Renesas launches development platform for automotives

20th June 2024
Caitlin Gittins

Renesas has introduced R-Car Open Access (RoX), a new development platform for software-defined vehicles (SDVs). 

This platform integrates all essential hardware, operating systems, software, and tools required for automotive developers to rapidly create next-generation vehicles with secure and continuous software updates.

The platform is designed for the Renesas R-Car family of system-on-chips (SoCs) and microcontrollers (MCUs), and includes comprehensive tools for the seamless deployment of AI applications. By pre-integrating all fundamental layers required for SDVs, RoX significantly reduces complexity for car OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, saving both time and money.

The rise of SDVs marks a significant advancement in automotive technology, driving towards increased autonomy, electrification, and connectivity. Modern vehicles must be aware of their 360-degree surroundings with ASIL D levels of sensing, processing, and control to ensure safety and autonomy applications. The in-cabin experience for drivers and passengers is being transformed.

Consequently, the modern electrical/electronics (E/E) architecture relies on software to control vehicle functions, manage real-time data networks across different ECU zones, and provide customer differentiation. Maintaining and upgrading these complex software stacks while ensuring high safety standards is challenging. Renesas’ solution addresses these challenges with a cloud-native development environment and a simulation platform, supporting a software-first approach and parallel hardware and software development.

The RoX SDV platform is available in two versions. "RoX Whitebox" is an open, easily accessible software package that includes royalty-free operating system and hypervisor software such as Android Automotive OS, FreeRTOS, Linux, Xen, and Zephyr RTOS, along with reference applications designed for specific domain systems.

"RoX Licensed" is based on industry-proven commercial software solutions, including QNX, Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System, AUTOSAR-compliant software, and SAFERTOS. It is pre-integrated and tested to run on Renesas’ R-Car SoCs and MCUs and includes pre-validated software stacks from STRADVISION for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Candera CGI Studio for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI). These software solutions can be easily customised or expanded to meet OEMs’ needs.

With the RoX SDV platform, automotive system engineers can start building their software immediately using a highly integrated toolchain, even before the hardware is available. This is made possible through the cloud environment and the virtual development platform, which allow developers to design, debug in simulation, and verify their software before deploying on live SoCs and MCUs. The virtual development platform includes the Renesas Fast Simulator (RFS) and partner solutions such as ASTC VLAB VDM and Synopsys Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK) to provide comprehensive coverage of simulation speed, features, and use cases.

For seamless end-to-end AI development, RoX offers the AI Workbench to enable developers to validate and optimise their models and test their AI applications in the cloud, either on the virtual development platform or on Renesas board farms. A wide range of AI models, automated pipelines, and a specific hybrid compiler toolchain (HyCo) are available to support rapid AI deployment on the R-Car heterogeneous compute platform across generations of SoCs.

The RoX SDV platform now supports Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing services as part of the AI Workbench development environment. With the Renesas R-Car SDK (Software Development Kit) containerised in the AWS cloud environment, developers can innovate and optimise their designs more efficiently. This integration allows them to simulate and test hardware and software combinations instantly and deploy AI applications that seamlessly run on R-Car devices.

The RoX SDV platform is designed for current generation R-Car SoCs, the forthcoming R-Car Gen 5 MCU/SoC Family, and future devices. The SDV platform offers car OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers the flexibility to design a wide range of scalable compute solutions for ADAS, IVI, gateway, and cross-domain fusion systems, as well as body control, domain, and zone control systems.

“RoX is a significant advancement that will speed up the shift-left approach for software-defined vehicles,” said Vivek Bhan, Senior Vice President and General Manager of High Performance Computing at Renesas. “Today, car OEMs and Tier1 suppliers are heavily investing in software development and maintenance. Renesas understands this challenge and is closely working with them to deliver a flexible, ready-to-deploy development solution that can be maintained throughout the vehicle’s lifespan. The RoX platform empowers our customers to design vehicles that deliver new value and bring improved safety and delightful comfort experiences to drivers and passengers.”

“At AWS, we’re committed to helping our customers and partners accelerate development and bring innovation to drivers faster than ever before,” added Andrea Ketzer, Director of Technology Strategy, Automotive & Manufacturing at AWS.  “With Renesas’ R-Car Gen 5 devices supported by the AI Workbench on AWS, customers will achieve faster and more validated simulations and the ability to develop independently of hardware. This step change in development will drive the industry forward and place software innovation at the forefront of mobility.” 

Featured products

Product Spotlight

Upcoming Events

View all events
Latest global electronics news
© Copyright 2024 Electronic Specifier