Cars are already today firm fixtures of the IoT. However, vehicles’ entertainment systems are far from being their only “connected” components: Practically all areas of vehicle electronics are, in fact. Not only does this connectivity underpin automated driving functions, it is also essential for innovative services like over-the-air software updates or integrated location based services. At the heart of all this automotive connectivity lies the telematics control unit (TCU), an embedded hardware and software system.
Infineon is helping to make smart cars a reality with products and solutions that are precisely attuned to their requirements. Infineon’s product range elevates automated driving to ever-higher levels while propping up electrical/electronic (E/E) vehicle architectures and boosting connectivity, digitalization, and data security. Beyond these areas, Infineon supplies other solutions that address driving safety, digital cockpits, infotainment, comfort and convenience, and lighting technology. Meanwhile, “ready-to-use” semiconductor design solutions and reference designs - such as the SEMPER™ Development Kit (S-SDK) or the range of TriCore™ development tools - make it even quicker to get automotive IoT applications off the ground.
Environmental sensing is a cornerstone of the “smart car” philosophy. As part of the comprehensive XENSIV™ family of sensors, Infineon offers a range of RASIC™ 77/79 GHz front-end ICs specifically for radar-based driver assistance systems like adaptive cruise control and collision warning. The REAL3™ automotive imager based on 3D time-of-flight (ToF) technology brings the most accurate and robust depth-sensing capabilities to automotive applications - not just for collision avoidance, but also for in cabin-sensing: REAL3™ 3D cameras help to increase passive safety through use cases like occupant detection and smart airbag systems.
Elsewhere, sensor fusion is key to obtaining a detailed image of the environment. The AURIX™ domain controller for autonomous driving generates a comprehensive environmental model by fusing various sensors in and around the vehicle. Designed to meet the highest safety and security standards, the AURIX™ microcontroller family delivers precisely the robust performance needed for safety-critical autonomous driving.
Such smart and automated applications demand a powerful platform: The 32-bit TriCore™ microcontroller family with embedded safety and security features is the perfect solution here. AURIX™ TriCore™ unites the elements of a RISC processor core, a microcontroller, and a DSP in one single MCU. Infineon’s innovations enhance system partitioning to better integrate system functionality, which reduces the application’s complexity and space, yielding highly optimized solutions.
Moreover, Infineon’s TRAVEO™ II microcontrollers combine performance, safety, and security features specifically for in-vehicle electronics. With processing power and network connectivity built into a single Arm® Cortex®- M4F and dual Cortex®- M7F, the TRAVEO™ II family has enhanced performance.
Finally, the PSoCTM 4 programmable system-on-chip architecture based on Arm® Cortex®-M combines best-in-class PSoCTM analog and digital fabric with industry-leading CAPSENSE™ capacitive-touch technology featuring Arm’s power-efficient Cortex®-M0 core. All in all, this simplifies the design process for in-vehicle human–machine interfaces.
The foundation of any reliable and efficient EPS system is a combination of optimized, powerful microcontrollers and power semiconductors. As a safety-critical application, an EPS must be engineered with components that interact reliably. Infineon’s dependable electronics are built to a zero-defect automotive-quality standard, the results of which are plain to see in the reliability and robustness of our semiconductors. They also incorporate a holistic functional-safety approach that yields high-availability, fail-operational systems compliant with the requirements of functional safety set out in ISO 26262.
Infineon also offers a wide range of gate drivers and switches that are PRO-SIL™ ISO 26262-compliant alongside ISO 26262-compliant PMICs and ISO 26262-ready switches for relay and fuse replacement.
There can be no smart cars without connectivity: Key components supplied by Infineon establish a link between the vehicle and the cloud, as well as connecting the application processor with the in-vehicle network (IVN). The 32-bit AURIX™ microcontroller acts as a gateway to the IVN. In turn, the OPTIGA™ TPM authenticates the OEM backend server for secured remote access, while the eUICC is used for cellular-network authentication or V2X. Infineon’s SLI 97 SOLID FLASH™ and SLI 76 families of security controllers are optimized for automotive applications such as eCall, with the portfolio rounded off neatly by Wi-Fi & Bluetooth SoCs and USB-C controllers for in-vehicle connectivity.
Infineon’s broad portfolio of automotive security solutions includes hardware components (such as 32-bit microcontrollers with embedded-hardware security modules), trusted platform modules (TPMs), and secure elements with the associated software packages.
As an example, the AURIX™ 32-bit microcontroller family – featuring an embedded hardware security module (HSM) - is typically at the core of automotive security applications. In this context, use cases range from tuning protection and immobilizers to secured on-board communication. Infineon not only offers a scalable assortment of compatible AURIX™ devices, but also the necessary software packages and support services.
When it comes to critical data and processes, robust protection is assured with OPTIGA™ TPMs. Based on a standardized construction kit, TPMs are ideal for platforms running both Windows and Linux (including derivatives). Raise security to the highest level with the OPTIGA™ TPM addon board and AURIX™ TriBoard TC389.
