Tag Archive for: automotive electronics systems


Automotive companies are under relentless pressure to innovate while ensuring they design and build functionally safe vehicles. Consumers expect more from the driving experience, leading to more electronic systems within product development. With the upsurge in complex electronic components like advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), meeting functional safety standards becomes even more critical.

We recently held a webinar, “From ADAS to Connected Systems, How to Accelerate Innovation in Automotive Development with Requirements Management?,” where we explored the common challenges that automotive developers face, and how to implement best practices aligned to functional safety standards.

Some of the key topics that were covered included:

  • Aligning how you work with best practices to meet functional safety standards
  • Integrating functional safety with normal product development
  • Using Jama Connect™ to align your product development processes with relevant parts of governing regulations and standards ISO 26262:2018 and ASPICE

This was a great webinar, and we don’t want you to miss out on the content! Below you can find a recording of the webinar, and an abbreviated transcript.

From ADAS to Connected Systems, How to Accelerate Innovation in Automotive Development with Requirements Management?


Adrian Rolufs: In today’s automotive development landscape, there’s an increase in focus on mobility services, connectivity between vehicles and other systems, higher focus on safety and more systems that are involved in safety and then as well as the electronic vehicle and the autonomous vehicle technical challenges that are being worked on. This has really changed the landscape quite significantly for companies operating in the space. We’re seeing vehicles that last longer that need to be reliable over a longer period of time. We’re seeing more regulations taking into effect that companies need to consider and there’s a lot more electronic and software systems being integrated into vehicles.  

This is really having a big impact on automotive development, and there are a couple major factors that we see. One is that existing vehicle companies and suppliers are starting new teams to work on these challenges and we also see a lot of new companies coming into the automotive space. This is where Jama Connect comes in. We have put together a solution for these new teams and new companies that are working in the automotive space to help them get going quickly. A lot of these teams have a common need which is to develop technology quickly, get to market quickly while still being compliant with the safety standards and following best practices. 

RELATED: Watch a demonstration of the Jama Connect for Automotive Solution

A big part of that is using a requirements management tool and having well defined requirements managing process. So, when an automotive customer buys Jama Connect for Automotive, this comes along with a process and documentation of that process for how to use the tool in a way that’s compliant with both ISO 26262 as well as Automotive SPCE which are the most common standards that companies are following in this space. We find that a lot of companies don’t have the time to set these processes up from scratch. They would prefer to leverage known practices that we can provide  

So, what does this solution look like? We first start by clarifying the scope of what Jama Connect is best used for in this space. So, there are elements of meeting ISO 26262 as well as Automotive SPICE that Jama Connect is ideally suited for and there’s other elements of those standards that don’t really apply to a tool like Jama Connect. 

We provide recommended procedures for how to use Jama Connect in this framework and to meet these standards and we provide a justification for those processes linking back to the specific elements of the standards that companies must follow. And then we also provide detailed activities that are best performed in Jama Connect. And finally, we provide export templates so that all the work that you do in Jama Connect can be exported into documents for long term archival and for audit purposes.  

Jama Connect for Automotive is primarily focused on requirements management, hazard and risk analysis, and test management, and the traceability between those. Jama Connect is a product that focuses on meeting those needs that customers have and the automotive solution provides the guidance for how to do that work in a way that’s compliant with automotive standards. We provide an out of the box configuration of the tool. Since Jama Connect is a highly configurable too, there are many different ways to set up the tool but this solution provides a framework that’s designed specifically to meet the industry standards for automotive in a way that makes the best use of the functionality of Jama Connect. 

We also provide a process documentation to provide you guidance on how to do the work in the tool, export templates to allow you to export your documents, a Functional Safety Kit so that you can help with qualifying the software tool. We also have the ability to provide you with a data exchange for exchanging requirements in ReqIF format between suppliers and other companies.  

And finally, Jama Connect for Automotive includes consulting and training services from our Professional Services group so that your teams can learn the tool quickly and efficiently and any questions can be answered. It’s also possible during that engagement to customize the framework. The framework is offered as a starting point but a lot of customers choose to customize it to their specific business needs and our consultants will help with that. 

