Vector History 1987
Vector History 1988
Vector History 1989
Vector History 1990
Vector History 1991
Vector History 1992
Vector History 1993
Vector History 1994
Vector History 1995
Vector History 1996
Vector History 1997
Vector History 1998
Vector History 1999
Vector History 2000
Vector History 2001
Vector History 2002
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Vector History 2012
Vector History 2013
Vector History 2014
Vector History 2015

Company History

The company Vector Software GmbH was founded on April 1st, 1988 by Eberhard Hinderer, Martin Litschel, and Dr. Helmut Schelling. Based on this engineering company, an international, continuously growing enterprise has emerged. From the beginning, the typical Vector values of innovative power, fairness, honesty, and loyalty were in the focus - among the employees as well as towards customers. These traditional values, combined with a visionary view, were and are the foundation for our successful growth.

Vector Software Inc. and Timing-Architects have become part of the Vector Group.
Vector has more than 2,000 employees worldwide and revenues of more than 500 million euros.
Cooperation with Timing-Architects Embedded Systems GmbH (Regensburg)
Foundation of the Vector Venture Capital GmbH which will support young start-ups.
5th building finished in Stuttgart (new headquarter)
Cooperation with BASELABS in the domain of driver assistance
Retirement of the three founders from the executive board
Foundation of Vector Italy and Vector Brasil
25th company anniversary
Foundation of Vector Austria
4th Vector building finished (Stuttgart, Motorstrasse)
Thomas Riegraf joins the company management.
Founding of office for aerospace customers in Hamburg/Germany
The ownership of the Vector Group is transferred to the non-profit Vector Foundation and the Vector Family Foundation. (Press release)
Vector exceeds the number of 1,000 employees worldwide.
aquintos becomes part of the Vector Group
3rd Vector building finished (Stuttgart, Motorstrasse), incl. a new bridge to connect the three buildings
Foundation of Vector Korea
The turnover of the Vector Group reaches more than 100 Mio EURO
Vector acquires 4m Software Division of Micron Electronic Devices AG
More than 500 employees worldwide
Second Vector building finished (Stuttgart, Motorstraße)
Foundation of the customer care centers in Braunschweig and Munich
The Vector Group turnover reaches 60 Mio EURO, more than 400 employees worldwide
Vector Informatik certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2000
Foundation of Vector France and VecScan (Sweden)
Dr. Thomas Beck joins the company management, foundation of Vector Consulting GmbH
Move to a new headquarter building (Stuttgart, Ingersheimer Straße)
The turnover of the Vector Group reaches more than 30 Mio EURO
The 100th employee (worldwide) joins the Vector Group
Foundation of Vector Japan
Vector Informatik certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001:1994
Foundation of Vector CANtech (USA)
Delivery of the first licenses for CANoe and CANape
The 25th employee joins Vector
Renaming to Vector Informatik and delivery of the first CANalyzer license.
First time to have a turnover above 1 Mio EURO
Foundation of Vector Software GmbH on April 1st
Recruiting of the first employee

Intel offers the world's first CAN controller for the CAN protocol specified by Bosch, the AN82526. The development of CAN-based networking can begin.

On April 1, Martin Litschel, Dr. Helmut Schelling and Eberhard Hinderer founded the company "Vector Software GmbH" in Ditzingen near the city limits of the automotive city of Stuttgart. The initial business goal of Vector: Software solutions for NC-controlled machine tools. The company name refers to the complicated vector calculations needed for this software. The first employee joins the company in October. Today he is still working at Vector.

Although CAN was developed for use in the automobile, the first CAN-networked product comes from the textile machine industry: "AT Electronic", the first weaving machine with a CAN bus.


When the third employee is hired, office space must be expanded.

Philips offers another CAN controller as the PCA82C200. Although it loads the CPU more, it is very flexible in its use. The 500E from Daimler-Benz is the world's first production vehicle with CAN-networked engine/powertrain management. In December 1990, Daimler-Benz introduces CAN-C for the powertrain and CAN-B for climate control components in the S-Class.

Company growth requires moving to larger accommodations. Vector moves into the mattress factory right next to the Ditzingen train station.

