Infineon tweaks Aurix for performance, security

October 20, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Automated driving functions and software updated over the air are two features that rank high in the development departments of the automotive industry. And they result in the need for more computing power and more IT security. Infineon has therefore tweaked its Aurix microcontroller family to triple its performance. At the same time, the chipmaker has introduced a security solution for cars developed with Argus Cyber Security Ltd.

The new Aurix version targets applications that equally require high real-time performance and high reliability, including chassis control, autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems. It features a hexa-core architecture (which means that it incorporates six CPU cores) and several new instructions. It also contains a new hardware signal accelerator unit that in turn supports up to eight radar sensors - a unique feature that enables the implementation of radar cluster, a new concept for future high-resolution radar sensors that generate 3D images with a definition and clarity similar to optical cameras, explained Thomas Böhm, Senior Director Microcontrollers for Chassis and ADAS at Infineon.

With measures like faster data access path between CPU and memory or up to 6 Mbyte static RAM, the new Aurix version achieves three times the performance of earlier versions, Infineon claims. Additional enhancements like Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with QoS support, up to twelve CAN FD ports and an upgrade to its ADC cluster to process analog signals, the Aurix TC3xx family is clearly looking for more demanding tasks. With its quad-lockstep core, the Aurix meets requirements for functional safety up to ASIL level D.

To also meet the increasing demand for “functional security” – IT security for safety-relevant driving functions, as Böhm explains - a new Hardware Seucity Module (HSM) is available for the Aurix. With its integrated 32-bit CPU and hardware acceleration for several state-of-the-art encryption and security schemes such as AES-128 or SHA-224/226, a memory protection unit and integrated secure code storage, it is equipped to shoulder future tasks like secure software updates over the air (OTA) while at the same time offering protection against hacking attacks – an aspect that increasingly is in the focus of automotive electronics designers, Böhm said.

At the same time, Infineon introduced a secure connectivity solution for vehicles, based on the Intrusion Detection and Prevention System and on the remote cloud platform from cooperation partner Argus Cyber