Instrument cluster runs in a virtual machine

Instrument cluster runs in a virtual machine
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At the 7th Annual Connected Car Conference in Detroit (USA), embedded software vendor OpenSynergy (Berlin) is demonstrating a virtual instrument cluster running on the COQOS SDK hypervisor from embedded software vendor OpenSynergy. The virtual instrument cluster has been contributed by HMI expert Rightware (Munich, Germany) and is based on the latter’s Kanzi user interface software.
By Christoph Hammerschmidt


This new approach has been realized by integrating the 3D instrument cluster, developed by Rightware with the Kanzi UI development tool, into a virtualized Linux guest in one of the VMs created by the COQOS Hypervisor. Some elements of the instrument cluster are safety-critical and require qualification up to ASIL-B, such as warnings information for failure of airbags, brakes, ABS, or engine. OpenSynergy has integrated a Linux subsystem in a second VM on COQOS Hypervisor. It is used to render all graphical elements for the instrument cluster, including the safety-critical tell tales. An RTOS subsystem also running in this VM is used to independently run and verify the safety-critical subset of the graphical elements rendered by Kanzi on Linux.

The COQOS hypervisor integrates 
Linux and RTOS on a single platform

COQOS SDK is OpenSynergy’s product family that provides virtualization for the car. At the core is the COQOS Hypervisor that has been built to meet the specific requirements of demanding automotive applications. The Hypervisor creates virtual machines (VMs) that can host multipurpose operating systems, such as Linux, and real-time operating systems. This makes it possible to run functions with different requirements on real-time behavior and functional safety on a single SoC (System-on-Chip). COQOS Hypervisor also prevents interferences between the virtual machines and provides controlled communication between them. The virtual machines provides an additional layer of protection against malicious attacks.

By separating the instrument cluster software and the guard mechanism into different VMs, this safety feature is protected from interference. In case of any software failure in the VM running the instrument cluster, the guard mechanism would activate near-immediate recovery of the instrument cluster.

 “Automotive safety is a critical topic in the steady transition to a digital in-car user experience,” said Derek Sellin, Marketing Director, Rightware. “We are delighted to see OpenSynergy, an innovative Kanzi Technology Partner, introduce functional safety into the automotive Linux environment. This will allow our joint customers to design for safety while developing stunning digital instrument clusters with Kanzi.”

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