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AUTOSAR Standard
The AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) partnership is an alliance in which the majority of OEMs, suppliers, tool providers and semiconductor companies work together to develop and establish a de-facto open industry standard for automotive electric/electronic (E/E) architectures. Another important aspect of their work is finding ways to manage the increasing complexity of in-vehicle electronics. The aim is to fulfil future vehicle requirements, such as availability and safety, software upgrades/updates and maintainability, as well as increased scalability and flexibility for integrating and transferring functions.

Benefits of AUTOSAR
As a de-facto standard for automotive E/E architectures, AUTOSAR contains specifications for communication interfaces between application functions and basic system functions. These specifications support the separate development of different functions as software components (SWC). They simplify the tasks of combining functions to make one electronic control unit (ECU) and of integrating multiple ECUs. Exchanging and reusing software components is also easier, as functions that were already checked can be used again, which in turn reduces the development and testing effort.

Due to the growing complexity of single and networked ECUs, OEMS often spread function development across several suppliers. They provide the developers with the AUTOSAR SWC description XML file containing specifications for the application, the actuator and sensor software components, and the communication interfaces between these. These interfaces simplify function integration later on in the development process. By exporting and exchanging the system description, software description and ECU configuration files, all the developers involved – on both the OEM and the supplier side – can share their knowledge of the system structure. This enhances their understanding of the software in the ECUs and is useful throughout the development process.

AUTOSAR Activities at dSPACE
dSPACE joined the AUTOSAR partnership as a Premium Member in April 2004 and is active in defining and developing parts of the architecture and its specifications. New dSPACE products already support these specifications. They fit seamlessly into our tool chain, helping you to adapt your development process to the AUTOSAR standard smoothly.

Following a component-based approach, SystemDesk makes it possible to design a system right from the start of development. The system includes the system topology, ECUs and buses, the software architecture, and the mapping of the SWCs on the ECUs and the data elements to the network signals, for example. By exporting and exchanging the system description or extracts from it, all the developers involved (at the OEM as well as the supplier) can share their knowledge of the system structure. This enhances their understanding of the software in the ECUs and is useful throughout the development process. Formal specifications also include unambiguous descriptions, which reduces architecture errors.

AUTOSAR Software Components
TargetLink and SystemDesk support the import and export of the AUTOSAR software component description. You can use SystemDesk to design your software architecture consisting of AUTOSAR software components from scratch or to integrate existing components. The SWCs contain the application function code and can be developed independently of each other and the underlying ECU. For modeling the functional behavior of these software components, dSPACE provides the TargetLink AUTOSAR Module. This serves to implement model-based designs directly in the form of AUTOSAR-compliant production code. Support for AUTOSAR-compliant development simplifies the integration of different functions into one ECU. Because SystemDesk can work with any AUTOSAR-compliant tool, standardized basic software is guaranteed.

AUTOSAR Description Files for Information Exchange
When OEMs assign the development of an ECU to their suppliers, they specify the functionalities, I/O, application, software components, and thus the interfaces the suppliers have to comply with. Therefore AUTOSAR templates can be imported and exported with SystemDesk to simplify the information exchange between OEMs and suppliers and also within one company. These AUTOSAR templates contain information about the structure, interfaces, and the internal behavior of the SWCs, the ECU configuration, and the system.

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