MUNICH, Germany EDA software vendor Mentor Graphics has announced a product family that supports the Autosar software standard for automotive electronics. The products are based on the company's existing Eclipse development environment.
According to the vendor, the tool family is designed to support an Autosar-based vehicle design flow from architectural exploration to implementation. The first of Mentor's Autosar-enabled products will be Volcano Vehicle Systems Architect (VSA). It will focus on model-based design approaches and, according to the vendor's claims, will enable automotive electronics architects and designers to reduce their dependency on downstream validation and physical prototyping which in turn will lead to faster design cycles. The model-based approach enables designers to move architectural decisions and verification tasks to the front end of the design cycle.
The software enables designers to explore and compare electronic and software architectures without actually doing the physical design and the prototype construction. Instead of testing, debugging and optimizing, designers can use what Mentor calls a 'correct-by-construction' approach. The functional scope of the software includes support for FlexRay, CAN and LIN automotive networks.
In the automotive industry, Mentor's move is hailed. "The number of Autosar ECUs is increasing significantly in the automobile industry within the next car generations", said Guenter Reichart, one of the intellectual fathers of Autosar and head of BMW's electronics system design and architectures development. "In order to design those systems, the industry is looking for an open tool framework supporting the full Autosar metamodel for authoring, consistency checks and validation," he explained, adding that Mentor's VSA tool is supporting these needs.