SEMPER™ Secure NOR Flash delivers security, safety, and reliability to automotive systems with a low total cost of ownership. Semper Secure is accompanied by our Semper Solution Development Kit (S-SDK), which simplifies system integration and accelerates time-to-market.
Leading car manufacturers like Daimler already use eSIM security controllers for the emergency call function. For example, the “MercedesMe connect” system from Mercedes-Benz offers many services such as accident management, breakdown and maintenance management, remote vehicle diagnostics, and remote services for customers alongside the emergency call function (“Mercedes-Benz eCall”) required by law. The voice and data connections of these types of telematics services rely on a telematics control unit in the vehicle, which is also referred to as a connectivity module. The current generation of this module is based on a telecommunications module that can tap into 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile-communications networks. The vehicle uses these to establish a connection and access data (e.g., traffic updates, infotainment services) from the internet. A permanently installed eSIM chip is provided to identify the vehicle in the network.
Thanks to the infrastructure and interconnection with other vehicles, automated cars can detect dangerous situations ahead much sooner and drive more predictively. The first generation of vehicles that satisfies automation level 3 of the internationally accepted six-level scale is already being launched onto the market today.
In order for it to weave in and out of urban traffic with a high level of automation, a vehicle needs to possess a number of essential abilities: It must perceive its surroundings, using the information obtained in this way to draw the right conclusions and react appropriately. Automated vehicles are equipped with a range of different sensors used for environmental recognition, from ultrasound, radar, and lidar sensors through to video systems. The information from these sensors—combined through “sensor fusion”—supplies a precise, reliable, and practically all-encompassing picture of the surroundings. This is expanded on using information supplied by other vehicles or by the road infrastructure itself. To this end, it is connected via a number of communications channels, from dedicated automotive WLANs to 5G mobile-communications networks. High-performance microcontrollers and processors are needed to process the barrage of data supplied by the sensors. Not only do these need to process information in real time wherever possible; they also need to satisfy the most demanding standards and requirements for security and functional safety. After all, their decisions are crucial for the vehicle’s safe operation.
To make the smart car a reality, it takes both – technology and trust. All levels of automated driving, but especially higher levels such as Level 3, 4, 5, require the driver‘s and passengers’ trust for its adoption. The key to the successful combination of both technology and trust, is dependable electronics: Automotive quality, functional safety and security: So what is it that distinguishes Infineon’s dependable electronics?
The volume of data to be transferred and processed is seeing exponential growth alongside the increase in vehicle connectivity and system complexity.
Integrated payment methods used to pay parking fees or tolls, for example, demand a reliable flow of transaction data. Yet external access to a vehicle via connection to the cloud also increases the risk of hacker attacks substantially. Car manufacturers therefore need to ensure that information is processed securely and protected against third-party access and manipulation. At the same time, data protection needs to be maintained for drivers.
Through a combination of hardware components like microcontrollers with integrated hardware security modules, SIM cards, and dedicated security controllers with appropriate software packages, the required protection mechanisms and associated costs can be adjusted and precisely matched to the security requirements of a specific application in a smart vehicle.
Conventional event data recorders (EDRs) in modern vehicles buffer camera image data into external RAM or in the Flash memory’s volatile buffer memory, then periodically back up that data into non-volatile Flash. In the event of a crash, these systems risk losing the last moment of critical system data due to power failure. This risk is mitigated when using our high-reliability EXCELON™ next-generation Ferroelectric RAM (F-RAM) memories by enabling instant non-volatile writes.
ADAS EDRs take advantage of the F-RAM's s virtually infinite endurance by continuously writing data with no delays into a circular buffer, guaranteeing last image data capture if power is lost in a crash. EXCELON™ F-RAM's inherent data store capabilities ensure complete data delity recovery to perform after-crash data forensics.
Cars’ infotainment systems have become multifaceted experiences in their own right. For today’s customers, smart user interfaces like touch screens, precise voice recognition, and powerful gesture recognition are all decisive factors when it comes to choosing which new vehicle to buy. Uninterrupted 24/7 connectivity is absolutely essential these days. This is made possible by wireless connections in the vehicle (mobile communications, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth).
The fact that more and more consumer devices like smartphones, tablets, and notebooks support USB-C and USB-PD (where “PD” stands for “power delivery”) means that demand is also growing for these connections in cars. The USB-C standard was approved in fall of 2014 and proved an instant triumph due to its small form factor and integration of user-friendly connections and cables, which enable multiple data transfer protocols to be used. Furthermore, in terms of supplying power, it facilitates charging processes at up to 100 W; an enormous improvement over the 7.5 W rating of earlier standards. Rear-seat entertainment systems with USB-C connections for DisplayPort video can therefore be connected with one or more screens to show videos, enabling content to be streamed from smartphones, tablets, and notebooks.
For a rich, visual user experience in the car's cockpit, a centralized Instrument Cluster system with an easy-to-view display featuring a rich graphical user interface with all the key driving information displayed is essential. Adding a high-performance display buffer memory solution such as Infineon's HYPERRAMTM to such systems enables loading and generating several complex display elements without having any penalty on refresh rate of the display.