Collaboration to deliver configurable in-vehicle communications platform

2 mins read

Green Hills Software has joined with STMicroelectronics and Cetitec, a software specialist for the development of connectivity and networking system solutions, to deliver an integrated and configurable communications platform.

Credit: Michal -

The platform, for use in zonal controllers for the centralised EE vehicle architecture of the SDV, consists of Green Hills’ µ-velOSity real-time operating system (RTOS), ST’s Stellar Integration MCU platform, and Cetitec’s advanced networking stacks, gateways and routing frameworks.

With the transition to the Software-Defined Vehicle it will require a change in the vehicles’ EE architecture. A significant number of the ECUs in currently decentralised or domain-based architectures will be consolidated into a small number of high-performance compute units combined with zonal controllers. This zonal-based centralised architecture has increased requirements for performance, safety and security of the zonal controllers and requires new in-vehicle networking solutions.

ST's Stellar Integration MCUs provide a 10x increase in performance compared to previous generations of MCUs and adds features such as extensible memory and OTA (over-the-air update) support, allowing OEMs to update and add new features during the lifetime of the vehicle.

Running on Stellar MCUs, Green Hills' µ-velOSity RTOS will benefit from access to the latest hardware updates of the Stellar P and G microcontrollers. The Green Hills MULTI integrated development environment (IDE) fully integrates with the Stellar Studio development environment, making the development of applications faster and easier to debug.

Based on this platform, Cetitec – a Porsche company - provides a demonstrator consisting of the Cetitec Gateway and the Cetitec Distributed Communications Framework (CDCF). These communications solutions bridge the gap between automotive-specific protocols such as CAN, LIN, Ethernet and a service-oriented software architecture, where Ethernet is often used as the vehicle networking technology.

Cetitec Gateway is highly configurable and has the ability to update the routing configuration post-build without recompiling the firmware and supports all standard automotive networking protocols.

The ST Stellar Data Move Engine (DME) runs on one of the Arm Cortex-M4 cores present in the Stellar MCUs performing the communication routing functionality which offloads the main Stellar MCU core (Cortex-R52) running the Green Hills µ-velOSity RTOS. The communication between the cores is achieved by using the CDCF. This component is running both on top of µ-velOSity on the R52 core and on the Stellar DME core, allowing the Cetitec Gateway to effectively communicate with ECU applications running on µ-velOSity. This component abstracts away the functionality of native drivers and provides full environment abstraction for applications running on μ-velOSity.

At the heart of the μ-velOSity RTOS is an efficient kernel with a minimal footprint and which is easy-to-use API. μ-velOSity enables applications, middleware, and drivers to run outside of kernel memory space and offers optional memory protection for separation, enabling safe and secure isolation, so that system designers can meet freedom-from-interference requirements between critical and non-critical applications of the ECU.

This joint solution also includes support for the Green Hills ASIL-certified MULTI integrated development environment (IDE) and C/C++ compilers. The MULTI IDE’s advanced History event viewer and TimeMachine back-in-time debugger make it easier to quickly find and fix difficult bugs and performance bottlenecks while preventing future software problems in deployed systems.

“As SDV architectures are being fast-tracked by OEMs, platforms that reduce the time to ECU/feature integration while efficiently managing communications are key enablers for reducing the cost to develop and the time to deploy,” said Dan Mender, VP Business Development at Green Hills Software. “Our collaboration with STMicroelectronics and Cetitec is foundational to enabling efficient, scalable and configurable communications solutions for next-generation SDV domain/zonal controller ECUs.”