Vector offers the DOS-based graphic user interface system GBS as a product. Building upon this, the team led by Helmut Schelling develops significant parts of the VS100 calibration software in a project for Bosch.

CAN specification is further developed and published by Bosch in version 2.0.


On October 30, 1991 the Vector founders present the CANalyzer concept to an internal Daimler "Bus working group." The idea: to create a software program that could be used to observe communication on the CAN bus and supplement it. The original concept also already included provisions for generating errors.

The first version of CANalyzer is ready. It is based on DOS and Vector's GBS graphic user interface system. The first 30 CANalyzer products are sold to the companies Haushahn, Daimler-Benz, Siemens and Bosch. The DBB-196 CAN interface hardware from Daimler-Benz or CAN-AC from Softing is used for bus access.

On March 5, 1992 six companies and two private individuals found the "CAN in Automation" association - an international users and manufacturers association for the CAN serial bus system. Vector joins right after it is founded. CiA publishes the CAL protocol, which is a predecessor of the CANopen specification.

Vector Software GmbH becomes Vector Informatik GmbH, the logo is updated and the color red replaces the previous orange. Vector launches its first projects to develop basic software for ECUs. In the company's fourth business year, sales revenue grows to over one million €.

Dr. Helmut Schelling and Martin Litschel present the CANalyzer at a fair.

ISO 11898 internationally standardizes and defines Layers 1 (physical layer) and 2 (data protection layer) for the CAN bus in the ISO/OSI reference model.

International marketing of CANalyzer begins through Thau Computer in Switzerland and through Softing and its foreign distributors.

In this year, there are three DOS CANalyzer releases: CANalyzer V1.20 released in February adds savable configurations and ideal readability of the Trace window. CANalyzer V1.30 in March makes it possible to use the Philips 82C200 to not only receive preconfigured messages, but all CAN messages. CANalyzer V2.00 appears in July and supports 29-bit IDs (Extended CAN 82527) for the first time.

CiA organizes the first international CAN Conference (iCC) in Mainz. In the same year, Allen-Bradley introduces the DeviceNet protocol, which competes with the CANopen protocol primarily in Asia and the USA.

CAN gains in international importance. Vector becomes active in France via the distributor NSI, and in the UK via AccuTest.

Product developments are accelerated. CANalyzer can already handle symbolic display and speaks CAL and DeviceNet. Daimler procures the first basic software for its ECUs from Vector. In December 1994, a new product is ready: the first CANoe version is released - under Windows 3.11. CANoe stands for CAN Open Environment. A canoe now serves as a product icon.

CiA publishes the CANopen protocol which is used in industrial automation and later in such embedded applications as coffee machines.

Vector moves from Ditzingen to the Stuttgart district of Weilimdorf. Office space doubles to more than 1300 sqm. Vector starts to offer training courses on CAN tools and fundamentals for developers. Product distribution is now handled by DG in the USA and NPS in Japan.

Embedded software from Vector can be tool configured. Vector offers the first PCMCIA interface for CAN which is known as the CANcard. This makes the laptop an ideal tool for test engineers - which still holds true today.

The OBD-II diagnostic protocol is already a legal requirement in the USA. CAN is one of five possible protocols for transmitting OBD-II diagnostic data.

Vector goes online. In October, the first website goes online with information on products, support, downloads and contacts. The company's registered capital is raised to one million German Marks.

Vector enters the market for ECU calibration. Via CCP, CANape lets users conveniently measure internal ECU data and easily adjust controller parameters while driving. ProCANopen enables project management of CANopen networks, and CANalyzer. CANopen makes analysis an easy task.

Mercedes Benz E-Class model: W210 (image source: Daimler AG)

In the E-Class, DaimlerChrysler uses CAN as a body bus for the first time and CANoe as the development tool. This is another milestone for the breakthrough of CAN in vehicles. First activities for developing a multimedia bus system are about to start.

Vector founds its first foreign subsidiary in the USA: Vector CANtech Inc. located in Novi near "Motown" (Detroit). In Germany, 50 employees already work at Vector.

