Single Functionality Virtualization

Why virtualization of a single functionality? 

Standards-based virtualization

  • allows easy updates/upgrades
  • reduces dependencies on SoC-specific BSP releases
  • allows easier software reuse across different hardware, hardware families (e.g., multiple vehicle lines), and across hardware generations
  • increases security by reducing the hardware driver attack surface


Especially for the deployment of Android, standards-based virtualization

  • reduces time to deploy new releases (e.g., using AAOSP Android & not waiting for the SoC vendor to adapt it)
  • allows integration of minor updates directly from the source (e.g., AAOSP)
  • decreases certification effort as virtual Android is CTS tested by Google

How does it work?
Virtualization is the technology used to separate software applications from the underlying hardware. OEMs and Tier 1s use virtualization to decrease significantly the effort to upgrade a software component or increase the system’s security, such as dedicated embedded infotainment systems, by eliminating the software dependency on the hardware.

Instead of directly accessing the physical drivers, the OS access a set of “virtual” drivers, which then access the physical drivers through an interface layer. These virtual drivers are based on VIRTIO, an open standard maintained by the OASIS Open consortium. The VIRTIO drivers rely only on standardized interfaces to access the hardware and are entirely independent of hardware-specific device drivers. The usage of standards enhances the advantages of virtualization, as fully virtualized OS can be flexibly deployed and reused across any hardware (and hypervisors!) adhering to such standards.

What is special about OpenSynergy’s technology?
OpenSynergy’s virtual platform COQOS Hypervisor SDK enables virtualization for automotive use cases relying on open standards, such as Virtual I/O (VIRTIO). Thanks to its clean architecture, the SDK allows easy upgrades of Operating Systems (OS), such as Android or Linux, or replacing an existing one with a new OS.

How does virtualization protect against external attacks?
The virtualization layer provides enhanced protection against malicious attacks as it isolates physical devices and mission-critical system applications from the rest of the system. Adding a layer of security is highly effective independently of whether there is one functionality or several functionalities running on the SoC.

Hypervisor for convergence or standalone systems?
In the past decade, cost savings was the primary motivation for virtualization in the automotive industry, i.e., virtualization was used to consolidate multiple functions (formerly deployed on separate hardware) onto single powerful Domain Controllers. The most prominent examples are cockpit domain controllers, i.e., consolidation of the instrument cluster and infotainment functions onto a single controller. Several carmakers are already preparing the deployment of the COQOS Hypervisor SDK to virtualize a standalone IVI system for the benefits mentioned above.