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AGL Member Spotlight: Microchip

By October 6, 2016July 12th, 2019Blog, Member Spotlight

The AGL community is comprised of a diverse set of member companies that are collaborating on enabling the next generation of in-vehicle software systems. This blog series highlights AGL members and how they are contributing to open source software solutions that will benefit the entire automotive industry.

Authors: Rainer Klos, Director, Engineering, and Michael Fabry, Manager, Software Engineering

Company: Microchip Technology Inc.

Can you tell me a little bit about your company and what you do?

Microchip Technology Inc. is a supplier of embedded control solutions, delivering a broad spectrum of semiconductor solutions. In the automotive space, we are a supplier of real-time automotive networking and connectivity solutions such as Ethernet, USB, CAN, LIN and MOST® technology. Our goal is to deliver high-value, high-quality products and services to continuously improve all aspects of automotive networking and connectivity.

Why did you join AGL?

Our mission is to contribute to the future of car electronics. Our customers have told us about the importance of Linux, demonstrated also by the growing adoption rate of Linux in automotive.  It is our goal to deliver a seamless Linux experience with our products. Sharing our rich knowledge of in-vehicle networking with AGL was additional motivation. Our experience in using Linux for internal projects, such as developing and using Linux Drivers in product verification, was a good starting point. Hence, we decided to take an active role in AGL.

How is your organization involved in AGL? What workgroups do you participate in?

Microchip is very involved in AGL through our participation in many groups, meetings and other activities. We are an active part of the System Architecture Team and Connectivity Expert Group and attend the weekly Developer call. We recently attended the AGL All Member Meeting Fall 2016, and we plan to attend the October face-to-face (F2F) meeting in Berlin.

Additionally, we hosted an AGL face-to-face meeting at our office in Tokyo this past June 2016, where the group focused on creating the Unified Code Base (UCB) 2.0 demo that was on display at Automotive Linux Summit.

Microchip’s contributions to the AGL UCB 2.0 included:

–        MOST Linux Driver

–        MOST Config daemon

–        MOST Video Server daemon

–        MoccaBox Driver (LIN, CAN)

–        AMB plugin for HVAC

–        uinput daemon for iDrive

We also contributed to the official AGL demo:

–        Complete MOST150 network

–        5.1 Multichannel Amplifier system

–        Rearseat Video Entertainment system

–        HVAC – setup with LIN control

–        iDrive – setup with CAN control

Why is your company adopting an open source approach? What are the benefits?

It’s obvious that the industry (i.e. our customers) is moving toward open source solutions. We want to be able to continue to serve and support our customers as best as possible in their chosen approach.

How do you plan to use the AGL Unified Code Base?

We are already using the distribution for our demonstrator clone, which has been on display at several meetings such as the MOST Forum. We are also planning to use it as the system base for our application development.

What do you think sets AGL apart from other industry alliances?

AGL is well organized with excellent meetings that promote effortless and collaborative work with other companies. AGL is also solution-targeted and most importantly, employs a ‘code-first’ philosophy.

How will the projects that AGL is developing help your business?

Modern systems are complex and require knowledge at all levels. Leveraging an open source approach and collaboration with other people/companies, as fostered by AGL, enables us to focus on our expertise, real-time automotive networking and connectivity solutions.

How do you anticipate AGL changing the automotive technology landscape?

We think that the AGL project will push Linux to be the most popular operating system in vehicles in coming model years.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining AGL?

Just do it! Don’t just watch it from the outside, become an active member.