To learn more about how Jama Connect for Automotive can help your team simplify compliance, streamline development, and speed time to market, download our solution overview.


automotive electronics

Editor’s Note: This post about the high cost of failure when developing automotive electronics was originally published here on ElectronicDesign.com on June 5th, 2019, and was written by Jeff Darrow, who is involved with Automotive MOSFET Product Marketing at Infineon Technologies.

What’s The Price Tag on Failure in Automotive Design

The automotive market is driven by safety and reliability requirements. As vehicles rely more heavily on semiconductors for their functionality and safety-critical features, the concept of Zero Defects is gaining pace. This article will examine stringent quality requirements in the context of growing use of power MOSFETs. MOSFET device packaging is highlighted as a critical element in achieving the goal of Zero Defects.

Today, the scale of electronics in a typical car is staggering when compared to everyday items like mobile phones and notebook computers. Modern cars and trucks can have up to 100 networked microprocessors running 150 million lines of code with thousands of supporting active components.

Because nearly all automotive innovation requires electronic systems, semiconductors have become the fastest growing component in a modern vehicle, with cars containing more than $1,000 worth of semiconductor parts.1 Electronic systems control all safety-critical functions such as engines, transmissions, steering, braking, and electric motors. With highly autonomous driving features coming to market now, complexity will further increase along with the risk for catastrophic electronic system failures.

Automotive Sets a High Bar for Quality

Early concerns about automotive component quality impacting vehicle safety were addressed with the formation of the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC)2 Q100 and Q101 specifications. Established by OEMs Chrysler, Ford, and Delco Electronics, the AEC’s aim was to generate common standards in the automotive industry for the qualification of semiconductors.

These standards, along with those from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), IEC/ISO, and the International Automotive Task Force (IATF), form the basis for component requirements in automotive applications. Many larger Tier 1 automotive manufacturers still have reservations about the adequacy of these standards and impose their own customer specific requirements (CSRs) on components.

AEC Q101 Standard Needs to Evolve

A feature of the AEC “Q” standards is that they’re only used for the one-time qualification testing of components in several categories (Fig. 1).

automotive electronic design

1. AEC Q standards are used for one-time qualification testing of components.

For example, testing is rigorously defined for discrete semiconductors, but this characterizes quality of samples and predicted reliability in service rather than setting defined limits for actual allowable rates of field failures. A failure rate that was acceptable in older vehicles with relatively few electronic components can be totally inadequate in a car with thousands of components.

Even with no defects identified in a qualification test, there’s no guarantee of reliability in typical environmental conditions from −40 to 250°F. Quality control and component reliability in the ongoing manufacturing process is left to the manufacturers’ internal quality system.

A typical AEC-Q101 qualification test uses 77 parts from each of three manufacturing lots. These are tested to defined hours or cycles with no failures, which represents lot Tolerance percent defective (LTPD) = 1% at 90% confidence level, or a maximum of 0.4% defective at 60% confidence level in production testing.

Such numbers would be an alarming yield in volume production and would signal an early-life product failure rate of 11 FITs (failures in 109 hours) based on the Arrhenius equation with activation energy of 0.7 eV and 55°C use versus 175°C test temperature. A chi-squared distribution and 60% confidence level are assumed. In context, if the typical 30,000 electronic components in a vehicle all had this intrinsic failure rate, the vehicle population would have a mean time between failures (MTBF) of just three months.

Semiconductor Manufacturers Drive Toward Zero Defects

Power MOSFET use in vehicles has risen steadily and is predicted to increase from an average of a little less than 80 per car in 2017 to about 140 by 2025 (Fig. 2). Future EVs will contain around 400 MOSFET devices. MOSFETs are used in powertrain, body, safety and convenience applications, such as engine/transmission control, power distribution, automatic braking systems, power liftgate and window motors. Component failure in any of these applications could result in immobilization, injury, or, in worst case, loss of life.

automotive electronic design chart

2. Projected power MOSFET usage in vehicles. (Source: Infineon)

Assume the lot defect rate for power MOSFETs of 1% is screened-out in test to a residual rate of 0.001%. This would be 100 times better than the LTPD that’s tested with the Q101 specification. This 10-DPM (defect per million) failure rate would mean that about 700 cars in every million could be fitted with defective parts. With an estimated 1 billion plus cars on the roads today,3 the scale of the potential problem is again clear. Although 1 DPM has been seen in general market applications as a world-class target, 0.1 DPM heading to Zero Defects is the expected figure in automotive applications.

