Continental and Infineon develop modular platform for software-defined automobile structure

Continental’s new electrics/electronics structure which makes use of Infineon’s high-end Aurix TC4 microcontroller paves the way in which for speedier growth of software-defined automobiles; RRAM expertise, utilized in chip playing cards, now utilized within the automotive sector.

Continental and semiconductor producer Infineon Applied sciences have partnered within the growth of server-based automobile architectures. The aim is an organised and environment friendly electrics/electronics (E/E) structure with central high-performance computer systems (HPC) and some, highly effective Zone Management Items (ZCU) as an alternative of as much as 100 or much more particular person management models, because it was beforehand the case.

Continental now makes use of Infineon’s Aurix TC4 microcontroller for its ZCU platform. Because of particular storage expertise within the Aurix TC4, the automobile software program is on standby. As quickly because the automobile is began, capabilities akin to parking help, air-conditioning, heating and suspension are prepared inside fractions of a second. By individually configuring the variety of HPCs and ZCUs, how they work together and the way they’re organized within the automobile, vehicle producers can individually tailor their structure to their wants.

 “With our new structure answer, we’re making the automobile match for the long run,” says Gilles Mabire, CTO Continental Automotive. “The rising number of automobile capabilities requires an increasing number of computing energy and more and more advanced software program functions. Continental’s new structure is paving the way in which for the software-defined automobile. The cooperation with Infineon is a vital step in realising this growth rapidly for our prospects. Because of our platform technique, confirmed software software program can be utilized in new automobile fashions, for example. In consequence, the time-consuming validation effort is considerably decreased. New functionalities could be introduced into serial manufacturing a lot sooner.”

The third era of the Aurix microcontroller household – TC4x – provides the identical scalability by way of efficiency, reminiscence and housing variants because the earlier generations, TC2x and TC3x. Amongst different issues, Aurix TC4x was designed for utilization in ZCU and HPC. Additional focus functions are radar, chassis and security and powertrain/electrification.

A key factor of the brand new microcontroller sequence is the RRAM (Resistive Random Entry Reminiscence) reminiscence expertise utilized by Infineon. This expertise is already used efficiently in chip playing cards, for instance when doing cashless funds and for safe authentication. For the primary time, RRAM expertise is now utilized within the automotive sector. Aurix TC4x merchandise allow efficient, quick and secure exploitation of important automobile methods potential.  When a automobile is began, capabilities like parking help, air-conditioning, heating and suspension can be found inside fractions of a second. Because of the Aurix TC4x structure, important software program packages are virtually consistently on stand-by. As well as, it permits considerably sooner and safer over-the-air (OTA) updates of software program elements.

“The cooperation with Continental makes it potential to carry RRAM expertise into cars,” says Peter Schiefer, President of the Automotive Division at Infineon. “Along with innovation drivers within the automotive trade like Continental, we’re shaping the mobility of tomorrow. The microcontroller household Aurix TC4x is a vital constructing block for the following era of E/E architectures and might make the essential distinction in relation to effectivity, security and luxury in future automobile generations.”

Zone Management Items: software for future-readiness

The usage of highly effective Zone Management Items is the following decisive step in the direction of a software-defined automobile. For Continental, a primary main step was the event and supply of an HPC high-performance pc for the electrical automobile fashions ID.3 and ID.4 from Volkswagen.

The zone management unit platform, to be developed as a part of the cooperation with Infineon, varieties the center degree of the electrics/electronics structure between the server degree (HPC) and the bottom degree with quite a few sensors and actuators.

“We provide all important elements for software-defined automobile architectures from a single supply. The brand new platform is scalable in addition to modular by way of efficiency and interfaces. In consequence, we will supply most flexibility to vehicle producers for designing automobile structure,” says Jean-Francois Tarabbia, Head of the Enterprise Unit Structure and Networking at Continental. “Furthermore, we allow the mixing of third-party {hardware} and software program so as to introduce progressive options rapidly and cost-effectively.”

Within the E/E structure of the long run, a zone management unit bundles all digital and electrical connections in a neighborhood part of the automobile. For example, zone management models take over all management, knowledge and communication administration duties within the automobile from areas on the entrance proper, entrance left and rear. Bundling the software program elements centrally will thereby enhance cybersecurity and updatability.

The Aurix TC4x product household places a give attention to state-of-the-art cybersecurity capabilities, developed in response to the ISO/SAE 21434-certified course of. Amongst different issues, the cybersecurity idea of the TC4x helps post-quantum processes. This already strengthens safety towards quantum pc assaults, which pose a risk to the cryptographic strategies at present in use.

Knowledge streams from completely different automobile domains merge within the zone management models. The info will then be processed and handed on to the HPCs as the highest management degree through safe Ethernet connections. Conversely, the zone management models act as a coordination level for executing instructions from the server degree.

With its holistic “Practical Security” idea, the AURIX TC4x household meets the best necessities for useful security as much as ASIL D, in accordance with the ISO26262 normal. Furthermore, the AURIX TC4x household contains community accelerators (“routing accelerators”) to alleviate Ethernet and CAN communication, in addition to newest communication capabilities akin to 5 Gbit/s ETH, PCIe, 10 Base-T1-S and CAN-XL. 

With these options, TC4x permits the following era of software-defined automobiles and new E/E architectures. “Our new automobile structure, consisting of some highly effective zone management models and high-performance computer systems simplifies the wiring harness considerably. It saves weight and power,” says Tarabbia. “Because of a transparent division of duties within the organized automobile electronics, the separation of {hardware} and software program and lastly, the required standardisation of interfaces, the rising complexity and an virtually exploding scope of software program contained in the automobile could be managed in a a lot better manner.”

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