Hardware Virtualization for Pre-Silicon Software Development in Automotive Electronics 2009-01-1146
Recent surveys show that the number one issues in car electronics are cost reduction and better collaboration across the complex automotive design chain of IP providers, semiconductor providers, subsystem suppliers and system integrators (see ). With millions of lines of software code powering modern cars and the number of processors today already exceeding 80 (and further growing), software development becomes the critical component determining success of automotive development projects.
Virtualization of hardware to enable software development – a technique already quite adopted in other application domains like wireless communication - is entering mainstream in automotive electronics as well. However, different areas of the car electronics require different modeling accuracy. While driving and vehicle dynamic functions often require full timing accuracy, other areas like multimedia, telematics and some of the body functions, like air conditioning and theft control, can be modeled in a less accurate fashion.
This paper analyzes the modeling accuracy requirements for different areas of car electronics. It will introduce SystemC™ standards based modeling styles to meet these accuracy requirements with loosely timed (LT), approximately time (AT) and cycle accurate (CA) modeling styles. In addition this paper will discuss methodologies and tools to efficiently assemble, debug and verify virtual platforms to enable pre-silicon software development. Based on case studies, this paper will illustrate how the use of virtualized hardware for software development and verification early in the design flow, not only improves software development productivity, but also increases software quality, serves as a front-end for hardware and software verification, leads to significant cost reduction and can become an essential mechanism to enable collaboration within the automotive design chain.