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.
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.
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 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 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.
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