Quality Must be Designed In

To achieve the lowest defect rate, the manufacturer must have a quality culture that encompasses the entire product development and manufacturing process, from initial concept through design, production, and manufacturing, to final test and product fulfillment. People are central to the goal, as is full management commitment and training for all staff who are internally and externally audited to measure the trend toward Zero Defects.

An excellence program that emphasizes continuous improvement backed up with meaningful metrics must be put in place. A comprehensive datasheet and specific automotive design rules drive the product design and verification, with a validation plan to ensure that the part fits customer requirements and expectations.

Infineon, a leading supplier of automotive MOSFETs, is on its way toward Zero Defects for all of its products: DPM rates for automotive-grade MOSFETs are now proven to be less than 0.1 PPM, just below 50 PPB as of mid-2019.

he trend toward Zero Defects continues with the company’s adoption of leadless packages using internal top-side copper clips. The leadless MOSFETs are designed to meet the same reliability standards as Infineon’s leaded products and still offer higher power density. sTOLL, TDSON-8 (Super S08) and TSDSON-8 (S308) devices with this technology have exhibited high leadless-package reliability and low thermal resistance, along with having a smaller footprint and higher power density than a DPAK with equivalent RDS(on).

The leadless package frame has a wide tin-plate area for good solderability and yields a best-in-class figure of merit for the ratio of chip RDS(on) to package resistance (Fig. 3). Devices were analyzed in each package of the latest technology (SFET4/SFET5).

RELATED: Watch a demonstration of the Jama Connect for Automotive Solution

Automotive Electronic Design Sites

3. Leadless copper-clip termination yields the lowest chip to package resistance ratio.

The copper-clip termination approach also has the advantage of minimum inductance for reduced voltage overshoots and excellent EMI behavior to boost robustness in real applications (Fig. 4).

4. Leadless copper-clip termination has the lowest source and drain inductance.

Another marker for quality is the ability of the MOSFET encapsulation to adhere internally under temperature stress. Infineon’ OptiMOS devices have demonstrated the ability to withstand any delamination after 260°C preconditioning and 1000 thermal cycles (Fig. 5).

5. Infineon’s MOSFETs showed no delamination after preconditioning and temperature cycling.

Process Control and Stability is Key to Quality

High-performance design features are worthless without a production process control system that maintains quality and stability in manufacturing. Advanced statistical process control methods give real-time monitoring of key process parameters such as metal thickness and its line width, as well as resist coating and its line width. Outgoing product quality screening includes intelligent Part Average Testing with trend analysis of the effects of “outliers”—parts that meet the upper and lower specification limits but are beyond the expected distribution of results.

Yield loss in the various manufacturing processes is analyzed using statistical bin limits (SBL) for abnormally high (and low) figures. Wafers are optically inspected with pattern recognition to identify “at risk” die around areas where clusters of defects are occurring (Good Die, Bad Neighborhood).

Should a systematic defect be identified, the industry standard 8D (8 Discipline) problem solving sequence is invoked to prevent recurrence with systematic rollout to all locations and long-term follow-up of preventive actions (Fig. 6).

6. The “8D” problem-solving process.


With the volume of cars on the road only set to increase with a rapidly growing number of electronic components built in, traditional levels of component reliability are simply not sufficient when the consequence of failure could be loss of life. Zero Defects is the goal, and semiconductor manufacturers have leveraged AEC stress test qualification with internal design and manufacturing controls and testing to achieve the target.

Is Zero Defect possible? It is, as years of history showing more than 70% of automotive production running at Zero Defect has been achieved by Infineon. Is it worth the effort and cost? For driver and passenger safety, it’s worth every cent.

To learn more about how Jama Connect for Automotive can help your team simplify compliance, streamline development, and speed time to market, download our solution overview.



Complex development projects are a little like putting together a massive jigsaw puzzle: All the pieces are there, but sometimes how they fit together doesn’t become clear until real progress is already made.

