific needs.

Infotainment and driver assistance systems require very significant computing resources, in particular for their graphics-intensive user interfaces. In order meet this demand, ESK has developed ARTiS-XT which expands ARTiS-RT by a powerful embedded PC. The latter runs under Linux and offers a DVI interface to connect a standard display. In addition, the ARTiS-XT accommodates Mini PCI and Mini PCI Express add-on cards which are used in particular in car-to-x applications. This enablers developers to integrate additional communication modules for telematics and car-to-x applications - for instance one GSM/LTE module and two ETSI ITS-G5 radio modules.

With their integrated power management functionality, both ARTiS platforms meet the requirements of automotive-based power systems. Startup- and shutdown functions prevent discharging the battery in sleep mode; this feature enables the usage of the platforms in near-series vehicles.

Currently, Fraunhofer ESK is preparing an enhanced version of the ARTiS platform which also will support the MOST150 data bus and accommodate a real-time Ethernet module.

The platforms will be on display at the embedded world trade fair at Fraunhofer booth (Hall 5, stand number 5-228).