CANscope records the analog signal levels of the CAN lines and can trigger specific bus errors. The use of Vector ECU software spreads further and is now also used at GM, Volkswagen, and BMW. Together with Bosch, Vector is already working on "Villa", the first professional variant management tool for ECU calibration. Later, this leads to important applications like eASEE.cdm and vCDM.

The LIN consortium and the MOST Cooperation begin their work. While LIN, like CAN, is promoted as a standard that can be used freely, MOST requires licenses.

The founding of Vector Japan in Tokyo ends Vector's joint venture with the Japanese distributor NPS, which had also marketed wine in addition to electronics and software. Now in its tenth business year, Vector surpasses the 10 million € milestone in sales revenue. Office space is enlarged to 1900 sqm.

The first PCMCIA card is produced in-house: CANcardX. The two-channel CAN interface allows for simple swapping of bus transceivers. The first flash bootloader enables reprogramming of ECUs. Together with Bosch, the development of a management system for hierarchical software configuration is launched under the working name "Nestor".

The LIN bus reaches market readiness and is used for car seats and doors. Discussions about the Time Triggered protocol begin, which will later lead to the development of FlexRay.

The 100th employee arrives. The company is again running out of space, so additional office space is leased in a building nearby. Vector becomes a member of the MOST Cooperation.

CANoe V2.5 supports more than the previous 2 CAN channels; they are connected to the PC via two or more interfaces. Opel chooses Vector for its embedded software (IVLAN).

The FlexRay consortium begins work on defining a deterministic bus system that permits high data rates and safety-critical applications (X-by-wire). LIN specification Version 1.2 is released.

Vector becomes involved as an Associate Member of the LIN consortium and a Development Partner of the FlexRay consortium. In subsequent years, a number of man years go into collaborative work on the development of new bus systems.

CANoe and CANalyzer become "multibus-capable": besides CAN they now also support LIN and MOST. Right from the start, LIN is supported by relevant Vector interfaces. The first MOST interface is hardware from OASIS. In the embedded software area, the first implementation is released for LIN and J1939, a CAN-based protocol for heavy-duty vehicles. Version 1.0 of CANdelaStudio paves the way for diagnostic development in the automotive field in upcoming years.

DaimlerChrysler uses the LIN bus with LIN 1.2 in door networking for the Mercedes SL for the first time. BMW Group introduces MOST bus system into production with the BMW 7-Series.

Dr. Thomas Beck (formerly director of ETAS) joins Vector to serve as the fourth Managing Director. Vector moves into its own company building on the Ingersheimer Straße in Weilimdorf. Floor space is tripled to 7,500 sqm. Vector Consulting becomes active in the consulting business and from this point forward supports customers in configuring their technical business processes. The registered capital is raised to one million €.

CANoe V3.2 now has full multibus capability including support for FlexRay. Bus supports are encapsulated in Options. Nestor becomes eASEE, a powerful engineering backbone that supports complex and distributed development processes. New embedded software customers are the last German OEM Porsche as well as Fiat and Ford.

The LIN consortium publishes the LIN 1.3 specification. Audi, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Cars introduce the LIN bus into their series production. Vector further develops the MDF measurement data format to MDF Version 3.0.

Acting locally worldwide: true to this motto, Vector reinforces its support of the automotive industry in Sweden and France with its own subsidiaries there. The first Vector Congress in Stuttgart focuses on current and future challenges of growth in automotive networking.

Vector ECU basic software also goes to GM and Hyundai. Current development results include flash bootloaders for KWP2000 and support of multi-processor ECUs.

Leading European automotive OEMs and suppliers found the AUTOSAR consortium under the motto "Cooperate on standards, compete on implementation." The goal is to standardize the infrastructure software in the ECU and thereby achieve higher quality and enable reuse. The LIN cooperation releases specification 2.0.

As a member of ASAM e.V., Vector plays an important role in the development/definition of the XCP protocol "Universal Measurement and Calibration Protocol." The second Vector building is dedicated on the Motorstraße. That adds another 7,500 sqm of space for the growing development team. By the end of the year, Vector has 350 employees worldwide.