The complexity is magnified when the project in question involves intricate microelectronics, software with billions of lines of code and hundreds of development teams who must work harmoniously to ensure functional safety standards are met. Not to mention hitting moving regulatory targets and the ever-present pressure to quickly deliver a complete, industry-compliant product to market.

We’re talking about a technology that not long ago was the stuff of science fiction; autonomous vehicles, systems for which code failure can lead to actual tragedy.

Bringing Teams (and Data) Together

When developing for a system with so many moving parts, every member of the development team using the same processes and platforms is a must to ensure safety compliance. To hedge against mistakes, teams must also be in sync, irrespective of core skill set or geography.

For companies whose businesses are based on constant innovation, getting all of these ducks in a row is a challenge.

As we detail at length in our recent paper, Driving Compliance with Functional Safety Standards, a Fortune 100 semiconductor company recently faced many of these hurdles, and deployed Jama Software to help clear them.

The semiconductor company knew this, and put together an integrated ALM solution supporting ISO 26262 compliance with Jama Software at its core.

Simplification as a Productivity Booster

Standardization of processes includes reducing oversized sets of tools and applications into a manageable roster of best-in-class solutions. Eliminating cumbersome or unnecessary apps enhances process efficiency for development teams at every stage.

The ALM solution they deployed enabled end-to-end requirements, functions, implementations and tests throughout the life-cycle process, as well as providing support for new functional safety and quality regulations, ensuring development teams can pass product audits and avoid costly delays due to rework.

The result was a well-oiled development machine. By hitting requirements the first time, the semiconductor company was able to accelerate its development cycles, delivering better finished products while achieving higher customer satisfaction.

Incorporating the proper toolsets to track development and document product safety compliance— a necessary step to avoid being buried by the challenges in a complex development project— further facilitated the process.

The standardization of toolsets and platforms meant that with each handoff on the developer chain, the teams could see their counterparts were all following processes as laid out by functional safety requirements.

Projects of this magnitude inherently put pressure on developers to keep their eye on the prize without being distracted by the countless shiny objects drifting across their line of sight. By simplifying processes, homing in on the best tools for the job and facilitating communication with partners and consortiums, development teams can tend to their own gardens.

Download "Driving Compliance with Functional Safety Standards for Software-Based Automotive Components" Now

When developing software for industries with rapidly changing regulatory environments, it’s critical that the platforms used are reliable, but also flexible and rigorous enough to remain compliant as requirements and standards evolve.

Of course, delivering a quality product that comports to current functional safety requirements quickly and efficiently is a big plus, which is why a Fortune 100 semiconductor company recently enlisted Jama Software to be at the core of its integrated application life-cycle management (ALM) solution.

With Jama’s help, this semiconductor company was able to completely transform its development process and streamline its operation, removing many obstacles to development along the way.

Putting Trust in Jama’s Proven Platform

Jama is certified by internationally recognized testing body TÜV SÜD for developing safety-related products to ISO 26262 (up to ASIL D) and IEC 61508 (up to SIL 3) standards. With such a rigorous development environment in place, the semiconductor company knew Jama’s platform would help it meet all necessary safety requirements.

Jama’s solution provides built-in attention to process, decision-making and change analysis in real time. Using actionable traceability, device-related developers and manufacturers, including semiconductors, can work faster without compromising on safety or quality. Jama provided the semiconductor company’s team with workflows for defining, building and testing automotive-related products that met their required functional safety standards.

Critically, Jama helps accelerate product design by enabling companies to reuse requirements across design teams and different generations of platforms — a critical part of the semiconductor company’s business strategy. The resulting integrated ALM solution brings together the best processes and tools, providing a single portal for accessing and analyzing a master data repository.

Standardizing processes and helping the semiconductor company reduce its massive toolset down to the most relevant ensured requirements were met the first time. This helped the company accelerate development cycles. And, at the same time, resulted in better end products and higher customer satisfaction.

Improving Processes Let Engineering Teams Focus on Engineering

The improved productivity and efficiency across teams and business units also reduced the overall cost of product development. Jama enabled teams to create a set of development-related assets once and reuse them across projects. This avoided the need to reinvent the wheel with each new iteration and reduced the likelihood of inconsistencies.

