The Finnish Elektrobit Corporation or EB specializes in embedded software and hardware solutions for the wireless and automotive industries. Nearly 37 per cent of its 144 million Euro revenues come from the automotive segment with wireless communication solutions accounting for 63 per cent. Most of EB’s sales are in Europe with 71 per cent of revenues coming from the region. The Americas account for 23 per cent of EB’s sales and Asia adds around 6 per cent.

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Issue: May 2008


AI speaks to Martin Schleicher, director, products & platforms, EB Automotive Software Business Unit



by Lenny Case

The Finnish Elektrobit Corporation or EB specializes in embedded software and hardware solutions for the wireless and automotive industries. Nearly 37 per cent of its 144 million Euro revenues come from the automotive segment with wireless communication solutions accounting for 63 per cent. Most of EB’s sales are in Europe with 71 per cent of revenues coming from the region. The Americas account for 23 per cent of EB’s sales and Asia adds around 6 per cent.

The company’s leading solution for the automotive market is its EB tresos® product family. EB tresos® is based on the AUTOSAR, FlexRay, CAN, and LIN standards and supports the whole process of the software-development and analysis for electronic control units used in car networks. In April this year, EB introduced the first release of the new EB 5100 FlexRay and CAN interface hardware solution to the market. The solution incorporates two FlexRay controllers in the FPGA and a high-performance microcontroller for the calculation of customer-specific functions directly on the hardware. The central components of EB tresos® are AUTOSAR-compliant basic software modules, which include modules for diagnostic functions,

Other EB products for the automotive market are the Human Machine Interface (HMI) development tool EB GUIDE and the white-label navigation software EB street director. The EB GUIDE Studio supports the entire project lifecycle – from specifying and simulating the HMI to generating the source code on the target platform. Its data pool architecture allows separating the HMI from applications, enabling a very early experience of design and system behavior.

Rather recently, EB added two unique components to enhance the tools capabilities. As a result, EB GUIDE Studio is currently the only HMI design tool available with built in Navigation and Speech Recognition technology.

EB's street director solution is a high-performance navigation core available as a complete application for in dash systems and mobile devices. It includes state-of-the-art speech technologies such as text to speech and voice recognition as well as traffic data integration, POI search, interactive maps, advanced address entry, and even speed limit warnings. Additional applications such as address book, phone dialer andtravel guide are also provided and seamlessly integrated into the navigation software environment.

 

"The amount of electronics introduced into the car has increased significantly in recent years and this trend is expected to continue as car companies introduce further advances in safety, reliability, and comfort. 90 per cent of innovations in new automobiles are enabled by software. A stable, efficient, and portable software-infrastructure has to be offered to the designer when developing applications efficiently. The EB tresos® family provides an integrated and extendable software-infrastructure with collaborating tools throughout the v-model," says Martin Schleicher.

Earlier this year, in March, Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe (FME) and EB expanded their AUTOSAR software solutions for Fujitsu's MB91460 series automotive microcontrollers with a new AUTOSAR V2.1 package. A package for AUTOSAR V2.0 is already available. "FME and EB, both AUTOSAR premium members, can now provide a complete and seamless AUTOSAR implementation in Fujitsu's RISC (FR) MB91460 MCU series. The umbrella concept of the MB91460 series will allow support for AUTOSAR to be included easily on future members of the series," said a statement in the joint press release.

Automotive Industries spoke to Martin Schleicher, director, products & platforms, EB Automotive Software Business Unit.

AI: Please tell us a little about EB’s AUTOSAR standard automotive software.

We strongly believe in innovation in the automotive industry will be enabled through software. Standards like AUTOSAR lay the foundation for innovation in the ECU domains. EB was among the first premium members to join the AUTOSAR consortium. Since the beginning, we are actively contributing to the standard. In 2006, EB was the first company to offer the full AUTOSAR Basic Software package. Through the acquisition of DECOMSYS in 2007 we can now offer with the EB tresos product family a full solution for AUTOSAR and FlexRay covering the whole V-cycle. At the same time EB tresos is supporting customers in saving their investments into existing ECU systems based on OSEK and CAN with an easy and smooth migration to the new advanced architectures using AUTOSAR or FlexRay.

AI: What is the impact of the FME and EB automotive solutions which are based on AUTOSAR?

Through direct cooperation with semiconductor vendors, we can offer a complete and optimized AUTOSAR package for microcontrollers consisting of the Basic Software and the Microcontroller Abstraction Layer (MCAL). This enables our customers to select the microcontrollers which fit their needs best and at the same time can reduce the development and integration effort.

AI: Most of your revenues come from Europe, how is the company planning to expand markets in other parts of the world?

We see huge opportunities in expanding our automotive business globally to Asia and US. For instance for the JASPAR consortium, EB is the leading supplier for AUTOSAR. In the US, we already have operations in Seattle and Detroit that we plan to grow strongly. In April 2008, EB hosted the first North American AUTOSAR Symposium that turned out to be a huge success.

AI: How would you say your AUTOSAR-compliant family of software solutions, the EB tresos®, compares to similar products in the market?

EB tresos is an integrated environment for ECU software development consisting of tools for network design, configuration, and generation of AUTOSAR Basic Software and measuring and analysis tools for CAN, LIN, and FlexRay as well as cluster simulation. Our solutions provide maximum flexibility for our customers through a both seamless and comprehensive software infrastructure with open interfaces. Only perfect teamwork between individual tools guarantees successful networking of ECU software standards. Within one development environment, you can design, develop, analyze and test ECU software. This keeps frictional losses at bay, costs under control, and errors to a minimum.

AI: Please tell us little bit about your solutions that support Microsoft embedded technologies.

EB also has a long history and track-record in the Infotainment and Telematics domain. Our HMI Development tool EB GUIDE supports Microsoft Windows CE and MS Auto as target platforms. Our navigation software EB street director is available for a large variety of Portable Navigation Devices (PND) from different vendors running Windows CE as well as for built-in systems with MS Auto. In 2007, we have shipped more than one million licenses of our navigation software on PNDs with Windows CE. The very successful FIAT blue&me system based on MS Auto is also using the EB street director core for its navigation solution.

AI: What kind of automotive experience does EB have that makes it an important player in the automotive embedded software market?

EB has been delivering software solutions to the automotive industry for over 20 years – worldwide. The list of our customers includes all major car manufacturers as well as suppliers.

With EB software solutions, our customers are able to redefine their automotive electronics, speed up the entire development process, minimise efforts to upgrade existing functions or develop new ones. EB software provides a stable foundation for all automotive electronics. Thus, we support our customers in meeting the challenges of automotive industry with our cutting-edge software products and adaptive service offerings. EB’s high quality and professionally managed software architecture ensures compatibility and allows the software to be efficiently reused.

Furthermore, EB believes in differentiation through innovation. EB takes a driving role by identifying and verifying trends at an early stage, and converting them into viable software solutions



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