CANcardXL is the new generation of bus interface cards for CAN and LIN. CANcaseXL is the first USB interface for CAN and LIN. The DaVinci Tool Suite enables signal and message oriented design of distributed systems and thereby partially anticipates the AUTOSAR concept. Embedded software is extended for FlexRay support.

Japanese OEMs found JasPar as a supplement to AUTOSAR. JasPar stands for Japan Automotive Software Platform and Architecture.

The AUTOSAR consortium accepts Vector as a Premium Member. Additional subsidiaries in Braunschweig and Munich offer optimal support of customers.

CANoe develops into an all-round tool for network development with Version 5.0. The Test Feature Set and Diagnostic Feature Set extend the use areas. The VN2600 MOST25 interface provides reliable and high-performance access to the MOST bus.

The release of AUTOSAR-specification 1.0 represents an important milestone for automotive embedded software.

Vector continues to grow: Over 500 employees are employed worldwide. In Germany, Vector attains a very good rating in the employer competition "Great Place to Work" and continues its successful participation in subsequent years.

The attainment of SPICE Level 3 for ECU software development underscores Vector's competence for embedded software. eASEE.cdm, the Calibration Data Management Tool, enables management of extensive and variant-rich calibration data.

The LIN 2.1 and AUTOSAR 2.0 and 2.1 specifications are released. First production ECUs support AUTOSAR 2.1.

Vector hosts a Congress especially for AUTOSAR which meets with great response. Representatives of JasPar also participate. The fourth German business site is opened in Regensburg as the result of a takeover of a division of Micron Electronic Devices.

The hardware line-up is extended with the addition of a stress module for FlexRay (FRstress), measurement and calibration hardware (VX1100, initially as a prototype) and new interfaces for MOST (VN2610) and FlexRay (VN3300 and 3600). The network design tool DaVinci Network Designer is introduced for CAN, LIN and FlexRay. The first evaluation bundles for developing ECUs per AUTOSAR and FlexRay go to customers.

Concepts and technologies related to surroundings recognition and image processing are discussed at industry meetings and professional events. Ethernet and IP are discussed options. In the same year, the driverless autonomous vehicle which was sponsored by Vector, won the DARPA Urban Challenge in the USA.

The AUTOSAR consortium presents Vector with the Premium Member Award for its services in defining and introducing the new standard. The fifth international business site opens in the South Korean city of Seoul. The first Vector FlexRay Symposium enjoys great success. 750 employees now work for Vector.

ECU and network testing become a continually stronger focus. CANlog and Multilog offer support here as does the Test Automation Editor TAE. Indigo is produced as another convenient diagnostic tester.

ODX is released as a description language for standardized diagnostic data exchange. Since 2001, Vector has helped to define ODX in ASAM working committees. AUTOSAR releases Version 3.1.

On the occasion of the company's 20th anniversary, the third company building is ready to move into, once again offering around the same magnitude of floor area at approx. 7,500 sqms on four levels. Pedestrian bridges interconnect all three buildings.

Option IP for CANoe and CANalyzer supports the development of Ethernet-based communication. The VT System is introduced as a completely modular and adaptable test system, which already offers HiL-like functionality in earlier development phases. Another logger (GL1000) extends the logging solutions. AUTOSAR goes into production: Vector delivers AUTOSAR 3 basis software for the serial development in the area of passenger cars and commercial vehicles (BMW, Daimler, Volvo AB and others).

Although the economy, especially the automotive industry, is putting on the brakes internationally, Vector's plan for three new subsidiaries is carried out: Vector Great Britain in Birmingham, Vector India in Pune and Vector China in Shanghai. The free Vector E-Learning platform goes online. The number of employees remains quite stable despite revenue declines.

The ASAM MDF4 measurement file format is released by the ASAM Cooperation. It is based on the MDF format developed in 1991 by Vector (Rainer Zaiser). The AUTOSAR consortium releases AUTOSAR Version 4.0. The automotive industry begins to feel the full impact of the global economic crisis.

Vector delivers AUTOSAR 3.0 production-level software to BMW and FAW as well as the first AUTOSAR basic software for MOST. LIN 2.1 is fully supported in conformance tests with CANoe. LIN 7.2 and the new CANcardXLe interface. Engineers who have lost their jobs due to the economic recession get highly discounted training at the Vector Academy.

