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Zonal Architecture Solution

Build a future-proof zonal architecture

Build next generation vehicle architectures that are flexible, resilient and can support diverse mixed-critical features and applications.

Stylized image of zonal architecture in passenger vehicles

Dynamically adapt zonal networks at any time

Manage zonal network and vehicle service configurations from the cloud with lightweight policies to accommodate evolving needs for new in-vehicle applications and features.

Zonal architecture allows the automotive industry to deliver new features, improve safety, consolidate processing power, and save space and vehicle weight

Optimize for mixed-critical applications

Topology and service aware provisioning allows critical traffic to be prioritized while ensuring flexibility to continually support new updates and changes.

Side image of a new vehicle with a zonal approach to delivering new functions

Eliminate points of failure with built-in resiliency

Provision the network to handle link outages and reconfigure the network dynamically should such events occur, guaranteeing delivery of safety-critical messages.

Zonal Architecture overview

Critical foundations for future vehicle designs


Sonatus Datasheet - Zonal Architecture Solution EN image

Dynamic configuration

Dynamic Vehicle Network Configuration based on 802.1DG TSN Profile for Automotive

  • Network routing 
  • Quality of Service
  • Network security
  • Frame Replication and Elimination for Reliability (FRER)
  • Time synchronization

Network monitoring

Vehicle network visualization and health monitor

  • Diagnostic tool for visualizing network traffic and problems
  • Vehicle network performance management
  • Ethernet and CAN network monitoring

SOA management

SOA Manager for integrating applications across zones and vehicle domains

  • Registry for service discovery and subscription
  • Policies to manage SOA services access and communications 
  • Monitoring of security, health and performance of SOA services

OTA framework

Framework for distributing OTA updates across all in-vehicle networks

  • Distribute updates across all zones
  • Applied to Ethernet and CAN ECUs
  • Configuration policies, applications, containers, and more

Partnering to advance
critical zonal architecture designs


Frequently asked questions?

As the automotive industry undergoes a major shift towards more configurable and updatable software-defined vehicle designs, vehicle E/E architectures must also evolve to support this transition. The modern vehicle architecture must be simpler build and manage, and have the flexibility to support future updates. Achieving such a shift shift involves moving away from the current E/E domain architecture to a cross-domain, centralized E/E architecture. A zonal vehicle architecture requires only few powerful and multi-purpose electronic control units (ECUs), rather than the multitude of smaller specialized ones prevalent in current forms of a distributed architecture. These centralized ECUs will link to the remaining control units, sensors, and actuators through a few zonal gateways placed around the entire vehicle . A centralized and inter-connected vehicle architecture will simplify the extremely complicated and costly wiring harness in current designs, and make it easier to create more holistic cross-domain features and functions.
Our Solution runs on industry-standard application processors such as the NXP S32 family of automotive-grade SoCs, and integrated with automotive switches from Marvell and Broadcom. It does not require dedicated hardware and runs on centralized ECU such as a central gateway or a zonal gateway within an existing E/E architecture. Our solution is compatible with POSIX-compliant OS such as Automotive Grade Linux, RedHat, and Elektrobit, and is compatible with Adaptive AUTOSAR and SOAFEE.

Each zonal gateway connects to the central vehicle computer(s) via high speed Ethernet links often through vehicle gateway systems. The zonal controllers provide connect to the function-specific control units, sensors and actuators through a variety of vehicle interconnect technologies used by the automotive industry including Controller Area Network (CAN), Local Interconnect Network (LIN) and FlexRay.
A zonal architecture is a future direction being considered across the automotive industry. Since emerging electric vehicles incorporate relatively new E/E designs, OEMS are adopting a zonal architecture in those vehicles first. However, the benefits of zonal architectures apply to conventional ICE vehicles and hybrid architectures. The benefits of a zonal architecture with its ability to reduce wiring harness costs, improve power management, simplify inter-ECU communications, and compatibility with a service oriented architecture, extend to all vehicles, regardless of the type of powertrain.

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