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Basemark, a manufacturer of graphics and autonomous car programs, has unveiled Rocksolid Core, its new operating system for software defined vehicles.
Rocksolid Core is an end-to-end licensable solution for all car applications. It incorporates underlying operating system such as Autosar Classic, Autosar Classic and Autosar Autosar Adaptive. Rocksolid Core includes reference applications for human-machine interface (HMI), advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous drive applications.
Finnish company Basemark developed Rocksolid to be a middleware platform for compute and graphics application development. It has been used by automakers to build fancy infotainment dashboards. It is optimized for embedded and mission critical applications such as autonomous driving and digital instrument clusters.
Tero Sarkkinen, CEO of Basemark, stated that the company is helping to enable the future of cars. It makes it easier to build new car systems and reduces the cost of car computers. Basemark claims that its Rocksolid Core has fewer processors than other models. This results in significant savings both in electronics and in software.
Sarkkinen stated that Rocksolid Core is the foundation for all advanced autonomous driving vehicles in an email to VentureBeat. It's not just an OS but also a new and advanced software and hardware architecture. This design decreases the number of processors required and thus greatly reduces the cost of mass production.
According to him, the company expects to save $220 per call compared with the Volkswagen architecture. Sarkkinen said that this savings is a boon to any car manufacturer.
He added that the other benefit of the new architecture was the ability to visualize data from all car sensors. Fusing data from maps, front radar and other sources can help make heads-up displays cooler. The display can then be rendered realistically of the road ahead, and could highlight a deer hiding in the bushes. This could be detected using a heat sensing camera.
In the form of a proof of concept vehicle, Rocksolid Core's first prototype will be unveiled this fall. Basemark will be attending the IAA Conference in Munchen, September 6-12.
I have been following Sarkkinen's career for some time now. I enjoyed a cup of coffee with him in Helsinki, on the icy shore of Finland's Gulf of Finland, during one of the Slush events of 2013. He is a serial entrepreneur and gamer who helped to create benchmarks like 3D Mark at Futuremark for PC games. Rightware was also founded by him to provide tools to developers who want to create car-specific visual user interfaces. This was in a time when auto manufacturers were finally getting used to the computer age and getting better dashboard information.
In 2015, he sold Futuremark to United Laboratories and two years later, he sold Rightware to Thundersoft. Arto Ruotsalainen and Sarkkinen founded Basemark in 2015, to manage big data visualizations for industrial markets. They then bought Rightwares benchmark unit and started to build tools for developers who create autonomous driving software. Basemark developed VRScore, a benchmark for virtual reality software in 2016, and moved into autonomous driving software in 2018. Basemark employs 70 people in Finland, Germany and the U.S. in 2020.