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Launch of a New Consortium to Promote ’Pharos,’ An Innovative Solution for Performance and Safety of Automotive Electronics


The automotive industry must guarantee the safety of embedded systems

High competencies developed for monitoring of nuclear plants have now been adapted for the automotive industry

PharOS will help software developers partition safety electronics, protect intellectual property and meet AutoSAR standards at significantly lower cost

Software conception is now dramatically simplified for vehicle manufacturers and suppliers thanks to improved integration steps

Paris, France — Although the automotive market represents only 13% of the world electronics market, it presents the highest growth rate, reaching over 7% a year. As one of the main factors of innovation in the automobile domain, where it generates more than a novelty or two, embedded electronics represent 30% of a vehicles value (e.g., window lift systems, central lock systems, on-board video). By 2015, the world market for automotive electronics is expected to represent $230 billion.

With the introduction of Autosar1 and ISO262622 standards, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers are faced with increasing complexity in their design processes and are looking for innovative solutions that limit the cost of design and time-to-market of their vehicles, while reducing the environmental impact through further integration of embedded electronics and increase the level of the product quality.

An open consortium
During an event held today at the International Automotive Electronic Congress (Paris, November 17-18), a team of innovators officially announced the launch of ’PharOS’, a new consortium made up of Delphi, CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission) and Geensys. This agreement aims at driving the deployment of the PharOS solution that meets the challenges of safety isolation, mastering the integration of multiple functions and compatibilities with Autosar requirements at a significantly lower cost. The consortium, which will consist of a users group, actively seeks broader participation from the automotive industry and other industries, such as aeronautics and public transportation, facing similar constraints. Consortium members will have access to PharOS as well as input into future development.

PharOS, a safe, flexible, lower-cost electronics integration solution
PharOS is a new operating system that meets ISO 26262 requirements, is compatible to Autosar, offers an integrated protection solution, and reduces the cost of software integration while maintaining the integrity of individual software modules. PharOS can be considered a major achievement for the software engineers who want to develop safe and real-time applications. Not only is PharOS a deterministic (predictable) operating system, even in case of failures, but it is also a development tool that assists real-time software designers.

From the application design, the configuration of PharOS is automatically generated. Thanks to the development tool chain, it is easy to check the correctness of the task’s temporal behaviours according to the specification.

“What is unique about this technology is that it offers spatial and temporal protection for single or multi-core microcontrollers”, explains Riadh Cammoun, director of CEA LIST, “It allows the management of multifunctional applications on the same ECU with several levels of safety”.

Safety Isolation
With the deployment of Autosar in body computers, both safety- and non-safety-related software components can coexist. PharOS is a predictable operating system with high-level built-in protection that is key to successful integration of multiple software blocks. Helping to ensure that the failure of a non-safety related component will not impact the function of safety features, PharOS will allow vehicle manufacturers to integrate more features into a single ECU while maintaining the integrity of individual software modules.

Software conception is dramatically simplified thanks to improved integration steps
Requiring very little space — 5KB with S12XE microcontroller — on the ECU, PharOS places a lighter load on a vehicle’s central processing unit (CPU).

“Based on current data, we believe that PharOS will significantly reduce the cost of software development and integration” said Philippe Gasnier, body & security customer manager, Delphi Electronics & Safety. “With such an effective development tool chain, the re-engineering phases necessary to build real-time applications are going to disappear and multiple features — from safety control to comfort electronics — will be housed in one ECU.”

Used as a development tool, PharOS can dramatically simplify software design; its development tool chain makes it possible to confirm accuracy of task scheduling before coding; and once scheduling is defined, the PharOS configuration is automatically generated.

Integrated Protection
Body computers integrate software blocks from multiple suppliers. As integration of multiple software blocks into body computers becomes more common, protection of software code becomes vital. In the past, integration of software into a vehicle’s body computer required that software blocks be adapted to a specific ECU. PharOS allows integration of prewritten software blocks without requiring access to the code, helping to ensure protection of each supplier’s intellectual property. Data synchronization is completed by the PharOS tool chain, reducing development time, and cost, significantly.

PharOS, a solution soon to be used by every vehicle manufacturer?
The consortium has begun working with a leading European vehicle manufacturer on a development program and plans to introduce PharOS in a body computer as early as 2013. To learn more about the PharOS consortium and membership requirements, please contact Xavier Apolinarski at CEA (


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