Effectively managing requirements also eliminated a large percentage of product defects. This saved time and money by detecting potential issues early — when issues are cheaper and easier to fix — rather than going back to the drawing board if they’re discovered too late in the game or in the finished product.

The resulting integrated ALM solution, with Jama at its core, seamlessly incorporated quality and compliance into existing workflows and best practices, when before it was a time-consuming, manual process. This enabled teams to spend more time engineering and less time fretting over compliance processes and documentation. Product are designed more efficiently and enter the market more quickly.

For a deeper dive into the semiconductor company’s use of Jama in achieving its goals, don’t miss our new report, Driving Compliance with Functional Safety Standards for Software-Based Automotive Components.

Download "Driving Compliance with Functional Safety Standards for Software-Based Automotive Components" Now

As autonomous vehicles sharing the nation’s roadways with driver-controlled cars moves closer to reality, a host of obvious safety concerns are being raised.

How will these cars react in the event of an imminent collision? How will they compensate for a sudden, unexpected lane departure? Ensuring passenger safety and reducing road fatalities will make or break this nascent technology, and software will be the brains behind it.

Self-driving car software must work correctly in any situation thrown at it, no matter how outlying. This fact presents unique challenges for developers charged with building and maintaining this complex software, as well as meeting new and changing compliance standards rolled out by regulatory bodies.

A Fortune 100 semiconductor company recently transformed its business relying on modern development solutions to manage and navigate the added complexity.

In Elaborate Systems, Efficient Communication is Key

It’s no small task building from scratch the software inside a car that will transport living, breathing humans on crowded roadways at high speeds. This means heavy collaboration on requirements is necessary to bring together experts of the various disciplines required for successful deployment. By bringing disparate groups together to communicate on requirement details and decisions, the semiconductor company ensured the right hand was always talking to the left.

To meet these challenges, software developers must strike a balance between functional safety and efficient, streamlined product development. We’re talking about billions of lines of code in self-driving vehicles, supporting complex microelectronics and software. The more complex a system, the more chances there are for errors, and in this case, the margin of error is virtually nil.

Overcoming challenges development teams face to ensure successful, timely deployment of their product while being flexible enough to adjust as regulations evolve is dependent on a common understanding of what’s being built and why.

Facing new ISO safety standards, the semiconductor company enlisted Jama Software’s development platform knowing it would help it meet its functional safety requirements.

Modern Tools Systematize Complex Challenges

This particular semiconductor company successfully incorporated standardized development processes and application lifecycle management (ALM) tools, which supported the development process from the initial planning stage through product retirement, tracking application changes along the way.

Modernizing their entire development process involved heavy standardization, so they honed in on a small set of best-in-class solutions from a sprawling list of more than 50 tools and applications.

To ensure development teams could pass product audits with minimal delay, the company also added support for new functional safety and quality regulations, avoiding the roadblocks associated with failures.

These same methods are necessary for other development teams looking to go to market with autonomous vehicle software that meets safety and product quality standards.

Equally important is ensuring disparate teams are working with the same compact set of tools, and carefully tracking every change and improvement along the way.

We may be a few years away from sharing the road with fully autonomous vehicles, but the work to ensure their safety and regulatory compliance is already well underway.

For a more in depth look at the challenges organizations like that Fortune 100 semiconductor company face, read our paper, “Driving Compliance with Functional Safety Standards for Software-Based Automotive Components.”

Download "Driving Compliance with Functional Safety Standards for Software-Based Automotive Components" Now

“At the beginning of the automotive age, drivers entering a city were required to have a person on foot walk in front of the car sounding a klaxon to warn the citizenry that a motorized vehicle was approaching. Will regulators require something similar now that we know our machines can fail to protect us from all danger?”
New Details About Fatal Tesla Crash Emerge
Steve Hanley, gas2.org

“Our kids will grow up in an environment where they’ll look back and say, ‘They actually let you drive?’ Eventually they’ll work out the kinks; they’ll have to, with the aging population and any number of other concerns.”
John Blyler, SEMI Pacific NW Forum Discussion (below)

SEMI, “the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chain for the micro- and nano-electronics industries” hosted a spring Pacific Northwest forum which our attendees—Bill Chown (INCOSE CIO, Mentor Graphics Marketing Director), John Blyler (Portland State University Systems Engineering Professor & Advisor) and Derwyn Harris (Jama Software Co-founder & Product Marketing Director)—immediately got together to talk about afterward.

