“MOST (Media Oriented System Transport) infotainment rings can comprise up to 15 components from as many suppliers,” says OEM business manager Keith Price. “Ensuring we have all these parts for validation is very difficult. Suppliers run to different timing plans and software releases or may not build enough parts for everyone to have one on their test rig. This hampers our development and validation.”
The new software kit, created by Alpine requires the use of an optolyser and PC. The system replicates messages from other units to ensure interaction is MOST compliant. Compliance is a requirement from the vehicle OEMs. As well as ensuring software is correct, the system significantly reduces hardware costs. “We no longer need a set of first-off hardware,” adds Price. “These can cost up to five times the mass production price; with 15 units the savings are significant.”
To date Alpine has developed the kit for its own head unit but there is scope to provide alternatives for other suppliers. The work follows on from a project at Alpine’s Japanese headquarters to undertake MOST compliance testing in house before certification. This improves software quality and reduces development time. “The project in Japan reduces core testing from two days to just four hours using a Testerlyzer,”
The first programme to have benefited from the programme will be released in 2010.
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Since 1978, Alpine has been at the forefront of in-car entertainment development, producing some of the world’s most advanced audio systems, on-board navigation and multimedia applications. As a result of focusing exclusively on high-fidelity in-car systems, Alpine is specified as original equipment in some of the world’s most prestigious marques.