Mentor Automotive has launched a Linux-based, GENIVI compliant “Connected OS” that improves upon its ATP automotive stack with ADAS, eAVB, and CE support.
The Mentor Automotive division of Mentor Graphics announced the availability of a Mentor Automotive Connected OS stack that appears to replace its Mentor Embedded Automotive Technology Platform (ATP), moving beyond in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) to add support for driver information, consumer electronics device integration, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) functionality, among other features. Like ATP, Connected OS is said to be compliant with the open source GENIVI automotive spec, and run on Linux. Connected OS is supported with AXSB hardware reference platform (see farther below).
Connected OS architecture
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Connected OS comprises a board support package called SuperBSP and an optimized middleware layer called OPTstack. SuperBSP provides a boot-time optimized bootloader, Linux kernel, and audio, video processing and networking components. The OPTstack provides fast-boot, instant-on, and optimized audio/video functionality, among other features.
Sub two-second boot
The initial boot code bootloader supports sub two-second boot times, claims Mentor. New AV features include support for remote-rendering use cases in emerging infotainment applications such as Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) and Driver Information, says the company.
The OPTstack provides Ethernet Audio/Video Bridging (eAVB) for real-time, high QoS transmission of the majority of in-car data, with a special focus on data related to safety applications, says Mentor Automotive. This is said to enable support for ADAS and Driver Information functionality, in addition to IVI. The AVnu Alliance compliant stack supports the IEEE 802.1AS, 802.1Qat, 802.1Qav, 1722.1 and 1733.eAVB variations of eAVB, which enables compliance with the stringent requirements of low-latency time sensitive applications and reserved data channels.
eAVB architecture within Connected OS
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Connected OS is further equipped with support for consumer electronics integration, presumably referring primarily to mobile phones and tablets. In addition to supporting wireless technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth, it offers a “scalable infrastructure for new connectivity methods,” as well as a “comprehensive platform for pre-integrated, optimized enablement,” says Mentor.
The stack provides regulatory compliance with ADAS applications such as rear-view camera (RVC) “with specific audio and video response times,” says the company. Other ADAS features include support for surround view and lane departure warning systems (LDWS).
Connected OS “is developed and maintained on a platform-centric basis for deep integration with system-on-chip specific features,” says Mentor. The stack is also said to be “customizable to support the unique requirements of OEMs and Tier1s.”
XSe and AXSB reference design
Although Mentor Automotive makes no mention of it in the press release, the Connected OS product page and menu hierarchy suggest the distribution is part of its XSe Automotive platform. XSe also comprises an Active Noise Control system, an XStrace tracing and analysis system, and hardware services, including an AXSB reference hardware platform.
AXSB reference platform
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The single-DIN AXSB boardset “conforms to automotive layout rules, is built from automotive-grade components, provides automotive interfaces, and operates from an electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) optimized automotive power architecture with power events tied to ignition events,” says Mentor.
The AXSB boardset runs Linux on a Texas Instruments DRA7xx “Jacinto” SoC with dual Cortex-A15 cores and dual Cortex-M4 cores. Other AXSB features include an XSe AM/FM tuner card, XSe amplifier, PCI Express interface, and a TI WiLink 8 wireless module with dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
Mentor touts the AXSB for its two-channel CAN interface, which connects both channels to the I/O controller. One CAN channel is transparently connected to the TI Jacinto SoC, enabling CAN functionality even when there’s no separate I/O controller, says the company.
Additional features include Ethernet, USB 2.0 and 3.0, SATA, speed signal, and UART interfaces. Display features include an automotive HDMI input, as well as an HDMI output for development purposes. You also get four CVBS video inputs for cameras, as well as two video outputs, which can be designated as either FPD-LINK III or APIX2.
Mentor Automotive background
It’s unclear to what extent Connected OS builds upon the earlier ATP platform. According to Mentor, millions of Mentor Automotive Linux-based automotive systems have already been adopted into production programs, with expectations of exceeding 50 million by 2018.
Based in part on MontaVista’s GENIVI-compliant in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) distribution, as well as Mentor’s own Mentor Embedded Linux distribution, the Mentor Embedded Automotive Technology Platform (ATP) was released in April, 2014. In September, it was updated with an integrated version of Jungo Connectivity’s multimedia player middleware, and in October, Mentor Graphics announced a related Mentor Embedded Hypervisor that could work together with ATP and other IVI and telematics systems to enable multiple VMs running on each core of a multicore SoC.