Network protocol stacks with Siemens’ Capital VSTAR

5th August 2020
Alex Lynn

Excelfore has announced it has licensed its Ethernet network protocol stacks to Siemens Digital Industries Software, thus bringing advanced time-critical networking to automotive in-vehicle applications. The new licensing agreement follows several years of cooperative platform development between the two companies.

The Excelfore Ethernet protocol stacks work with Capital VSTAR software, an efficient implementation of the industry standard AUTOSAR. Under the terms of the new agreement, the Capital VSTAR offering will include the Excelfore Ethernet protocols.

Until recently, AUTOSAR applications have focused on CAN, which is a bus dedicated to the automotive industry that dates to the early 1990s.  Despite several upgrades to the CAN bus specs it remains comparatively slow, and still requires re-integration of the bus whenever one device on the bus changes. Ethernet comes from the IT (information technology) industry, it has advanced quickly to a much higher bandwidth, and is more flexible. However, in its basic form Ethernet is not time-sensitive, which has made it inappropriate for many automotive uses.

Henrik Olsen, Director of Embedded Software at Mentor, a Siemens Business said: “The Excelfore protocol stacks help to bring advanced time-aware networking to Ethernet, with reliable latency and bandwidth, thus making it appropriate for many in-vehicle applications.”

Shrikant Acharya, CTO at Excelfore, added: “Siemens is a recognized leader in world-class electronic hardware and software design solutions. We have worked together for multiple years, and this new agreement is the next step in our two companies’ co-operation in automotive solutions.”

The Excelfore Ethernet AVB protocols licensed for Capital VSTAR include IEEE1722 AVTP, IEEE1733 RTP and RTCP, IEEE802.1Qat SRP, IEEE802.1Qav FQTSS and IEEE802.1AS gPTP. These protocols have already been successfully implemented into advanced automotive digital systems for a Tier-1 automotive supplier and accepted for a production program by a large automaker. 

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