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Candera providing HMI solutions with 50 million units installed

Candera exhibited at the "12th Automotive World" held at Tokyo Big Sight (January 15-17), and made its first public demonstration of its prototype product "Candera Link". In addition, HMI solutions for automobiles such as CGI Studio Scene Composer, which is the company's mainstay, were exhibited and attracted attention.

andera was originally founded in 2000 in Linz, Austria, as Comneon, which is a subsidiary of the semiconductor software company Infineon Technologies. With the advent of virtual HMIs the company was transferred to Fujitsu Group and later Socionext Group. This was the time when the company entered the automotive HMI development with one of the first embedded 3D graphic engines in the automotive industry. In February 2019, Candera GmbH was changed name as a group company of ArtSpark Holdings. In June of same year Candera Japan Inc. was established as a sales & development base in the Asia-Pacific region including Japan.

With approximately 50 employees in Austria and 35 in Japan, Candera has 85 employees and operates as an independent software vendor focused on research and development and sales to automotive manufacturers and suppliers. Its strategy is to continue to provide the highest performance and open HMI solution with ease of use for the embedded market.

「CGI Studio」Excellent extension and high reliability CGI Studio

Candera’s core product is CGI Studio, a software solution that has gained high reliability for many years. It features highest extensibility as a hardware-independent software platform for developing innovative embedded HMIs. By adopting an open architecture, it can be integrated into each company's workflow. In addition to being compatible with any vehicle platform, it also meets the requirements for fast startup and small footprint. This enables the development of attractive and customizable HMIs in all areas.

CGI Studio has been applied by eight of the top 10 automakers and by the top 6 suppliers worldwide. As a result, more than 50 million vehicles have been created using this solution. From the achievements, you can understand how high the response ability is.

Remote rendering service Candera Link first revealed in Automotive World

What is noteworthy is the self-developed product Candera Link, which first demonstrated its demo at the 12th Automotive World Tokyo.

This is a service-oriented software that allows platform independent data and services to be shared by multiple clients (IVI, Cluster, AR HuD, smartphones, etc.) like for instance remote rendering. In other words, in the past, it was necessary to place separate SoCs with high processing capabilities, but with this method, by having a powerful SoC on the server side, it is possible to process simply by sending and streaming commands via the network. That's what you get. This will significantly reduce costs and resources.

Candera Link was recently completed as a prototype. According to the company, it plans to release it in 2020 as a leading solution for future system-applications.

What are the features of Candera products used by eight of the top 10 car manufacturers?

Candera, which releases these products, can demonstrate four major features:

The first is scalability. CGI Studio supports all kind of platforms from low- to high-end.

The second is performance. Candera has received the best results of performance & ROM/RAM usage from multiple customer benchmark evaluations.

The third is workflow. The goal of CGI Studio is to leverage designer's creativity by simplifying the composition process as far as possible. CGI Studio comes with ready-to-use HMI controls, automated workflows and integrated state machines enabling to display the logics with only a few clicks.

The fourth advantage is usability. Usability has been greatly improved in terms of ease of use. Even a non-programmer like designers can create a basic PoC (Proof of Concept) simply by dragging and dropping controls and features into the workspace. Easily combine your imported artifacts with animations and application logic.

Based on our 20 years of experience in the embedded software development together with our broad customer base we have created a mature feature-rich and customizable product. In fact, CGI Studio today covers all aspects of automotive GUI development and beyond. Furthermore, we're closely working together with our customers and industry partners to provide solutions for present and future HMI needs.

Interview with Mr. Roland Winkler, head of product development of Candera GmbH at Linz, Austria about their core product, CGI Studio which is a tool for automotive HMI creation

―First of all, please tell us how Candera started a business specializing in HMI (Human Machine Interface).

Roland Winkler:
With its origins in the mobile phone sector in 2000 Candera soon realized the rapid growth in digitalization within the automotive industries. Furthermore, we saw the high demand of OEMs for a powerful and user-friendly tool to create innovative Human Machine Interfaces. In 2009 we released the first version of CGI Studio that was very well received by the market.

―What are the strengths of your HMI tool?

Roland Winkler:
Candera was pioneer in the 3D-User interfaces in automotive displays, which was a door opener and paved the way for rapid growth and sustainable success. Leveraging our experience, we focused on designers as well as engineers, and created a tool that reduces the number of clicks so that anyone can easily handle it. Designers are creative. Candera supports them to express their ideas easily in CGI Studio based on its user-friendly interface and to transfer their vision to a wide range of target platforms.

―In other words, can CGI Studio be used without advanced programming skills?

Roland Winkler:
For full creativity, we believe designers need to seamlessly play with ideas, from first sketch to execution on target platforms. CGI Studio provides import from many graphic tools like Photoshop, 3dsMax, Blender, etc. to bridge the gap between design and target application.

Candera Link that can share information and contents between multiple devices

―In the future, we think that the displays on vehicles will become more diverse. What challenges do you have for such a situation?

Roland Winkler:
The connection and synchronization among many displays, including smartphones, is a key challenge of future HMIs the newly developed product called Candera Link is the answer to this problem.

―Is it different from CGI Studio?

Roland Winkler:
CGI Studio is an HMI design tool, while Candera Link is a service-oriented software that enables interaction between multiple clients, no matter the programming language, operating system, or location.

―What are the benefits of using Candera Link?

Roland Winkler:
Information and any kind of content can be shared, distributed, and synchronized among multiple devices. For instance, the content of the entertainment system can be received by cloud and shared between instrument cluster, head-up display (HUD), and smartphone. This increases flexibility and reduces hardware costs.

―That means deploying in the cloud is essential, but when 5G is introduced in full scale, you will be able to further extract its capabilities?

Roland Winkler:
When rendering huge amounts of data, 5G will be able to provide a faster service. Candera Link has no restrictions so you can connect to any server you like, either locally in the car or remotely in the cloud.

A new drive world expanded by Hypervisor, AR etc

―Which other trends do you perceive?

Roland Winkler:
Nowadays, centralized computing with Hypervisor environment is becoming a trend in the car. A typical setup is that one powerful SoC hosts both the real-time operating system (OS) for dashboard and the Linux OS for entertainment. In this case Candera Link enables seamless interaction between multiple OS in a safe and reliable manner without any interference.

Another trend we observe is the growing application of augmented reality (AR) within cars and other vehicles. AR head-up displays allow a dynamic creation and adaption of situational visuals that perfectly blend with real environment. This enables less driver distraction and higher safety on the roads.

When it comes to Autonomous Driving, especially in the upcoming years there will be an essential need for interaction between the automated vehicle and the driver inside. Furthermore, HMIs will not only have to ensure a smooth and safe communication with the driver but also a seamless synchronization between multiple displays and environments.

―As an end user, a new world of driving, in which various information is drawn on the windshield while driving, is likely to expand, and it will be exciting. When will it be realized?

Roland Winkler:
We are currently working closely together with the automotive industry to realize augmented reality (AR) solutions for tomorrow. Assisted driving provides more and more information in the driver’s field of view, e.g. the windshield. The development for such solutions based on AR is currently happening, so the first cars on the road featuring this technology can be expected sooner than later.

<Sayaka Onishi (interpreter) / Roland Winkler/ Mr Aida (Journalist)>

text:Hajime Aida
photo:Naoki Yukioka

▼Here is the article of "Response" who is site of automotive integrated information (Only in Japanese)
https://response.jp/article/2020/02/13/331639.html

Here is the article of "Response" who is site of automotive integrated information
(Only in Japanese)