Recently, IBM and information services company Elektrobit, which specializes in embedded software and hardware for the automotive industry, teamed up to integrate IBM Rational Rhapsody and Elektrobit Tresos into a single integrated development environment. This consolidation allows for early verification and testing of applications even before integrating them onto ECUs.
This type of integration is beneficial for the AUTOSAR community, especially for engineers seeking a comprehensive solution that spans all building blocks of an AUTOSAR compliant ECU. Automotive companies can leverage this environment to develop and test software, applications, and runtime environments more efficiently, because AUTOSAR-compliant components can be integrated into systems much faster and with less rework.
IBM provides requirements management and design tools tailored to AUTOSAR specification while Elektrobit contributes the basic software development tools and run time environments on which applications developed with Rhapsody will be executed when integrated onto the actual ECU. Through this integration, companies can achieve an effective marriage of tooling and run times, enabling them to treat software as “parts”—similar to the way mechanical components are treated.
Pretested integration between Rational Rhapsody, Elektrobit Tresos Studio
, and Elektrobit Tresos Win/AutoCore
enables developers to apply “continuous integration,” a well-established software engineering practice, to their AUTOSAR development process. The mantra is “integrate early, integrate often” in order to reduce late lifecycle integration risks.
For AUTOSAR developers, early detection of errors due to AUTOSAR simulation helps teams avoid costly re-designs in late development phases. With Elektrobit Tresos Win/AutoCore, developers can integrate down to lowest layer on Windows WS without deployment to actual hardware.
Early and continuous integrations are a key software engineering practice to reduce integration risks and improve time-to-market. With such integrated tools, developers can start testing their EE and ECU software from day one and incrementally add functionality while constantly testing the incremental code—translating into accurate delivery schedules and time-to-market benefits while keeping a constant check on quality.
Developers also benefit by having application design decisions based on validated ECU configurations. This means no more guesswork regarding ECU deployability, along with increased confidence that fewer software/hardware integration issues will emerge in later development phases.
The solution at work
The world’s leading automotive suppliers and OEMs are developing AUTOSAR compliant systems today. TRW Automotive, for instance, a supplier of solutions to the global automotive market, supports the IBM and Elektrobit partnership and anticipates significant tangible benefits from the interoperability between Rhapsody and Tresos. The combined platform has provided TRW with a unified solution to bridge between EE and ECU electronic and software development, testing, and traceability.
The combined solution provides the AUTOSAR community with a way to connect system and software architecture definition and application development with ECU Run Time Environment (RTE) and Basic Software (BSW) configuration and deployment. The benefits: Automotive companies gain faster time-to-market, lower development costs, and higher quality with less risk—all of which benefit consumers who demand the latest features in luxury and safety in their automobiles.
Mark Lefebvre is director, Strategic Alliances and Integrations at IBM Rational.
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