The tragic autonomous driving accident in June has raised awareness and broadened interest in the topic of smarter, safer automotive electronics systems.

In this light, we’re posting a transcript of our attendees’ discussion, divided into three parts with one post each week. Read part one, below.

automotive electronics

John Blyler: SEMI had an event here in which they focused on automotive electronics process and products. Was there anything of note that might have caught the eye of systems engineers in automotive electronics?

Go faster: Jama for Automotive Electronics Providers

Bill Chown: There were a lot of reference to the changes being brought about by autonomous vehicles. What does it mean to take what was an independent system and put that into the context of the infrastructure and environment around it, all the other vehicles around it and all the other things going on, and turn that from an individual system into a system of systems challenge?

Derwyn Harris: Yeah. The acknowledgement of being driven is the first real instance where humans are relinquishing some level of control to robots, or at least knowingly. We fly with robots oftentimes, and the military’s been doing it for a long time, but cars will be the first time that it’s widespread commercially. And so I think that recognition and that reality of how we’re going to overcome that was an interesting insight.

John Blyler: When I think of robots, I tend to think of—especially in electronics— artificial intelligence and algorithms and what-not. But a lot of the industry is maybe making microprocessors or networks and disparate systems or what we put together in embedded systems; this is going to add yet another layer or another more interesting emphasis. Was that the takeaway?

Bill Chown: Right. Robots interacting with robots and how they’re all going to play together. And someone commented about being reluctant to be killed by a robot, or words to that effect. Is this really a technological challenge? Well, probably the technology’s going to be adapted and evolved to where it isn’t really a technological challenge. Is it a social challenge, a legal challenge? We’ve got to overcome before this becomes something that becomes accepted by the majority of people.

Get moving: Jama for Automotive Electronics Providers

Derwyn Harris: It’s so much about perspective, right? You think of the number of deaths on the road today, and the degree to which—and I’ve always felt this way—the United States has a very lax system for training and educating drivers and putting safe drivers on the road, and yet, we don’t question that. And all of a sudden, when robots are in charge, we suddenly start to question and fear the consequences, when the reality is you can demonstrate the safety that it would bring.

Bill Chown: Is this well-controlled robot with lots of rules better than some average…

Derwyn Harris: Teenager or…

Bill Chown: A teenager, who just came up from watching everyone else and thought, “This is fine. I can do this.”

John Blyler: Well, that was one of the comments that I heard at another show: Our kids will grow up in an environment where they’ll look back and say, “They actually let you drive?” You know, because eventually they’ll work out the kinks. I mean, they’ll have to, with the aging population and any number of other concerns.

Stay on course: Jama for Automotive Electronics Providers

Bill Chown: Yeah. That was one of the commentaries about the evolution of the Apple or Google car. And someone describing this was saying, “I’m confident that my 12-year-old will not need a driver’s license.”

John Blyler: Oh, that’s right. Yes, yes.

Bill Chown: So, an indication of expectation of a rapid rate of change in the automotive space. Long design cycles, conservative ways of thinking about what’s going to change and what’s not going to change, and now a huge difference in the industry. The companies that used to be are no longer the driving forces. They quoted 34 automotive start-ups in California.

John Blyler: Wow. 34.

Bill Chown: Not just Tesla. And some of those are very, very specialist, and it’s more niche, but focusing onto all of the pieces that go into this revolution in automotive.

Derwyn Harris: And trying to predict that revolution, right? And the sociological aspect of it. Is it going to be a personal expression of who we are, like cars are today, or will it become a pure means of transportation where we no longer associate a car as an expression? Which changes the way it’s marketed and the way it’s sold and the way it’s purchased, and there’s such an impact to the market, both from the industry building them, but also the consumers consuming them.

John Blyler: So we have an industry that’s been very mechanical, and has become more and more electrical over the last decade or two. On top of that, suddenly they’re going to have to consider other multi-discipline system issues. That’s quite a task for anyone, and there are tools that are coming along to help, but one would expect certain lags throughout the process.

