Software Simplicity with Wind River Helix* Chassis

Published: 08/03/2016, Last Updated: 08/03/2016

Wind River Helix* Cockpit

Cockpit is an open source, Linux* runtime platform based on the Yocto Project*. Compatible with GENIVI* specifications, Cockpit is designed to allow you to develop and validate rich in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) apps, telecommunications and informatics, and automotive instrument cluster systems quickly. These systems are preintegrated with advanced connectivity and security features.

As a versatile platform for embedded software, Cockpit supports a variety of industry hardware and user-friendly human–machine interface tools. It provides a framework in which to develop complex IVI systems, significantly reducing development time. Cockpit also gives you access to Wind River Helix* App Cloud, a cloud-based software development environment that helps you develop IoT apps when multiple development centers in various locations are involved.

Open Standards-Based Foundation for the In-Vehicle Infotainment Market

Cockpit is ideal for building apps for remote vehicle tracking, automatic roadside assistance, integrated digital cockpit, web radio, or other automotive systems, such as instrument panels or center displays. It gives you a solid foundation on top of which you can add functionality, specific user interfaces (UIs), and other value-added options (Figure 1). The templates, tools, and methods help you create embedded products based on custom Linux*-based systems, regardless of the underlying hardware architecture. As a result, you have maximum flexibility to use your hardware of choice.

Figure 1. Wind River* Helix* Cockpit Architecture

Key features of Cockpit include:

  • Connectivity framework: This framework consists of a UI and connectivity links for external (cloud) and in-vehicle communications. Optional connectivity components include iPod*, Apple* CarPlay*, MirrorLink*, Google AAP, Wi-Fi*, and Bluetooth*.
  • Firmware and software over-the-air (OTA) management: Cockpit supports OTA management to wirelessly manage and update both firmware and software throughout the product life cycle.
  • Flexible platform: Cockpit supports multiple hardware and board support packages (BSPs). This comprehensive, commercially supported development toolchain includes runtime observation, a debugger, memory profiling, a BitBake build system, and Wind River Workbench.
  • Long-term support: The secure Linux* base allows future extensions and updates to keep up with the evolution in IoT technologies, protocols, and product offerings.
  • Built-in security: Security Profile for Wind River Linux along with secure boot, device authentication, and other runtime security checks guarantee secure data handling.

Figure 2. Wind River* Helix* Chassis Layout Diagram

Wind River Helix Drive

Drive is built on VxWorks* 653 3.0 Multi-core Edition, a widely deployed real-time operating system (RTOS) in industrial, defense, automotive, aerospace, and other safety- and security-critical applications. With VxWorks 653 Multi-core Edition, you get improved performance, scalability, and a future-proof operating environment for the IoT. Drive provides you with an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 26262–certified platform for safety-critical automotive applications, from piloted and highly automated driving to ADAS. Let’s look at some of the key benefits of using Drive.


For ADAS and autonomous driving functions, the standards for safety are stringent. Drive allows you to develop and integrate multiple apps with different safety criticality into a single hardware platform. Separation and isolation of these applications are maintained in compliance with ISO 26262.

Drive supports the latest multi-core processors and provides robust partitioning that enables DO-178C certification. It also gives you the following benefits:

  • The multicore-enabled scheduler can support a variety of guest operating systems. Apps can run in parallel, so effective compute capacity is increased. Space and time partitioning for each core is also ensured.
  • The two-level virtual machine architecture significantly improves performance and lowers jitter.
  • The number of partitions can scale up to 255.
  • Drive can support multiple safety levels simultaneously.

Streamlined Automotive Open System Architecture Software Component Integration

Drive conforms to AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture (AUTOSAR) development methodologies for software modules. It supports standardized connectivity and functional interfaces to other automotive software components, enabling faster integration and interoperability.

Robust Security for the Connected Car

Safety- and security-critical automotive systems must prevent the injection and execution of malicious code into the system. Drive has multiple features in place to provide malware protection:

  • It allows only authenticated (signed) binaries to run.
  • Drive enforces secure boot (in conformance with International Electrotechnical Commission 15408) using a trusted platform module and ARM* TrustZone*.

The secure boot function verifies binaries at every stage of the boot process. If a component fails to pass signature verification, the boot process will stop.


Drive uses Data Distribution Services, a real-time, low latency middleware protocol and application programming interface (API) standard from the Object Management Group to provide data connectivity among safety- and security-critical applications. It uses the Socket Controller Area Network (SocketCAN) to provide a uniform interface for opening multiple sockets at the same time to listen for and send frames to CAN identifiers. With the Wind River Certified Network Stack (an embedded TCP/User Datagram Protocol/IP version 4 network stack with multicast), Drive supports a BSD socket API, enabling easy migration of networking software from VxWorks and Linux platforms.


Wind River Helix Chassis, with Cockpit and Drive, is designed to simplify your software development process and innovations for connected vehicles. Leveraging a time-tested RTOS and built-in security capabilities with standard-based and certified tools, templates, and methods, you can now develop IVI, telematics, and other apps faster and with guaranteed safety and security compliance. An open source architecture allows for greater flexibility, and you can build apps compatible with multiple hardware platforms. The result is the ability to innovate and implement value-added functionality for safer, more efficient connected cars and a better driving experience.

Product and Performance Information


Intel's compilers may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors. These optimizations include SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instruction sets and other optimizations. Intel does not guarantee the availability, functionality, or effectiveness of any optimization on microprocessors not manufactured by Intel. Microprocessor-dependent optimizations in this product are intended for use with Intel microprocessors. Certain optimizations not specific to Intel microarchitecture are reserved for Intel microprocessors. Please refer to the applicable product User and Reference Guides for more information regarding the specific instruction sets covered by this notice.

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