Posted by frank schirrmeister on June 15, 2011
As a follow up to the DAC workshop called “Intra and Inter-Vehicle Networking in Automotive: Past, Present, and Future”, fellow Blogger Karen Bartelson and I had the pleasure of talking to Wilfired Steiner, Senior Research Engineer from TTTEch, about the challenges of the design of fault tolerant systems.
The discussion covers a variety of topics including the importance of standards, what can happen if real time systems like car’s are not fault tolerant, the design challenges, how the relationships between IP providers and semiconductor companies work, the role of software and we even touched on how much fun standardization can be. You can listen to the full discussion here at our archive of Conversation Central topics.
The technical item which fascinated me the most, is the way how TTTEch and the standardization teams have built on top of an existing standard – Ethernet – capabilities to make timing deterministic. Wilfired explains the details of how timing packets are used to synchronize all network participants in the video below. To reap the benefits, some of the infrastructure needs to be upgraded, but for example in a car the developer has the appropriate design control to account for this upgrade.
From a design tool’s perspective – the amount of software I those systems makes the use of early software development and techniques to enable it (like FPGA and Virtual Prototyping) basically mandatory. Wilfried commented on both simulation and formal techniques during the discussion we had.
It seems like BMW will start using Ethernet for rear view camera video transmission starting in some 2013 models … it will be interesting to see how the adoption of Ethernet and its extensions will evolve over the coming years.
Patrick Sheridan is responsible for Synopsys' system-level solution for virtual prototyping. In addition to his responsibilities at Synopsys, from 2005 through 2011 he served as the Executive Director of the Open SystemC Initiative (now part of the Accellera Systems Initiative). Mr. Sheridan has 30 years of experience in the marketing and business development of high technology hardware and software products for Silicon Valley companies.
Malte Doerper is responsible for driving the software oriented virtual prototyping business at Synopsys. Today he is based in Mountain View, California. Malte also spent over 7 years in Tokyo, Japan, where he led the customer facing program management practice for the Synopsys system-level products. Malte has over 12 years’ experiences in all aspects of system-level design ranging from research, engineering, product management and business development. Malte joined Synopsys through the CoWare acquisition, before CoWare he worked as researcher at the Institute for Integrated Signal Processing Systems at the Aachen University of Technology, Germany.
Tom De Schutter
Tom De Schutter is responsible for driving the physical prototyping business at Synopsys. He joined Synopsys through the acquisition of CoWare where he was the product marketing manager for transaction-level models. Tom has over 10 years of experience in system-level design through different marketing and engineering roles. Before joining the marketing team he led the transaction-level modeling team at CoWare.