Vector supports developments on electric mobility and charging technology with products and services. The Karlsruhe-based company "aquintos" becomes a part of the Vector Group.

The VN8900 product offers an 8-channel FlexRay/CAN/LIN/J1708 network interface upon whose real-time computer CANoe stand-alone runs. CANoe and CANalyzer support the aerospace protocols ARINC 810, 812, 825, 826. MICROSAR, the Vector AUTOSAR implementation, supports IP. Intelligent charging of e-vehicles in particular is a target application.

Due to the economic situation, OEMs and suppliers focus on immediate projects nearing production. Standardization activities are also slowed down. Nonetheless, LIN specification 2.2 is released. The CAN protocol is getting increasingly more attention in aerospace networking. Availability, mature technology and an attractive price-to-performance ratio are impressive advantages.

ISO 26262 - a standard for safety-related electrical/electronic systems in motor vehicles - is published. The AUTOSAR consortium releases AUTOSAR Version 3.2 (after Version 4.0 in 2009).

The owners of Vector transfer ownership of the company to a private trust and to the non-profit trust "Vector Stiftung". This step protects the long-term independence of Vector. The 1000th employee starts at Vector.

Option Car2x for CANoe supports the development of radio-based communication between vehicles as well as vehicles with the infrastructure. PREEvision, the design tool from aquintos, gets extensive additional functionality and is launched on the market as a tool for model-based Electrical/Electronic development - from architectural design to production readiness. ODX diagnostic data is now processed with ODXStudio.

Thomas Riegraf joins upper management at Vector. A new subsidiary in Hamburg focuses especially on aerospace customers. Vector licenses AFDX (Avionics Full-Duplex Switched Ethernet). A new development site results from the merger with aquintos in 2010. Sales revenue of the Vector Group tops the 200 million € mark.

BroadR-Reach is another innovative technology that paves the way for introducing Ethernet into the vehicle. Bosch presents CAN FD which increases the performance capabilities of the CAN bus by a multiple. At the same time the K-line for vehicle diagnostics experiences a renaissance, especially in Asia.

The oldest, most widely used bus analysis tool in the world, CANalyzer, turns 20 years old. Together with its larger brother CANoe, it gets an .AFDX Option in Version 8.0. The VC121 is the first universal ECU from Vector. With 121 connector pins for Ethernet/BroadR-Reach, CAN, FlexRay and LIN as well as AUTOSAR on Board, it is ideal for prototypes and short production runs. Embedded software continues to develop: AUTOSAR 4.0 basic software is delivered for the first time. The AUTOSAR basic software MICROSAR Safe is used for the first time in safety-related ECUs. The new interfaces of the VN16xx series communicate via USB with CAN, LIN, K-Line, J1708 and IO. VN5610 communicates with Ethernet and CAN. The logger product line-up, complete and ranging from the GL1000 to the GL4000, now also supports diagnostic functions.

The AUTOSAR development partnership celebrates 10 years of existence. The performance potential of the standard has been demonstrated in over 100 production projects. Current estimates indicate that nearly 300 million ECUs based on AUTOSAR will be produced in the 2016.

Vector extends its test product line-up by launching the new vTESTcenter and vTESTstudio test solution tools on the market. The Vector AUTOSAR solution MICROSAR OS is certified ISO 26262 conformant by TüV.

Vector celebrates its 25th anniversary as a company. Vector Austria is founded in Vienna. The 4th company building in Stuttgart adds space for the continually growing production and logistics areas as well as support. Vector creates its own Advanced Development and Fundamental Development area for early evaluation of new technologies and markets.

Along with e-mobility, functional safety and Car2x, autonomous driving is another main topic within the industry. The networking technologies Automotive Ethernet and CAN FD form the basis for technical product development in this area. In 2014, Vector was already supporting AUTOSAR Version 4.2.

