Skip to Main Content
Modern vehicles incorporate a significant amount of computation, which has led to an increase in the number of computational nodes and the need for faster in-vehicle networks. Functions range from noncritical control of electric windows, through critical drive-by-wire systems, to entertainment applications; as more systems are automated, this variety and number will continue to increase. Accommodating the varying computational and communication requirements of such a diverse range of functions requires flexible networks and embedded computing devices. As the number of electronic control units (ECUs) increases, power and efficiency become more important, more so in next-generation electric vehicles. Moreover, predictability and isolation of safety-critical functions are nontrivial challenges when aggregating multiple functions onto fewer nodes. Reconfigurable computing can play a key role in addressing these challenges, providing both static and dynamic flexibility, with high computational capabilities, at lower power consumption. Reconfigurable hardware also provides resources and methods to address deterministic requirements, reliability and isolation of aggregated functions. This letter presents some initial research on the place of reconfigurable computing in future vehicles.
Date of Publication: March 2013