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Continental adopts Renesas’s SoC for secure automotive HPC

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Continental has chosen the R-Car M3 System-on-Chip (SoC) from Renesas for its first-generation Body High-Performance Computer (HPC), a highly-secure automotive computing platform for centralised control of vehicle systems.

The R-Car M3 supports over-the-air (OTA) software updates with the highest level of security and functional safety, making it possible to centrally control automotive software updates. The R-Car M3 also contributes to the realization of the new electrical/electronic (E/E) architecture concept that helps to improve vehicle performance, safety, and reliability while reducing vehicle weight.

“Thanks to the new server architecture, vehicles will be kept up to date easier and faster than today. We are making the vehicle an integral part of the Internet of Everything, contributing to the higher functionality and comfort in the vehicle,” said Johann Hiebl, head of the Connected Car Networking business unit at Continental. “The first generation of Continental’s Body High-Performance Computer using the high-performance R-Car SoC is already going into production at a global vehicle manufacturer.”

Whether used for personal use, taxis or mobility services such as for the distribution of goods, modern vehicles must be capable of quickly updating software in the field in order to operate efficiently and safely. Performing software updates individually on the dozens of electronic control units (ECUs) installed in a typical vehicle is very difficult. The current shift toward a new E/E architecture that utilizes a central vehicle computer to implement centralized software updates will address this challenge.

The versatile R-Car portfolio features scaleability to match the requirements of a variety of vehicles and is ideal as a general automotive computing platform. In addition to the R-Car M3, which delivers 30,000 DMIPS performance, the Renesas R-Car lineup ranges from high-end devices such as the R-Car H3, which is built around eight 64-bit Arm CPU cores and delivers high performance of 45,000 DMIPS, to the R-Car E3 delivering 7,500 DMIPS performance.

The R-Car’s virtualisation functionality enables the isolation of software connecting to external cloud services and the software that controls the vehicle, enabling them to operate completely independently. This robust separation on a single chip allows the R-Car to act as a safe and secure vehicle gateway. The R-Car devices also integrate several hardware security features including secure boot and secure network communication via Ethernet to domain controller. They also feature high-speed Gigabit Ethernet to provide the data throughput required for fast software updates and increasing amount of sensor information to support ADAS functions.

In addition, the R-Car can be combined with Renesas’s RH850/U2A cross-domain microcontroller (MCU) supporting up to ASIL D functional safety and the company’s rich portfolio of automotive power management and timing solutions to form a complete solution for vehicle servers.

“Renesas focuses on achieving an optimal balance between performance and power efficiency, with a view toward device adoption in high-volume vehicles,” said Shingo Yamamoto, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Automotive Solution Business Unit at Renesas.

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