Two new subsidiaries were established in Italy and Brasil. Construction of the company's fifth building is beginning at Vector headquarters in Stuttgart. The three founders E. Hinderer, M. Litschel and Dr. H. Schelling are retiring from operations management in March. They are now mainly involved with the Vector Foundation, supporting scientific and social projects. Over 300 participants visited the 7th Vector Congress in November to learn about trends and technologies in E/E systems development in the automotive field.

Vector is well-positioned in its partnership with BASELABS in the area of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and in the future it will offer its own product in the form of vADASdeveloper. MICROSAR now offers many extensions to AUTOSAR that go beyond the standard itself, e.g. for J1939 and Ethernet. The remote diagnostic solution Indigo Remote can access vehicles directly and interactively worldwide. Vector has also developed vSignalyzer – which is a convenient tool for evaluating measurement data of all types.

In the 'Great Place to Work' employer competition, Vector finished first place as the best German IT employer in the category of companies with 1,000 employees or more. At the first Vector Technology Days, more than 300 interested visitors had an opportunity to experience future-oriented technologies hands-on. At this event, Vector opened up its development laboratories and presented its latest product developments. Since December 1, 2015, a new logo and corporate design has been supporting Vector’s global brand image. Vector is entering into a long-term and sustainable development and sales partnership with the company CSM Computer-Systeme-Messtechnik GmbH with headquarters in Filderstadt, Germany.

Vector rounds out its development solutions for driver assistance systems with vADASdeveloper. This tool for developing multi-sensor applications was taken over from BASELABS GmbH on 01-01-2015. Developers of driver assistance systems and ECUs for autonomous driving can now benefit from a comprehensive solution for data fusion and surroundings recognition. Vector supports development departments at automotive OEMs and suppliers with professional tools, basic software and services in the area of Automotive Ethernet networking as well. The new VN8810 hardware enables intelligent vehicle diagnostics and flashing via a WLAN interface.

Automotive Ethernet, autonomous driving and cyber security were the top themes of 2015.

In Stuttgart the Vector employees are moving into the 5th building which, with an additional 650 workstations, represents a commitment to the location. More than 1,700 Vectorians work for the company worldwide. Through a cooperation with Timing-Architects Embedded Systems GmbH (Regensburg) Vector creates a comprehensive portfolio for the development of real-time multi-core systems. In September, Vector announced the founding of the Vector Venture Capital GmbH, which will support young start-ups from 2017, mainly from the IT and engineering environment.

The first cloud services support measurement and calibration engineers in the field. ASIL D certified software components enable the development of safety-critical ECU applications. Since the release of PREEvision 8.0 it is now equipped for the conceptualization of service-oriented architectures.

The development of automotive electronics is progressing with ever faster steps. While Automotive Ethernet is already part of current vehicle concepts for OEMs worldwide, the development of concepts and systems for extended driving assistance and autonomous driving is accelerating. The keywords "Adaptive AUTOSAR" and "service-oriented architecture" for future electronics concepts have been discussed broadly in 2016 for the first time.

The megatrends cyber security, connected car, IoT and autonomous driving are bringing about far-reaching changes in the automotive industry. Version 1.0 of the AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform marks the introduction of a new standard for service-oriented communication in automotive E/E architectures.

For developers of multi-sensor applications, vADASdeveloper is a fast and easy means of visualizing sensor data. CANoe and CANalyzer, now available in version 10.0, have been extended in areas such as automotive Ethernet and Car2x. The tool for automotive E/E design PREEvision now also makes it possible to develop Ethernet networks easily from scratch. Adaptive MICROSAR, a basic software package for the AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform, is an extension of Vector’s proven MICROSAR solution. In the area of cyber security Vector provides embedded software, services and tools for protecting embedded systems against cyber attacks.

Vector Software Inc., Rhode Island, USA, and Timing-Architects, Regensburg, Germany, have become part of the Vector Group. Vector Software’s main product, VectorCast, is for automated testing of embedded software. Timing-Architects specializes in the evaluation and optimization of embedded multi-core and many-core real-time systems. In Regensburg the occupants of the first Vector building are moving in, and on the Vector Campus in Stuttgart a new extension will be built. The year ended very successfully for Vector with the hiring of its 2,000th employee and the record sales revenue of more than 520 million €.