What’s inside EB Corbos
As Magney noted, Adaptive Autosar “supports the new trend toward multi-core processors and centralized domain computing architectures.”
Elektrobit is launching three products under its EB corbos line, to support all the new trends that Adaptive Autosar targets.
Elektrobit’s first product, called EB corbos AdaptiveCore, is the software core for Adaptive Autosar. “This is our implementation of Adaptive Automotive Platform,” said Sullivan.
Second, EB corbos Hypervisor is an automotive-grade hypervisor, that allows “virtual segmentation” of the CPU, said Sullivan. The technology allows a certain application to run on a dedicated core, or run different applications on multiple cores of the same CPU. Hypervisor is critical to ensure the highest levels of safety and security, when automakers transition to a more centralized higher computing model, he said.
Magney added that chip companies with multi-core processors have been pushing Hypervisor for a while. As Adaptive Autosar supports these heterogeneous architectures brought to the market by the chip companies, so does Elektrobit.
While chips with more computing power start to emerge, Magney said, the auto industry needs software’s facility “to support virtualization, dynamic codes changes, safety containers and more.”
The third corbos product is EB corbos Linux, an automotive-grade POSIX-compliant operating system designed for high-performance controllers, based on the Linux-Kernel that can be used in safety-critical systems. This represents Elektrobit’s first Linux distribution, according to Sullivan.
Sullivan noted that all three new corbos products are “meant to work together.” They are highly integrated, he noted, so that EB corbos Linux, for example, works integrally with EB corbos Hypervisor, thus reducing the boot time.
In addition to corbos having a hypervisor extension and a Lynux extension, Magney explained, “These additional runtime components will be necessary to build out a system on Adaptive Autosar. If not Linux, corbos will support and POSIX compatible OS so developers still have a choice.”
100 ECUs to five to 10 ECUs?
In the press release, Elektrobit stated, “To enable highly automated and connected driving, automakers are consolidating up to 100 single ECUs into a centralized functional architecture with just five to 10 embedded performance controllers at its core.”
Asked if such a consolidation seems an overly aggressive move, Sullivan said, “Yes. But that’s what OEMs are telling us.”
Sullivan suspects the transition will happen “in phases.” It could take two to three generations. But he added that automotive newcomers will likely be quicker and a lot more aggressive in embracing such new vehicle architectures in their EV models.
Adaptive Autosar for high-performance in-car computers
Sullivan noted that other software companies, such as Vector and Mentor, are well versed in Autosar’s development. However, he suspected that “most of the others do not have integrated product sweep like we do.” Elektrobit has a full stack of software. It has built its reputation over 30 years in the automotive industry, he added.
Asked about the competitive landscape, Magney noted, in addition to Vector and Mentor, “There are some other names that offer Autosar software components, code generators, or compilers such as eSOL, dSPACE, KPIT, ETAS, Green Hills, Dassault Systemes, and IAR Systems. I suspect these companies are working on their Adaptive AUTOSAR solutions as well.”
Elektrobit was acquired two years ago by Continental AG, a leading tier one company based in Germany.
Might Elektrobit’s subsidiary status limit its appeal to Continental’s clients?
Sullivan doesn’t believe so. “EB corbos is available to any tier one and OEM; there is no exclusivity or relationship to Continental’s products. This is intentional and actually how Continental has committed to run Elektrobit,” he explained.
He stressed that Elektrobit “operates completely independently, with its own management and customers. There are some joint projects — and Elektrobit provides teams and services in support of Continental initiatives — but Electrobit is free to pursue any and all customers.”
Magney agreed. “I don’t think being owned by Continental will hurt Elektrobit’s ability to compete in this space. The traditional barriers in automotive are being broken down as the scramble to develop automated vehicle solutions is at an all-time high. OEMs may use multiple tier ones on a given vehicle platform.”
— Junko Yoshida, Chief International Correspondent, EE Times