Bill Chown: Well, it’s making the industry change its thinking significantly. And they’re realizing that they don’t have the skill set and resources, and that’s probably reflective of why there are lots of startups in California. A different set of skills is being applied to this industry. It’s not, anymore, “How do I bend the metal?” or “How do I make an internal combustion engine work effectively?” It’s all about, “How does this thing communicate?”

Derwyn Harris: I’m curious, ’cause one thing that came out in the session was the lack of influence the IoT has had, or the lack of implementation of IoT around automotive. But at some point, IoT will be important and necessary. Is there a time when that comes about or are we just not there yet?

Bill Chown: I think it’s still not there yet.

Derwyn Harris: Yeah.

Bill Chown: There’s going to be more and more of those pieces that must play together. Right now, the automobile is a carrier for communications systems and loads and loads of sensors. But those sensors—right now, they’re part of the car. Could they be a thing that I just add on as I need those features?

That could turn the industry into a supplier of a lot of component parts; that would be interesting. Because right now it’s being driven by the manufacturer that says, “I want my car to have all these features, and you design them for me.”

But I think, over time, it’s going to evolve to a point of, “I can buy that off the shelf. I don’t need you to design that for me anymore.” You know, rear view camera. Every car has to have a rear view camera from next year’s models onward towards Odysseus. And every single one of them right now is crafted for that car. But they could be a very off-the-shelf, standard IoT…

Derwyn Harris: Right.

Bill Chown: …that plops in and does stuff. And if it’s an IoT, it doesn’t just belong to that car anymore; it belongs to the infrastructure around it. So now, the infrastructure could take advantage of the camera in every car to see what’s going on, on the roadway, as opposed to every car having to have its own knowledge. Can the system gain something from those sort of things? I think we haven’t got there yet. I haven’t got to the realization of the value of the ubiquitous IoT to a bigger picture, and it’s typically being applied to a niche role every single time I see an IoT. It’s specialist for something.

Derwyn Harris: Yeah. I feel like the homes we live in are the first proving ground. Until they can solve it for the home, it’s going to be hard to solve it in…

Bill Chown: So I’m going to have an automated refrigerator but can I reuse the tech in my car? Well, I suppose I can have a refrigerator in my fancy car, but that’s really not the point. But what does that thing do? Can I have whatever that thing does that’s applied to a refrigerator more universally applied in a broader case, and could I reuse that? I think reuse is going to be critical if we’re going to keep on growing some of this stuff at the rate we’re growing things. If we can’t reuse what we did before, it becomes unscalably expensive to keep on doing custom stuff.

Look at the silicone industry; when I started in silicon 30-odd years ago, we’d see 30 or 40 thousand design starts a year of custom silicone, and it’s way down on that now, because we’ve come up with reusable technologies that mean we don’t have to go and build a special way every single time.

But I haven’t seen that in the assembled system. We build around one of those things. They’ve all got the same xylene set PGA in them, and yet every single one of the gadgets is different. So I think we’re going to see some reuse at the end application that we aren’t seeing yet.

John Blyler: One example might be the use of Ethernet, which is pretty common in other IoT apps. Let’s not talk wireless so much, but there’s a push now in automotive systems, to have that be one of the buses.

Bill Chown: Right. And so, there’s a newer IoT, there’s a new automotive standard for Ethernet that starts to take away some of the limitations and risks there’d be for that and put that in a more deterministic piece.

John Blyler: Right.

Bill Chown: That was one of the conversation points. That’s going to be the standard interface for all of these additional things. There’s still going to be standards for the critical path of running the antilock braking, but for all these other things we’re adding on—the sensors, the communication, the external visibility, all of the infotainment that that’s going to bring into the cabin of the car—if the car doesn’t have to be a vehicle for the driver to know what they’re doing. I think those are going to be all Ethernet.

As companies continue to incorporate autonomous and other innovative technologies into system designs, adding reliable validation, verification and traceability analysis during development becomes critical. This is just part of what Jama’s robust requirements management platform does to help teams build smarter and safer complex systems. Sign up for a free, 30-day Jama trial.