Carmagazine.com words and photo by Mike Torch
AGL is making friends among the auto sector amid it's move to push the Freeware platform by adding a virtualization solution via a hypervisor in order to move beyond infotainment.
The open-source AGL platform — comprising of Linux-based operating system and application framework — shares software stack for connected cars among its member companies like Toyota, which is using Renesas' R-Car system-on-chip (SoC) in Camry's infotainment system.
AGL's Unified Code Base (UCB) 4.0 encompasses 70 percent to 80 percent of work needed to build an in-vehicle infotainment system, and Renesas has incorporated the AGL-based software in its R-Car chipsets and R-Car Starter Kit.
Likewise, TI's Jacinto automotive processors support the latest UCB software distribution, and all the required code is committed back to AGL repositories. Next, unlike its nemesis Genivi, which solely focuses on creating a spec for infotainment and connectivity, AGL platform is expanding into new areas such as instrument cluster, digital cockpit, heads-up display (HUD), etc. with a hypervisor architecture.
Important to note that the Genivi Alliance is largely backed by the European carmakers while Automotive Grade Linux or AGL has its following mostly from the Japanese automakers, and that AGL's hypervisor initiative follows the footsteps of automotive software market leader:
Like Blackberry's QNX, the idea behind a hypervisor architecture is the creation of virtual software containers on top of an automotive SoC to isolate non-mission-critical infotainment applications from safety-critical systems such as brakes, engine, and steering.
A virtual architecture like QNX's Hypervisor 2.0 integrates the infotainment systems and instrument cluster on the same SoC while running concurrent OS software on each of them. So if the infotainment system crashes, it won't have any impact on car's instrument cluster that includes speedometer, odometer, gas tank indicator, etc.