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Journal Article

Methods and Tools for Calculating the Flexibility of Automotive HW/SW Architectures

To cope with the increasing number of advanced features (e.g., smart-phone integration and side-blind zone alert.) being deployed in vehicles, automotive manufacturers are designing flexible hardware architectures which can accommodate increasing feature content with as fewer as possible hardware changes so as to keep future costs down. In this paper, we propose a formal and quantitative definition of flexibility, a related methodology and a tool flow aimed at maximizing the flexibility of an automotive hardware architecture with respect to the features that are of greater importance to the designer. We define flexibility as the ability of an architecture to accommodate future changes in features with no changes in hardware (no addition/replacement of processors, buses, or memories). We utilize an optimization framework based on mixed integer linear programming (MILP) which computes the flexibility of the architecture while guaranteeing performance and safety requirements.
Technical Paper

Fault Tree Analysis for the Design Exploration of Fault Tolerant Automotive Architectures

The increasing role of electronics in automotive systems drives the design of fault tolerant architectures. We envision that tool-based automated analysis of such applications will be increasingly necessary for system designers. In this work, we describe a tool flow to support design space exploration of fault tolerant automotive architectures. Within the flow, we describe and apply a self-designed tool that automatically generates a fault tree from a model of an industrial-sized, safety critical automotive control application. The model represents a deployment containing a set of functions that are mapped to a given set of architecture components. The functions implement data acquisition from sensor devices, perform fault management tasks, compute a control law, and issue commands to the actuators. The architecture component abstractions and modeling artifacts include a set of communication links and electronic control units (ECUs) that are distributed throughout the vehicle.
Journal Article

Electrical Architecture Optimization and Selection - Cost Minimization via Wire Routing and Wire Sizing

In this paper, we propose algorithms for cost minimization of physical wires that are used to connect electronic devices in the vehicle. The wiring cost is one of the most important drivers of electrical architecture selection. Our algorithms perform wire routing from a source device to a destination device through harnesses, by selecting the optimized wire size. In addition, we provide optimized splice allocation with limited constraints. Based on the algorithms, we develop a tool which is integrated into an off-the-shelf optimization and workflow system-level design tool. The algorithms and the tool provide an efficient, flexible, scalable, and maintainable approach for cost analysis and architecture selection.
Technical Paper

Design Space Exploration of Automotive Platforms in Metropolis

Automotive control applications are implemented over distributed platforms consisting of a number of electronic control units (ECUs) connected by communication buses. During system development, the designer can explore a number of design alternatives: for example, software distribution, software architecture, hardware architecture, and network configuration. Exploring design alternatives efficiently and evaluating them to optimize metrics such as cost, time, resource utilization, and reliability provides an important competitive advantage to OEMs and helps minimize integration risks. We present a methodology (Platform-Based Design) and a framework (Metropolis) to support efficient architecture exploration. We have exercised the methodology and the capabilities of Metropolis for developing a library of automotive architecture components and performed design space exploration on a chassis control sub-system.
Technical Paper

Automotive Electronics: Trends and Challenges

The car as a self-contained microcosm is undergoing radical changes due to the advances of electronic technology. We need to rethink what a "car'' really is and the role of electronics in it. Electronics is now essential to control the movements of a car, of the chemical and electrical processes taking place in it, to entertain the passengers, to establish connectivity with the rest of the world, to ensure safety. What will an automobile manufacturer's core competence become in the next few years? Will electronics be the essential element in car manufacturing and design? We will address some of these issues and we will present some important developments in the area of system design that can strongly impact the way in which a car is designed.
Technical Paper

An Initial Study on Monetary Cost Evaluation for the Design of Automotive Electrical Architectures

One of the many challenges facing electronic 1 system architects is how to provide a cost estimate related to design decisions over the entire life-cycle and product line of the architecture. Various cost modeling techniques may be used to perform this estimation. However, the estimation is often done in an ad-hoc manner, based on specific design scenarios or business assumptions. This situation may yield an unfair comparison of architectural alternatives due to the limited scope of the evaluation. A preferred estimation method would involve rigorous cost modeling based on architectural design cost drivers similar to those used in the manufacturing (e.g. process-based technical cost modeling) or in the enterprise software domain (e.g. COCOMO). This paper describes an initial study of a cost model associated with automotive electronic system architecture.