STMicroelectronics is helping the automotive industry deliver safer, greener, and smarter vehicles to market more quickly and cost effectively with new tools that assist the development of electronic control units (ECUs), the ‘mini-computers’ that manage the numerous electronic systems in today’s vehicles.
The automotive market is changing quickly, transitioning from familiar technologies such as ordinary bulbs, mechanical systems, and hydraulics to lightweight, intelligent replacements such as LEDs and brushless motors, amid the general trend toward electrification and digitalization. New vehicles can contain over 100 ECUs and, as their complexity is always increasing, design teams need to accelerate development to keep pace.
ST’s AutoDevKit™ ecosystem introduces a new and efficient toolset for creating working prototypes, replacing traditional artisan approaches and supporting standardization and design reuse. Available for free, the AutoDevKit library is a software environment that lets users select the microcontrollers and functional boards from ST’s wide automotive portfolio to easily prototype an automotive solution.
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After choosing the preferred AutoDevKit components, users are guided to connect the boards, generate code, compile and download firmware, without forgetting prototype testing and debugging. A fundamental aspect of the AutoDevKit ecosystem is to offer easy-to-use application-program interfaces (API) for communication and control for each of the functional boards supported.
“Automotive-electronics designers are under intense time-to-market pressure and delivering a credible proof of concept quickly is critical,” said Marco Monti, President, Automotive and Discrete Group, STMicroelectronics. “Our AutoDevKit ecosystem can cut months of engineering effort from traditional prototype development by letting users concentrate on system functionality and offload low-level tasks such as building device drivers.”
The AutoDevKit software is part of the integrated design environment for ST’s SPC5 automotive microcontrollers. ST will demonstrate AutoDevKit technology at Embedded World 2020, Hall 4A Stand 138.
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Further technical background
The complete AutoDevKit ecosystem includes the AutoDevKit library plugin and hardware development tools including AEK MCU discovery and functional boards and AEKD System Solution Demonstrators that are optimized for automotive use.
The AEK tools include discovery boards for evaluating specific automotive microcontrollers and functional boards that help quickly implement various functions such as motor control, LED lighting, power management, audio, and connectivity. Dedicated APIs are available for each board to control the features and facilitate communication, all without having a deep knowledge of the semiconductor devices employed or their datasheets.
The AEKD System Solution Demonstrators provide direct access to pre-assembled system-demonstrator boards, as well as board kits and non-electronic hardware assemblies such as car-like components and loads to help users closely emulate the desired solution.
AutoDevKit is fully integrated with SPC5 Studio software development environment and extends the IDE functionalities with automatic pin allocation for the microcontroller and board view editor dedicated to support users to interconnect several functional boards with the microcontroller board. Similarly, AutoDevKit APIs are fully integrated with SPC5 Studio low-level drivers delivering code that is readily portable across microcontroller platforms.