Overview

So, hello guys, welcome to gettobyte platform. Continuing our Automotive technology series. In today’s blog we are going to start with Autosar technology of Automotive Industry. In the last blog, of automotive technology series we have get to know about Autosaur Technology. Now from this blog we will start with Handson activity and skill-based learning on Autosaur Technology using MCAL Layer. We will be mainly focusing on practical learning on Autosar, for theoretical understanding and concepts, will share necessary links and resources.

What is Autosar

Autosar is Software standard that has been standardized to write Software for automotive vehicles. Here by software, we mean by embedded software that is programmed in microcontrollers to develope automotive electronics/electrical sub-system. Autosaur has various layers in it, to know in detail about each of these layers and their role, explore/check out the last blog, or watch this video.

Autosar Technolgy
Autosar Technolgy

To start with Autosar technology as a hobbyist and with DIY implementation, the easiest way is to start with the MCAL (Microcontroller Abstraction Layer) layer of Autosar technology.

What is MCAL Layer?

MCAL Layer is the closest layer to the microcontroller, and it is kind of like Real Time Driver (RTD) for all the peripherals of the Microcontroller in autosar software standard. Using this layer only, embedded software’s for automotive vehicles are developed. Those who don’t know, Real Time Driver (RTD) are software stack in microcontroller world to use microcontroller peripherals. For automotive application this Real Time Driver (RTD) Terminology is being referenced as MCAL(Microcontroller Abstraction Layer). To know more about software stacks used in microcontroller checkout this blog.To know about different kind of automotive embedded applications, checkout this blog.

MCAL_Layer_Autosar
MCAL_Layer_Autosar

 

Now what Autosaur technology has done is that whatever automotive embedded application we are developing, RTD (Real Time Driver) files that will be needing to develop application code would be same irrespective of microcontroller whether it is on NXP, Infineon, Renesas or etc.

So, each microcontroller company has to make the Real Time Driver for their Microcontroller up to the MCAL layer standard so that their microcontrollers can be used for automotive applications. To know about microcontroller, checkout this blog.

So it also means, that doing handson with MCAL layer for any one microcontroller, it will give us basic/intermediate level of learning, understanding and knowledge to build different applications according to autosar software standard. And this is what we are going to follow. 

Strategy to learn autosar technology

Autosar technology is a very important skill for job seekers in the automotive industry. Be it a working professional, college student or fresh graduates, having the skill set of autosar technology in their resume makes them outstand. 

But there are certain challenges in learning autosar technology. For learning autosar technology an automotive microcontroller is required so that we can make DIY and practical automotive projects using autosar software stack. Thus, what we are going to follow is we will learn and do Hands-on with MCAL layer of automotive Microcontrollers, for building automotive applications and the MCAL layer stack is provided by respective microcontroller companies. As Only for automotive microcontroller’s MCAL layer is available. MCAL layer is not available for General Purpose microcontroller like that of: STM32, ESP8266/32 and Arduino Uno boards. So, to use MCAL layer first requirement is to have a microcontroller and its development readily available. Here come’s the ElecronicsV2 development board. ElecronicsV2 board, which is development board for developing automotive applications/projects using autosar software stack It is low-cost Automotive, development board based on S32K144 automotive Microcontroller. Comes at cost of 5000 INR.

ElecronicsV2 Automotive Development Board

In autosar technology as told there are many layers, as told in what is autosar section. So, to use and configure layers above MCAL layer, there are specific code configuration tools and IDEs for using autosar Stack. These tools are provided by companies like: Electrobit, Mentor Graphics, Vector and etc. But these tools are very expensive. Thus, what we are going to do is we will start from MCAL layer, as MCAL layer code configuration, generation and development can be done by IDE which are provided by microcontroller companies. Thus, for elecronicsV2 development board which has NXP semiconductors S32K144 Microcontroller there is S32 Design Studio IDE in which we can do full MCAL layer configuration, generation and development.

 

Using MCAL layer we will develop different application by interfacing different automotive sensor/modules to ElecronicsV2. By this way we will be able to make automotive applications using MCAL layer that will give us exposure to autosar software architecture

Tools Needed

Hardware

We will be doing this activity using NXP Semiconductor S32 Microcontroller family. NXP S32 family of Microcontroller, are automotive grade MCU’s for which NXP provides full MCAL layer support for all of its S32 MCU’s. To know more about NXP S32 Family of Automotive Microcontroller/Microprocessor, checkout this blog.

One such microcontroller of NXP is S32K144, for which gettobyte has developed a cost friendly and easy to use development Board ElecrronicsV2. We will be using this Development Board (ElecronicsV2) and Microcontroller(S32K144) through-out our Autosaur learning series. To know more about elecronicsV2 board and S32K144 Microcontroller, checkout this blog.

And for programming and debugging the ElecronicsV2 board, we will be needing a debugger. JlinkV9 debugger is what we are going to use initially, but soon in upcoming time, gettobyte will be coming up with its own Jlink debugger. That will be updated soon. To know more about Debuggers in microcontroller world, checkout this blog: Mastering the Art of Debugging Technology in Microcontrollers

So before continuing further will recommend buying the elecronicsV2 board and JlinkV9 debugger from below links:

Software

In terms of Software, we will be needing an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to develop embedded software on microcontroller. For that we will be using S32 Design Studio, which is dedicated IDE for NXP S32 Automotive Microcontroller’s. For the Installation of S32 Design Studio and guide on it, refer to following playlist on my YouTube Channel: NXP Semiconductors S32 Design Studio – YouTube.

NXP Semiconductors provides the MCAL Layer for almost all of its S32 Microcontroller. And we can configure/use the MCAL Layer directly on NXP S32 Design Studio IDE .  S32 Design Studio is an eclipse-based C/CPP IDE. We just need to install some plugins and packages in S32 Design Studio IDE to make it usable for configuration/development of MCAL Layer. Also, with the software package of MCAL layer for S32 Microcontroller, there comes the documentation of API for each peripheral of MCU, these documentations are referred as User Manual and Integration Manual’s. 

Now follow the below video to setup the environment of specified software packages in your PCs to start learning with the Autosar MCAL Layer.

Getting Started

Checkout the below video further to know how to setup MCAL layer in S32 Design Studio and how to configure different peripherals via it.

Conclusion

This is just getting started and introduction blog with the autosar Technology using MCAL layer and ElecronicsV2 Development Board. In which we have setup the environment in our PC’s required for autosar MCAL layer and gather all the basic hardware needed to learn autosar stack by practical handson on it.

In further blogs we are going to deep dive into MCAL layer of each peripheral of the MCU and do Interesting DIY projects by developing different application projects related to automotive by using MCAL layer and ElecronicsV2 Development Board

Next Blogs to read.

Questions

  1. Difference between S32DS MCAL layer and EB tresos MCAL Layer?
  2. Difference of use between EB tresos and S32 DS Autosaur configuration.

EB tresos Studio is only code generator, it generates the .c and .h files, according to the code configuration we do. But S32 Design Studio is standalone IDE in which we can generate, configure and develop the code.

  1. How to use Autosaur MCAL for other MCU then NXP.
  2. Different terminologies meaning: EB Tresos, Vector, Configuration Tool.
  3. Terminologies: OEM, Tier-1, 

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