Autosar-enabled Ethernet switch for vehicles

Autosar-enabled Ethernet switch for vehicles
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Vector has developed the first Autosar-enabled Ethernet switch for cars. The device is based on a chip from Marvell's Brightlane Ethernet switch family.
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

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The software running in Vector’s new automotive Ethernet switch CPU follows the Autosar methodology in terms of model definition, distribution and component development. By moving significant parts of the network stack into the switch, CPU resources are freed up for tasks that run more efficiently on the host microcontroller. In addition, Vector’s switch software enables certain security functions such as firewalling and MACsec.

In today’s automotive ECUs, Ethernet switches are usually initialised and controlled by a microcontroller. These implementations are reaching their limits. With the increasing number of Ethernet ports, the CPU load increases significantly. Therefore, car manufacturers are planning to shift networking-relevant functions to Ethernet switches. Until now, switches ran proprietary software configured with equally proprietary tools. Now it is possible to benefit from the Autosar workflow that has been established among car manufacturers for years. In addition, Autosar offers the advantage of reusing existing qualified software for communication, network management and diagnostics on the switch. The maxim “one tool environment, one workflow, one software architecture” future-proofs the use of Autosar-enabled switches and offers faster time-to-market.

Efficient use of available resources is another reason for using these Ethernet switches. Only such switches offer the low latency times required for use cases such as firewall and MACsec. Furthermore, functions such as Precision Time Protocol (PTP), network management, the SOME/IP protocol and parts of the diagnostics are shifted from the microcontroller to the switch. The advantage: the microcontroller has more runtime available for its application tasks.

For suppliers and car manufacturers, the secure multi-gig Ethernet switch Brightlane 88Q5072 from Marvell is available. Vector supplies the newly developed Microsar Classic veSwitch embedded software for Ethernet switches. Marvell and Vector see advantages in using standardised products instead of project-specific software. The software has proven itself in practice and the effort for qualifying safety-relevant use cases is significantly reduced.

“We are pleased to be able to offer an Autosar-enabled switch solution together with Vector. This accelerates the development of software-defined vehicles based on the Marvell Brightlane Secure Multi-Gig Ethernet Switch,” said Mike Yeager, vice president and general manager, Automotive Business Unit, Marvell. “Vector’s Microsar Classic veSwitch software leverages the Autosar workflow for essential security functions such as automotive firewalls and MACsec in an open software architecture, enabling faster time to market.”

“Speed to market was also a high priority for us. This was achieved by working very closely with Marvell and using qualified standard software,” adds Jochen Rein, Head of Product Management Embedded Software. “Our modular approach results in a hardware-optimised and flexible solution – ideal for automotive-compliant switches including firewall and safety applications. The developer workflow is optimally supported by Vector DaVinci Tools.”

In the first version, the embedded software will meet the quality requirements according to Automotive SPICE. In the future, veSwitch will be available according to ISO 26262. An evaluation package is available.

www.vector.com/marvell

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