Red Bend and Vector partner to update ECU firmware over the air

June 3, 2013  by  


Red Bend Software announced that Red Bend’s Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) Update Installer will be integrated with Vector’s Flash Bootloader (FBL).

The two companies will work together to co-market the solution.

Red Bend updates firmware by downloading just the differential of the current and next software version either through the vehicle communication bus or over-the-air (OTA) to automotive electronic control units (ECUs) on the production line and after a vehicle has been sold to the consumer.

Vector’s FBL uses several components to reprogram ECUs, including a boot loader, flash driver and flash scripts according to the process requirements of the OEM. Red Bend’s FOTA quickly and securely updates only the changes (the delta) between firmware versions deployed on the ECU without having to send the entire new firmware.

Together, the joint solution will reduce warranty costs and operational expenditures for automakers and suppliers. Automakers benefit from fast programming and updating of ECUs on the production line as well as in the field. Suppliers can introduce differentiated solutions while reducing the risks associated with software updates in production.

100 million lines of code

According to Strategy Analytics, the number of lines of code in a car has grown from 1,000 in 1990 to 100 million in 2012, and this number continues to grow as automotive software becomes more complex.  The number of ECUs in vehicles is also growing.  In high-end vehicles, there can be as many as 100 ECUs.

“The automotive industry is quickly learning to take advantage of the technologies already proven in the mobile industry. Vector is a strategic partner for Red Bend. This tight integration of our two products is the next step to ensure the growing amount of software on ECUs is always updated quickly and securely,” said Lori Sylvia, EVP of Marketing, Red Bend.

According to Armin Happel, product manager responsible for the Flash Bootloader at Vector, “Red Bend is a trusted partner and we are excited to work together to bring our joint solution to the growing world of telematics. Together, we will offer a unique, holistic solution to securely, safely and efficiently update the entire ECU lineup. This solution will have significant cost- and time-saving benefits for tier one automotive suppliers, car manufacturers and consumers.”

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