Connectivity Software Speeds Vehicle ECU Design

Software framework leverages existing platforms to speed the development of engine control systems.

Spencer Chin, Senior Editor

June 28, 2022

3 Min Read
RTI's Connext Drive® 2.0 connectivity framework for software-defined vehicles simplifies the design and evolution of DDS-enabled automotive ECUs. Image courtesy of Filippo Carlot / Alamy

The proliferation of different networks in vehicles poses challenges to designers of systems such as ECUs (Engine Control Units). Real-Time Innovations (RTI), a software framework company for autonomous systems, has announced RTI Connext Drive® 2.0, a production-grade connectivity framework for software-defined vehicles. The software now accelerates direct integrations into AUTOSAR Classic and ROS 2, enabling developers to leverage data-centric connectivity with familiar ecosystem architectures.

According to RTI, the framework enables users to build on existing, familiar platforms and eliminates the need for custom programming. It also minimizes overall system complexity and cost, while building a future-proof, evolving system that doesn’t compromise performance. 

Connext Drive 2. is based on the Data Distribution Service (DDS™) standard, the leading data connectivity standard that has also been adopted by Automotive standard organizations, AUTOSAR and ROS. This will help OEMs rapidly design multiple vehicle architectures by selecting the optimal features and functions for any specific use case. New Connext Drive 2.0 features include:

The framework has the Connext Integration Toolkit for AUTOSAR Classic. This toolset bridges AUTOSAR Classic ECU modeling and configuration workflows with RTI Connext Drive 2.0 for rapid and scalable communication of embedded, real-time and secure systems. This integration simplifies the design and evolution of DDS-enabled automotive ECUs.

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A Connext ROS 2 Toolkit includes a growing library of tools that eases ROS 2 and Connext Drive ecosystem integration, providing ROS 2 developers with a bridge to production-grade systems. The integration enables users can slash latency in their ROS 2 systems through a custom ROS Middleware Wrapper developed by RTI. 

A Connext Drive Launcher helps users design a vehicle according to a specific use case, including Next Generation E/E, ADAS, Teleoperations, Simulation or High Performance Compute. By selecting the optimal features for a specific use case, developers achieve increased productivity and accelerated time to market. Users can now ease project development with direct access to the full set of utilities, services and tools available in Connext Drive. 

The software includes components safety-certified to ASIL D levels by TUV SUD – the highest level of software certification – ensuring functional vehicle safety to the needs of each individual component, from the ECU to the Central Gateways. In addition, TI Connext Drive® 2.0 now includes interoperability with two popular Real-Time Operating Systems: QNX for Safety over armv8; and AUTOSAR Classic OS implementation over Infineon TriCore, offering a reliable and low-risk path to safe, production-grade vehicles. Connext Drive 2.0 is in production vehicles on the road in the US, Europe and Asia.

The software is now available via a free trial. Connext Drive licensing provides dedicated licenses for the initial reference platform and prototype phases as well as final production program development.  

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News covering the electronics beat. He has many years of experience covering developments in components, semiconductors, subsystems, power, and other facets of electronics from both a business/supply-chain and technology perspective. He can be reached at [email protected].


About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News, covering the electronics beat, which includes semiconductors, components, power, embedded systems, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and other related subjects. He is always open to ideas for coverage. Spencer has spent many years covering electronics for brands including Electronic Products, Electronic Buyers News, EE Times, Power Electronics, and electronics360. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him at @spencerchin.

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