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AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATION SOFTWARE Virtual development environment for fast automotive application software development and evaluation launched

From Nicole Kareta

Renesas Electronics Corporation, a global supplier of semiconductor solutions, has announced the launch of a virtual development environment that enables advance development and operational evaluation of automotive application software to support the latest requirements of electrical/electronic architecture (E/E architecture).

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As software becomes a critical part of automobiles, customers’ application software becomes larger and more complex.
As software becomes a critical part of automobiles, customers’ application software becomes larger and more complex.
(Source: Renesas Electronics Corporation)

The environment includes a Virtual Turnkey Platform, which allows engineers to develop application software before devices or evaluation boards are available. Additionally, the new environment offers a Multicore Debug and Trace Tool, which enables users to analyze and evaluate the operation of their software as if it were running on an actual chip. These tools will allow customers to kick-start development and get to market faster with leading-edge software.

“With the evolution of E/E architecture, there is an increasing demand for software design that can maximize performance at a system level. At the same time, the increasing time and cost associated with software development have become a big challenge,” said Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Vice President, Automotive Software Development Division at Renesas. “Our integrated software development environment that can be used across gateway systems, ADAS, and xEV development, enables customers to benefit from the scalability of Renesas products such as R-Car and the RH850 family for both software and hardware development.”

As software becomes a critical part of automobiles, customers’ application software becomes larger and more complex. In order to increase the value of their software, customers are looking for new development methods and environments to develop highly reliable software more quickly.

“Virtual Turnkey Platform” Application Software Development Environment

This platform consists of the R-Car Virtual Platform (R-Car VPF) development environment and a software development kit (R-Car SDK) that includes pre-tested software libraries and sample code. R-Car VPF is based on Virtualizer Development Kits (VDKs) from Synopsys, and integrates virtual models of intellectual property (IP) specific to R-Car to customize for R-Car devices. By overlaying the R-Car SDK on this platform, it enables engineers to immediately start development of application software virtually. The platform accurately recreates the behavior of the actual chip and thus eliminates the need to build up a development environment with a physical evaluation board. Multiple users can also develop software simultaneously on separate PCs or servers.

“Multicore Debug and Trace Tool” for Analyzing and Evaluating Software Operation

Once engineers complete the development of multiple software components side by side on the Virtual Turnkey Platform, the next step is to integrate the software and verify that it runs on a single chip. Software components share resources such as the multiple CPUs and IPs on R-Car SoCs. If operational problems are detected after the software components are integrated, it requires a tremendous amount of work to analyze and solve these issues. With this in mind, Renesas created the Multicore Debug and Trace Tool, which simplifies the process of analyzing and identifying the causes of errors occurring from the interaction of the multiple hardware resources in R-Car SoCs. This enables synchronous and simultaneous debugging of the entire heterogeneous architecture of R-Car without using the actual device. This helps identify potential problems and thus accelerates the development process.

The development environment is available for the R-Car S4 SoC for automotive gateways. Renesas has plans to support the R-Car V4H as well as future versions of R-Car products and RH850 automotive MCUs.

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