Davor Kovacec, founder and CEO of Xylon, discusses the latest datalogging and hardware–in–the–loop (HIL) testing trends and technologies, ahead of his company’s participation at the forthcoming ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo California, in Santa Clara on September 20, 21, 2023, where Xylon will reveal its latest datalogging and HIL system.
Describe your company
Founded in 1995 in Zagreb, Croatia, Xylon provides design services and intellectual property (IP cores) for field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and system-on-chips (SoCs). When I think about Xylon, an antiparallel double-stranded model of the DNA molecule always comes to mind. In our case, one strand represents our focus on embedded electronics based on programmable FPGA chips; the other strand represents our automotive expertise, forged through designs of many infotainment and vision ADAS/AD subsystems, as well as our line of datalogging and HIL platforms. Just like in the DNA molecule, both strands are complementary, and one can easily say that our FPGA expertise allows us to stay at the forefront of technology and design chip solutions and test devices that otherwise cannot be supported by competing technologies.
Our customers are major Tier 1s and OEMs all around the globe. Our FPGA expertise is confirmed by the Premier tier in the AMD Adaptive Computing Partner Program.
What will you show at the expo?
The major star of our exhibition appearance will be Xylon Quattro, our fourth-generation datalogging and HIL system ready to support automotive developments up to L5 autonomy. Xylon Quattro is futureproof and offers an unprecedented feature set. Unrivaled 128Gbps of datalogging bandwidth allows allows direct and parallel interfacing of up to 16 32MP cameras, 16 high-end lidars and more than 40 radars and automotive interfaces including CAN, LIN, UART and FlexRay.
The big novelty is open software architecture that will allow users to make a wide range of customizations without Xylon’s involvement. Besides obvious technical benefits, it provides various advantages business-wise and allows for greater customer independence. This show is a great place for the North American premiere, and by a lucky coincidence, it happens to coincide with the beginning of Xylon Quattro serial production.
Why will it interest visitors?
We have noticed that our customers’ automotive system requirements are moving to a new, much higher level. Recently we started to receive requirements for both datalogging and HIL systems with more than 10 video cameras of different types and resolutions, including multiple cameras with respectable 8MP resolutions and increased frame rates, supported with a sensor set of lidars, radars, GSS/GNSS and other vehicle sensors.
Although such requirements seem impossible to meet, Xylon Quattro is here to show everyone that it’s possible – it can connect all of those sensors with no extra converter boxes or other hardware adaptations. Even more, the described setup’s data bandwidth, data storage and pre-processing performance would occupy just a portion of the available resources. That is the level of performance we offer today. It saves time and money and leaves room for future growth.
It should also be noted that all Xylon dataloggers support realistic playback of logged raw data. At first, we used this feature in direct HIL simulations that inject road-recorded raw sensory data into an ECU, sensor or driving computer under test. For example, some customers bypass a video processing chip in smart cameras, such as a forward-looking camera, and directly stimulate the camera’s perception SoC with recorded video while capturing its responses for offline analysis.
To surpass real-world limitations and do a full check-up of hard-to-get and potentially dangerous traffic situations, engineers turn to closed-loop HIL simulations with fully synthetic data. Xylon solves the obvious challenge of connecting real hardware devices to simulators by working directly with renowned simulation platform providers. Take, for example, our cooperation with the Israeli company Cognata. Together we offer a multisensor, real-time and cost-effective HIL system that uses Xylon’s all-in-one loggers and HIL to convert simulated video, lidar, radar and GPS data into automotive inputs into the ECU under test, and vice-versa, and convert ECU responses to inputs that modify the simulation.
What excites you about the Californian market?
Silicon Valley is home to many companies that shaped the IT industry. Modern vehicles can be seen as computers on wheels. From this perspective, it is no wonder that virtually all automotive companies have R&D facilities in California. We want to approach them and present our capabilities. I believe that the expo is the right place to do it. Of course, while staying in California we plan to visit our existing customers and enjoy all the benefits of face-to-face meetings
Visit Xylon on booth 615 at ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo California – register here for your FREE exhibitor fast-track entry code. Read the official magazine show preview, here.