New environment for fast automotive software development and evaluation

20-04-2022 | Renesas | Automotive Technologies

Renesas Electronics Corporation has launched a virtual development environment that allows advanced development and operational evaluation of automotive application software to support the latest electrical/electronic architecture (E/E architecture) requirements. The environment includes a Virtual Turnkey Platform, allowing engineers to develop application software before devices or evaluation boards are available. Also, the new environment provides a Multicore Debug and Trace Tool, which allows users to analyse and evaluate the operation of their software as if it were running on an actual chip. These tools will enable customers to kick-start development and get to market quicker with leading-edge software.

“With the evolution of E/E architecture, there is an increasing demand for software design that can maximise performance at a system level. At the same time, the increasing time and cost associated with software development have become a big challenge,” said Hiroshi Kawaguchi, vice president, Automotive Software Development Division at Renesas. “Our integrated software development environment that can be used across gateway systems, ADAS, and xEV development, enables customers to benefit from the scalability of Renesas products such as R-Car and the RH850 family for both software and hardware development.”

This platform comprises the R-Car Virtual Platform (R-Car VPF) development environment and a software development kit (R-Car SDK) that incorporates pre-tested software libraries and sample code. R-Car VPF is based on Virtualizer Development Kits (VDKs) from Synopsys and combines virtual models of intellectual property specific to R-Car to customise for R-Car devices. By overlaying the R-Car SDK on this platform, it allows engineers to immediately start developing application software virtually. The platform accurately recreates the behaviour of the actual chip and therefore eradicates the need to build up a development environment with a physical evaluation board. Multiple users can also produce software simultaneously on separate PCs or servers.

Once engineers complete the development of multiple software components side by side on the Virtual Turnkey Platform, the next step is to combine the software and verify that it runs on a single chip. Software components share resources including multiple CPUs and IPs on R-Car SoCs. If operational problems are detected after the software components are integrated, it needs a tremendous amount of work to analyse and solve these issues. With this in mind, the company created the Multicore Debug and Trace Tool, which simplifies analysing and identifying the causes of errors occurring from the interaction of the multiple hardware resources in R-Car SoCs. This allows synchronous and simultaneous debugging of the complete heterogeneous architecture of R-Car without employing the actual device. This assists in identifying potential problems and therefore accelerates the development process.

Related product news