Domestic automotive basic software and chips start a battle


Hao Wenli

In 1885, Carl Benz built the world's first gasoline-powered three-wheeled car, which began the development of the automobile industry. After more than 130 years of development, the current global automotive industry is experiencing a century of unprecedented technological revolution, in which automotive basic software and chips are becoming more and more important, becoming the underlying foundation of the current round of automotive revolution, and for China, which aims to become a global automotive power, to achieve the autonomous control of automotive operating systems and chips, it is no time for me to wait.


From June 17 to 18, more than 500 experts, scholars and enterprise representatives from the fields of government, industry, education, research and application went to the 2024 First China (Chongqing) Intelligent Vehicle Basic Software Ecology Conference and the Third China Automotive Chip Summit Forum held in Chongqing. Brainstorm on hot and key topics in the automotive operating system, automotive chip, soft and hard collaboration, open source and other industries, and offer suggestions for the development of China's automotive basic software and chip industry.



Software and chips are indispensable to state-owned central enterprises


Fu Bingfeng, executive vice president and secretary general of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said in his speech that as an important carrier of a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial change, intelligent connected vehicles are an important position for China to promote the transformation and upgrading of the automobile industry, accelerate the construction of a modern industrial system, and form and develop new quality productivity. With the continuous improvement of the level of intelligence, the application software development iteration is changing with each new day, and it has become a big selling point of the products of automobile enterprises.


Therefore, the research and development of automotive application software is highly active, more and more ecological partners are joining, the whole society has invested huge human and financial resources, and the accumulation of achievements is becoming more and more thick, and it has become a new industrial growth point and innovation highland in the software-defined automobile era. As a result, Chinese brands are trusted by consumers around the world.


However, behind this prosperity, the application and research and development of basic software has also caused concern in the industry, like a tall building built on the beach, because the application software is built on foreign development systems, there is a weak foundation, the risk of shaking the earth.


Fortunately, the national team is already tackling the difficulties. "In the development of intelligent networked new energy vehicles, Chinese software and Chinese chips are indispensable, and state-owned central enterprises are duty-bound." Gou Ping, a member of the Party Committee and deputy director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, said in his speech that intelligent networked new energy vehicles have become the most important direction of the transformation and upgrading of the automotive industry, and the role of automotive technology software and automotive chips is becoming more prominent, which is becoming the key to industrial development and is also the strategic point for China to maintain its leading edge.


It is reported that at present, 9 central enterprises around the improvement of automotive chip design and manufacturing capabilities, accelerate domestic automotive chip loading application, promote vehicle system software development, build software application ecology layout 16 tasks, the tasks are progressing smoothly. In the first five months of this year, China Power, China Electronics, China Resources Group, CRRC Group sold a total of 235 million automotive chips, and the three central enterprises used 132 million domestic automotive chips. At the same time, the pace of new energy transformation of central enterprises has continued to accelerate, and the sales volume of new energy vehicles in the first five months of this year increased by 84.1% year-on-year, and the market share increased by 3.5 percentage points compared with the end of last year.


Wang Yanqing, director of the Information Technology Development Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, believes that with the deep integration of the new generation of information technology and manufacturing, the basic software represented by the vehicle operating system is becoming a key element to support the digital transformation of the automotive industry. Accelerating the development of intelligent vehicle basic software is not only the internal demand for adapting to technological changes and achieving high-quality development of the industry, but also the source of power for future development and the objective need for cultivating new quality productivity. "In this process, open source, as a new production mode and the characteristics of openness, sharing and collaboration, is becoming an important way to accelerate the iterative innovation of basic software and ecological co-construction."


Wang Yanqing said that as the competent department of the automotive industry, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will deeply implement the national software development strategy, follow the industrial development law of application prospect innovation-driven and ecological cultivation, and accelerate the cultivation of the basic software ecology of intelligent vehicles.


