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Visteon awarded second SmartCore domain controller program with a European automaker; debuting on global vehicle platform in 2020

Visteon Corporation, a leading cockpit electronics supplier, has secured a second major customer vehicle program for its cockpit domain controller technology, SmartCore. (Earlier post.) Visteon is the only supplier offering an automotive-grade, integrated domain controller approach that can independently operate the infotainment system, instrument cluster and potentially other features on one System on Chip (SoC).

Visteon is scheduled to launch the first SmartCore-based solution in 2018, for a European vehicle manufacturer. This second SmartCore business win, also with a European automaker, offers instrument cluster and infotainment features and expands the platform to high-end applications with industry-first 3-D display and augmented reality head-up display capabilities.

Today’s vehicles have up to 100 microprocessors on board, with that number expected to double over the next five years. The number of lines of software code has soared concomitantly, with more than 100 million lines of code in some vehicles, Visteon notes.

To address this increasing complexity, the automotive industry working to bringing different electronic domains onto a single platform. This leads to the challenge of enabling applications with diverse requirements—i.e., security, safety and openness (open world—to work in a secure environment on a single platform. For this, Visteon developed a virtualization solution.

SmartCore combines previously separate instrument clusters, head-up displays (HUD) and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) domains on a one-chip, multi-domain controller that can be accessed through an integrated HMI. Visteon first displayed the SmartCore connected domain controller at CES 2016.

The SmartCore system uses Visteon-developed virtualization (MOSS.x, multiple operating system security) that allows a multicore SoC microprocessor to run many functions by splitting up the processor’s power for use by a variety of devices. Security is achieved by keeping the virtualization software code to a minimum and running multiple operating systems unmodified. Each OS is executed natively and therefore able to access Input and output (I/O) devices directly. This isolates safety-critical elements from non-critical elements and from the outside world.

Overall virtualization architecture. Source: Visteon. Click to enlarge.

This enables independent functional domains with different levels of ASIL requirements—initially driver information and infotainment—while future domains can be added to operate separately and securely.

SmartCore is designed to integrate infotainment, instrument clusters, information displays, head-up displays, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and connectivity—providing a foundation for the evolution to autonomous driving.


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