Secure automotive consolidation platform runs on i.MX6 architecture

July 06, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Green Hills Software has extended its Integrity automotive consolidation platform to the Freescale i.MX 6 series Smart Application Blueprint for Rapid Engineering (SABRE) for automotive infotainment board. This gives carmakers and suppliers another processor choice on which to consolidate multi-domain cockpit software – digital instrument cluster, entertainment, navigation, driver assistance – into smaller, simpler and less costly configurations.

At the recent Freescale Technology Forum, Green Hills demonstrated for the first time a Linux guest OS running a GPU-accelerated infotainment system and a fast-boot digital instrument cluster with GPU-accelerated graphics, both running with guaranteed freedom of interference on the INTEGRITY RTOS and Multivisor on a single i.MX 6 SABRE for automotive infotainment board.

“Designers of next-generation automotive cockpits see promise in consolidating safety-critical software modules alongside one or more open operating system-based modules on powerful processors such as the i.MX 6 application processor,” said Dan Loop, automotive business development manager of Freescale i.MX applications processors.

To stay competitive, carmakers and tier-1 suppliers must meet rising expectations from rivers, passengers and regulators for convenience, reliability and safety. Consumer operating systems such as Linux/Android bring open source flexibility, rich middleware frameworks, while safety and security-certified RTOSes are needed to run “mission-critical” applications requiring fast-boot, high-reliability and safety/security. This mushrooming collection of multiple domains of CPU-hungry software systems, each with different levels of criticality, have traditionally required their own processor, screens, cabling and enclosures behind the dashboard.

Combining these subsystems with fewer, powerful processors is a natural step but requires a software platform that guarantees the software functions remain isolated while achieving the necessary performance, connectivity and safety levels. The Integrity RTOS and Multivisor technology provide a trusted execution environment, and have been proven in varied customer environments – industrial, PoS, enterprise, mobile – on major embedded processor architectures, including Power Architecture and ARM with or without Virtualization Extension (ARM VE). As a result, customers have successfully consolidated their software of mixed criticality with consumer operating systems, saving space, weight and cost.

The i.MX 6 SABRE for automotive infotainment targets infotainment, instrument cluster, telematics and rear seat entertainment designs. Based on ARM Cortex-A9 CPU cores in single-, dual- and quad-core offerings, it supports a wide range of automotive-specific connectivity and multimedia peripherals.

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