Auto Electronics

Wind River introduces Linux platform for automotive infotainment

Collaborating with Intel, Wind River Systems has introduced Wind River Linux Platform for Infotainment, an infotainment platform based on an automotive-optimized commercial Linux. The firm said the platform will significantly accelerate time-to-market for automotive infotainment applications.

The open source platform will be optimized for the IntelAtom processor, targets for which include in-vehicle infotainment solutions that demand connected, multimedia and graphics intensive application support in a low-power envelope.

The platform will offer pre-integration with third-party networking and multimedia applications including speech-recognition and speech-to-text technologies from Nuance Comunications (www.nuance.com); Bluetooth, echo cancellation and noise reduction from Parrot (www.parrot.com); music management from Gracenote (www.gracenote.com), multimedia networking from SMSC (www.smsc.com), and DVD playback from Corel (www.corel.com).

Robert W. Schumacher, general director of advanced products and business development at Delphi (www.delphi.com), said his firm is adopting the platform “to help speed up and expand the innovation curve of Delphi’s next generation entertainment and communications platform. BMW Group (www.bmw.com), Bosch (www.bosch.com), and Magneti Marelli (www.marelli.it) are also supporting the platform.

“Mobile infotainment products are undergoing a dramatic technology shift as multimedia, communications and consumer devices converge in the automobile,” Schumacher said. “A standardized Linux-based infotainment platform for the automotive industry breaks down the silos of adjacent industries, bringing together feature sets like mobile handsets, automotive and personal devices, at a faster pace and helps to lower costs.”

Wind River will make available open source specification and code from the platform to the open source community via a new in-vehicle infotainment segment within Moblin.org, a community web site for software vendors and Linux users to collaborate, share solutions and contribute code.

The code and the Atom processor will enable the development of open infotainment platforms based on interoperable, standards-based hardware and software components. This will allow manufacturers to scale software across devices, leading to cost and development efficiencies.
Vincent Rerolle, senior vice president and general manager of Wind River’s Linux product division, said the firm is providing an integrated development environment that leverages contributions from adjacent industries and a comprehensive ecosystem of partner technologies.

Rerolle said integration and interoperability challenges with consumer electronics technologies are largely due to mismatched development cycles, dramatic increases in platform development costs, and a pressing need to speed platform innovation to help differentiate vehicles.

According to Rerolle, traditional proprietary approaches to these challenges lack the flexibility to help create true differentiation, and Linux kernel-centric approaches don’t address time-to-market issues or development costs. He said Wind River’s platform swill deliver many of the most compelling requirements of automotive-optimized Linux through middleware optimized for today’s infotainment devices.

Enhancements will include consumer electronics connectivity, three-dimensional graphics support, multimedia support, power state management, fast boot/initialization, and automotive standards connectivity with CAN and MOST.

Wind River expects to deliver the open source specification and code to the Moblin.org in-vehicle infotainment community in August 2008.

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