Volvo, Mentor Graphics Team on AUTOSAR Project

Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) announced successful results of an AUTOSAR demonstrator project recently completed with Volvo(R) Trucks. AUTOSAR is the standards organization working to create an open standard for automotive engineering architecture. Mentor is a premium member of AUTOSAR. The project entailed completely redeveloping an existing climate control system using AUTOSAR technology. The goal of the project was to increase the knowledge about AUTOSAR within the Volvo group as well as evaluate commercial viability of the AUTOSAR concept itself.

AUTOSAR recently released its first set of specifications (release 2.1, January 2007) to be used as the basis for product development. Automotive OEMs and suppliers are looking at the possibility of basing their products and systems on AUTOSAR technology. However, the AUTOSAR partnership stipulated from the beginning that commercial vehicles should not be explicitly considered when developing the AUTOSAR concept. AB Volvo, being a commercial vehicle manufacturer (trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine engines) as well as an AUTOSAR Premium Member, decided to evaluate the AUTOSAR concept from a commercial vehicle manufacturer’s perspective to verify whether the AUTOSAR standard can handle the special needs of this domain, without getting into conflicts.

In the project, Mentor Graphics was the main contractor responsible for developing and integrating the entire basic software, i.e. the AUTOSAR middleware platform, with the operating system and the run time environment generator being developed by Live Devices of ETAS Group.

A key element in Mentor Graphics tool development for this project was the adaptation of VNA (Volcano Network Architect) into the design flow, enabling predictable network communication over CAN (Controller Area Network) even in the context of AUTOSAR.

Five months after the start of the project the prototype was successfully integrated and tested in a real truck. “Mentor’s turn-around time to implement this helped us to meet our milestones in time,” said Joakim Ohlsson, Senior Software Architect, Volvo 3P. “The prototype included support for commercial vehicle-specific bus protocols such as SAE J1587 as well as advanced control of actuators such as stepper motors. The application was also split in different ways over ECUs to test the transferability of functions (atomic software components, SWC) across the network.”

Results from the demonstrator project indicate: (i) the major AUTOSAR concepts are working; (ii) it is possible to handle special needs for commercial vehicles; and (iii) AUTOSAR components and tools are mature enough to start concept studies targeting product development.

“Mentor’s expertise in AUTOSAR and its commitment to the customer showed in the timely delivery of products as well as technical support for the integration effort that led to a successful closure of the project within a very short time,” said Serge Leef, general manager, Mentor Graphics System Level Engineering Division. “We believe our investment and commitment in this area will ultimately lead to tremendous benefits for our customers. These recent results are an important milestone in the road to commercial deployment of AUTOSAR standards.”

Mentor is a premium member of AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture), which is a global development partnership of automotive manufacturers, suppliers and companies specializing in electronics, semiconductors and software. Since 2003, these companies have been working to develop and establish an open standardized software architecture for the automotive industry. By facilitating the exchange and updating of software and hardware, AUTOSAR will be an enabling technology to manage the growing complexity of automotive electrical and electronic architecture in vehicles and to improve cost efficiency without making compromises on quality. The core partners in AUTOSAR are the BMW Group, Bosch, Continental, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Opel, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Siemens VDO Automotive, Toyota and Volkswagen. In addition to these companies, approximately 50 “premium members” also play an important role in the partnership. AUTOSAR specifications can be used free of charge by companies that join the development partnership.

About Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world’s most successful electronics, semiconductor and automotive companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of about $800 million and employs approximately 4,200 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777. The company has more than 70 offices worldwide, including Detroit, Munich and Tokyo.

Mentor Graphics is a registered trademark and VNA is a trademark of Mentor Graphics Corporation.