German semiconductor giant Infineon Technologies AG and Apex.AI are partnering to expedite automotive software development by integrating Infineon’s Aurix TC3x microcontroller and Apex.AI’s software development kit.
Apex.AI is a global company that develops secure, certified, and scalable software for software-defined vehicles and mobility systems. The company's best-known product is Apex.Grace, an automotive-grade, real-time, reliable software development kit. Infineon Technologies AG is a $15.1 billion semiconductor manufacturer focusing on power systems and the internet of things.
Infineon’s Aurix TC3x is one of the major embedded safety controllers worldwide to obtain the highest level of automotive functional safety, the 2018 ISO 26262 standard’s ASIL D certification. This microcontroller hosts carmakers’ automotive safety software, providing the safety and performance needed for driver assistance systems.
The operating system and software development kit in this case, for the purpose of the demonstration at the Embedded World 2023 conference in Nuremberg, Germany is Apex.Grace, which was previously branded as Apex.OS.
Apex.Grace is based on the open-source robot operating system (ROS), which is the industry’s de facto development standard for prototyping for robotics and mobility applications. However, the open-source software isn’t suitable for safety-critical automotive applications, so Apex.Grace provides that ASIL D certification.
The middleware software that provides intra- and inter-ECU communication and communication to the cloud is called Apex.Ida. It has also been renamed; previously it was called the more descriptive Apex.Middleware.
Stefan Duda, Apex.AI vice president of product, pointed out how Apex.AI software bridges the disparate systems that would be in a car to perform a function such as automatic volume control, which lets vehicle speed data from the car’s ECU be relayed to the infotainment system for speaker control.
“What we are doing is, getting this information from this domain controller via CAN to the microcontroller, Infineon Aurix Tricore,” Duda said in a video presentation from the Embedded World show. “Then it will get recalculated and the volume will go out here through the ethernet to the second domain controller. If I change speed here, you see that on the right side, the volume is also going up, so the loudness is automatically scaled with the speed of the car.”
The example illustrates how the Apex software and Infineon hardware collaborate. “What we are showing is our software running on high-performance computers as well as the microcontroller and it is a seamless API so it’s very easy to move applications from the microcontroller to the microprocessor to the system on a chip or the other way back.”
“Together with Apex.AI we are now speeding up software development and implementation of microcontrollers to make software-defined vehicles possible,” said Thomas Schneid, Senior Director of Software, Partnership & Ecosystem Management at Infineon.