Safe car control operating system open source set sail


"Open source has entered a booming era, and the open source model has shown strong vitality in practice. In the field of software, open source has become the consensus of the global industry and is the main driving force for software development." Ni Guangnan, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said, "We found that the newer the information industry, the greater the proportion of open source. Compared with the traditional closed source code, open source has occupied the mainstream development trend, and this model has been developed from the software field to the hardware field. Open source promotes collaboration and sharing, and is the embodiment of the spirit of scientific openness in the field of information technology."


In the case of open source has become the trend of The Times, how to quickly gather industrial strength, break technical barriers, innovate ecological models, create a new generation of Chinese automotive basic software root technology, and promote the development of open source ecology by co-construction, co-creation and co-governance has become an important strategic choice.


Fortunately, Chinese companies have taken action. At the meeting, the Open Atom Open Source Foundation, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, Prichua Basic Software and more than 10 vehicle and chip companies such as China FAW, Dongfeng Motor, Changan Automobile launched the open source co-construction ceremony, and jointly lit up the "China Automotive Operating System open source co-construction Plan". Announced the "DA" microkernel (EasyAda) project through the Open Atoms Open Source Foundation TOC review, become the foundation incubation preparatory project, and announced the launch of the "small man" safe car control operating system project. This is the first large-scale, mass-produced open source safe vehicle control operating system in China after the release of the "DA" microkernel (EasyAda) open source project in May 2023.


It is reported that Xiaoman safety car control operating system is based on the core product of Pricewaterhousecoopers basic software open source, is Pricewaterhousecoopers basic software deep cultivation of vehicle operating system 16 years of experience and results. "Small man" includes operating system, storage management, network management, standard communication components, calibration, diagnostic protocol stack and other functions, the core module conforms to ISO26262 road vehicle functional safety international standards, the mass production has more than 17 million sets, customers cover domestic mainstream large vehicle enterprises, domestic independent and foreign parts enterprises, science and technology Internet enterprises. It is mainly used in vehicle body area, power area, chassis area, intelligent driving area, intelligent cockpit area and other major controllers.


Build a "digital base" for the technological revolution of the Automotive industry


The importance of the vehicle operating system is self-evident, and how to achieve a breakthrough through open source means still needs to fight a tough battle.
In the view of Lu Yi, chairman of CLP Taiji Group and chairman of PWC basic Software Company, the current automotive operating system faces three main challenges: First, in the period of change in the development of intelligent vehicles, the iteration and innovation of intelligent technology change rapidly, which makes the development of automotive operating system must evolve at a high speed to meet the needs of current automotive development; Second, safety and reliability pose new challenges to us, as well as to human beings in the field of transportation. The third is compatibility and standardization. In the past car control system, parts manufacturers fight for themselves, how to achieve centralized and intensive integrated development, to solve the compatibility problem, is also a very important issue in front of us. At the same time, how to standardize the adaptation of multiple Oems, the needs of relevant manufacturers are particularly important.


Lu Yi said that Priceprice basic software participated in the promotion of the "Xiaomuan" open source safe car control operating system program, hoping to gather industry strength through the open source of the car control operating system, based on the open source community platform joint research and development, joint investment. Different automakers can develop different distributions based on their own needs to support their own independent systems. From the core to achieve interconnection, from a horizontal way, into a vertical way. At the same time, he called for the whole industry to actively pay attention to open source operating system solutions, participate in joint construction, sharing, and co-governance.


The release of "Xiaoman" will promote the open source of China's automotive operating system to enter a new journey, help build a new ecosystem of automotive operating systems, and provide reliable core technical support for China's automotive industry to become stronger. It is expected that on October 24, 2024, PWC basic software will officially release the Xiaomuan 1.0 version, and announce the Xiaomuan project open source operating policies, developer models, version updates, technical support, improvement suggestions, code contributions and other incentives. On June 18, 2025, Xiaomuan version 2.0 will be released.


Originally published by China Automotive News, July 1, 2024