Intel Corp. and Wind River Systems on Tuesday declared collaboration under which the companies will create an open source Linux platform for the in-vehicle infotainment market. The platform will be based on Intel Atom processors and the announcement is among the first that will put Atom processors into electronics for a wide audience of consumers.
As part of a major new product strategy for Wind River and the broader in-vehicle device industry, Wind River will make available open source specification and code from the platform to the open source community via a new in-vehicle infotainment segment within Moblin.org. Moblin.org is a community web site for software vendors and Linux users to collaborate, share solutions and contribute code. The code, in combination with the Intel Atom processor, will enable the development of Open Infotainment Platforms that are based on interoperable, standards-based hardware and software components. This will allow manufacturers to scale software across devices, leading to cost and development efficiencies.
Open source solutions offer several benefits to the automotive industry, including no vendor lock-in for solution components or tools, broad options available for consumer electronics integration and the ability to customize a solution, driving manufacturer branding and differentiation. In addition, open source solutions such as Linux offer a flexible business model compared to proprietary solutions and leverage the efforts of the broader open source development community, resulting in reduced time-to-market.
Companies such as BMW Group, Bosch, Delphi and Magneti Marelli are actively supporting Wind River’s strategy to drive Linux into the automotive infotainment market and its commitment to accelerate the defragmentation effort by creating a standardized platform so that OEMs and auto manufacturers may add differentiating services and solutions demanded by the modern day consumer.
Intel actively supports various software efforts in different markets in order to popularize its hardware platforms. Nowadays in-car electronics includes various capabilities, including driver assistance, engine and powertrain control, in-vehicle networking, safety management, infotainment and various other less important things. Since at this point Intel does not have platforms with standardized interfaces and specially developed chips to enable a fully-featured on-board computer for a modern car, the company is currently aiming only at infotainment system and can hardly be considered as rival for automotive industry experts like Freescale Semiconductor. Still, the infotainment systems are gaining importance nowadays due to rising requirements by consumers.
“Automotive manufacturers face a tremendous challenge integrating rapidly evolving multimedia requirements into vehicles that typically have long development cycles. Establishing open infotainment platforms that enable developers to more quickly and cost efficiently create products is paramount. By extending Moblin.org to automotive application developers, we expect to see greater innovation from the open source community,” said Ton Steenman, vice president, Intel digital enterprise group and general manager of low-power embedded products division.
Wind River expects to deliver the open source specification and code to the Moblin.org in-vehicle infotainment community in August 2008.