Continental and Infineon join forces to develop high-performing vehicle architecture
Continental will be collaborating with the semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies AG in the development of server-based vehicle architectures. The goal is an organized and efficient electrics/electronics (E/E) architecture with central high-performance computers (HPC) and a few, powerful Zone Control Units (ZCU) instead of up to a hundred or even more individual control units, as it was previously the case.
Continental now uses Infineon’s AURIX TC4 microcontroller for its ZCU platform. Thanks to special storage technology in the AURIX TC4, the vehicle software is on standby. As soon as the vehicle is started, functions such as parking assistance, air conditioning, heating and suspension are ready within fractions of a second. With its platform approach, Continental is supporting the different requirements of the automobile manufacturers. By individually configuring the number of HPCs and ZCUs, how they interact and how they are arranged in the vehicle, automobile manufacturers can individually tailor their architecture to their needs.
“With our new architecture solution, we are making the vehicle fit for the future,” says Gilles Mabire, CTO Continental Automotive. “The growing variety of vehicle functions requires more and more computing power and increasingly complex software applications. Continental’s new architecture is paving the way for the software-defined vehicle. The cooperation with Infineon is an essential step in realizing this development quickly for our customers. Thanks to our platform strategy, proven application software can be used in new vehicle models, for instance. As a result, the time-consuming validation effort is significantly reduced. New functionalities can be brought into serial production much faster.”
The third generation of the AURIX microcontroller family, TC4x, offers the same scalability in terms of performance, memory and housing variants as the previous generations, AURIX TC2x and TC3x. Among other things, AURIX TC4x was designed for usage in ZCU and HPC. Further focus applications are radar, chassis and safety and powertrain/electrification.
A key element of the new microcontroller series is the RRAM (Resistive Random Access Memory) memory technology used by Infineon. This technology is already used successfully in chip cards, for example when doing cashless payments and for secure authentication. For the first time, RRAM technology is now applied in the automotive sector. AURIX TC4x products enable effective, fast and safe exploitation of essential vehicle systems potential. When a vehicle is started, functions like parking assistance, air conditioning, heating and suspension are available within fractions of a second. Thanks to the AURIX TC4x architecture, essential software programs are almost constantly on stand-by. In addition, it enables significantly faster and more secure Over-the-air updates of software components.
“The cooperation with Continental makes it possible to bring RRAM technology into automobiles,” says Peter Schiefer, President of the Automotive Division at Infineon. “Together with innovation drivers in the automotive industry like Continental, we are shaping the mobility of tomorrow. The microcontroller family AURIX TC4x is an important building block for the next generation of E/E architectures and can make the crucial difference when it comes to efficiency, safety and comfort in future vehicle generations.”