This year Luxoft started the rollout of the PELUX Automotive Reference Platform (ARP). Designed for prototyping advanced digital cockpit platforms and capable of driving vehicle instrument cluster, head unit display, cockpit occupant monitoring and driver assistance systems simultaneously, the ARP is designed from the ground up to be reconfigurable and expandable.
The strength of the platform is its highly modular system design. Not only is the SoC-module interchangeable – with various Arm and x86 modules available on the market – but by building the board around an Altera Cyclone V FPGA with integrated Arm cores the platform enables high levels of design flexibility.
In addition to USB, Ethernet, SD, SATA, HDMI, DisplayPort, and automotive-specific interfaces like CAN, LIN, FlexRay, Ethernet AVB, the ARP leverages the reprogrammability of the FPGA to add two HSMC slots with massive high-speed I/O expansion capabilities. A wide variety of HSMC expansion boards are available through a partner ecosystem, which allows the ARP to support most existing and emerging connectivity standards. For instance, the platform's four display outputs can be increased to nine, while multiple video cameras and other sensors can be added to enable advanced use-cases such as driver monitoring and assistance.
The platform is a result of a strategic partnership that started out with Altera, now Intel Programmable Solutions Group (PSG), but the ARP’s heritage stretches back much further than that. The core Digital Cockpit team in Sweden (formerly Pelagicore) has a long history of maintaining tight cooperation with silicon vendors, such as Texas Instruments, Freescale, Renesas, Intel, Altera, and Nvidia, helping them provide board support packages that are compatible with the open source community. For instance, as part of a partnership with Nvidia, Luxoft developed an entire automotive radio stack for their Drive CX 2 hardware.
This approach also resulted in a collaboration with Intel and Xilinx that brought Intel's first IVI hardware platform to the market, which was selected as the first official GENIVI reference hardware platform. The Pelagicore team was responsible not only for the hardware design and FPGA development, but also driver development and demo setups. In many ways, the ARP is the successor to this early attempt to provide a standardized and flexible IVI hardware platform.
Luxoft has already showcased the advanced capabilities of the ARP at CES and Embedded World – where we used the HSMC slot to enable rendering of 5 individual camera streams into our center stack HMI while simultaneous driving a cockpit display.
Together with Volvo, Luxoft is also participating in a research project where the ARP has been selected as the reference hardware. This project will look into recent advances in Ethernet technology and IEEE standardization with the aim of providing knowledge for development methods and tools that support advanced safety applications such as autonomous driving and camera monitoring applications. With support for the latest Ethernet protocols and interfaces, the ARP is a perfect fit for this project.
For 2018 and beyond the ARP roadmap includes adding multiple display capabilities and a 360-degree viewing demo. Together with industry partners, we also plan to start an open hardware initiative around the ARP.
Fully supported by the PELUX / Qt Automotive Suite Digital Cockpit software platform, PELUX ARP aims to be the first truly open hardware and software solution for next-generation digital cockpits.
We encourage industry participation at https://pelux.io/.