Device Virtualization for Connected Vehicles

With connectivity as a key, the automotive industry converted from having standalone systems for various functions such as Infotainment, Telematics, and Diagnostics to more integrated systems handling multiple functions. Today, we see that the silos are dissolving and systems are being created that are more inter-connected and interdependent. Due to the demand for more vehicle features, OEMs have integrated multiple Electronic Control Units (ECU), resulting in explosion of ECUs in vehicles. In order to make a featured packed cockpit affordable to the customer, OEMs need to find ways that can potentially reduce costs and testing/integration efforts while maintaining the software integrity and security. In the computer server industry, similar problems were solved using virtualization techniques.
Virtualization technology enables the head unit to run both the general purpose operating system of the IVI and the real-time operating system of the digital cluster in separate virtual machines on the same shared hardware resource. The result of hardware consolidation is a lower Bill of Materials (BOM) and greater fuel efficiency by reducing the weight of the vehicle. The key for the next-generation multiservice IVI system is to have a dedicated Operating System for driver-assistance services, another for infotainment and a third for consumer-downloaded applications. Virtualization can achieve this efficiently and reliably and without compromising security or performance.
Powered by Type-1 hypervisor technology, HARMAN’s Device Virtualization capabilities enable multiple operating systems to run on a single hardware platform, securely and with full isolation. HARMAN supports diverse hardware and software platforms, and enables RAM and persistent storage to be portioned and allocated per virtual machine-specific performance requirements. It fully virtualizes all hardware resources including CPU, memory, networking, interface and peripheral devices. The solutions allow sharing of hardware resources across automotive applications such as the rear view camera and the in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system while increasing efficiency, improving security, decreasing the BOM and reducing weight.


  • Multi Operating System

    The solution enables multiple operating systems to run on the same hardware. This is whether it is an Operating System for Head Unit Virtualization, or a system to isolate specific device functionality, such as a secure management domain.

  • Hypervisor

    Type-1 virtualization is used to isolate Operating System (OS) from hardware resources. The hypervisor serves as the scheduler to run multiple OS together and allocate resources based on OS needs and predefined priorities.

  • Domain Isolation

    Domain Isolation guarantees the highest priority level of isolation between each Operating System (OS). This is achieved with dedicated software interfaces utilizing ARM Cortex-A15 Virtualization Extensions.

  • Driver virtualization

    Driver Virtualization provides out-of-box support to virtualize the accompanying drivers for Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS, camera, etc. to allow access from all isolated domains on a single device.

Top-line Benefits

  • Running in hundreds of millions of devices globally
  • Reduced network and Software complexity
  • Reduced maintenance and integration costs
  • Cost savings on shared hardware resources
  • Support for ARMv5 through ARMv8, including 32-bit, 64-bit.
  • Support for ARM Cortex-A15 Virtualization Extensions (VE).
  • Support for silicon from TI, Qualcomm, Renesas, Freescale, Samsung & NVIDIA.
  • Support for Intel Skylake and Apollo Lake SoCs.
  • Parallel OS Support: QNX, Linux, Android, AUTOSAR and various real-time OSS.
  • Virtualized OpenMax and OpenGL drivers.


Convenient & Secure Cloud-based software updates

The Software Update Management capabilities of HARMAN helps Automotive OEMs and Suppliers to capitalize on the full business potential of connected cars by enhancing driver experience with rapid deployment of value-added in-vehicle services, minimizing costs through improved efficiency and a reduction in recalls.


HARMAN Remote Vehicle Updating Service (OTA)

HARMAN Remote Vehicle Updating Service enables Over-the-Air (OTA) updates and management of the entire vehicle, from head unit to the smallest ECUs, and even includes those units with low processing and memory resources. The solution leverages its unique Smart Delta technology which reduces the file update package up to 99 percent.


Device Management & Settings

HARMAN Device Management & Settings capabilities are involved in the remote management, monitoring, analysis and configuration of connected devices. The set of functions and capabilities enables the System Administrator to actively monitor all connected devices while building and maintaining an accurate and valuable real-time database of these devices, their software configuration and their status.



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