Infineon intends to regain the lead in automotive chips: Page 3 of 5

December 13, 2017 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Infineon intends to regain the lead in automotive chips
Although NXP has overtaken Infineon in the automotive chip market, Infineon sees itself on the fast track and is determined to return to the top, even though its competitor NXP might merge with Qualcomm. Infineon’s Automotive Division President Peter Schiefer explains how.

eeNews Europe: In the area of connected car and autonomous driving, Infineon is hardly noticed. For example, for application fields like sensor fusion, pattern recognition or AI, Infineon has no offer at all. What is your strategy for this area?

Schiefer: This perception does not correspond to the facts. In the semi-automated and fully automated vehicle, Infineon's key sensor technologies will be used for both the vehicle and the infrastructure. We offer sensors for radar, lidar and interior cameras. For example, our time-of-flight chips sense the position of passengers in order to adequately trigger airbags. In the field of radar-based driver assistance functions, we are the leading chip manufacturer with a total of more than 50 million 77/79 GHz radar sensor chips sold. In sensor technology, Infineon is also strong in signal data preprocessing. We support camera systems in which our AURIX microcontroller is used as a safety host controller. In the area of sensor fusion for automation level two or two plus, no high-performance processors are required; AURIX microcontrollers are used as a decisive safety compute element for automated driving, as well as a communication interface to the vehicle and for sensor data fusion. Processors, e. g. from Nvidia, are then required for the higher automation levels three, four and five. AURIX asssits to achieve the highest ASIL safety standard for automated driving,. We also offer specially developed safety power supply solutions that support ASIL-D systems.

We have been working closely with Nvidia in this field for many years. Together with Nvidia processors, the AURIX microcontroller is provided on every AI development platform worth mentioning. And not to forget the security aspect: Whenever software updates have to be implemented in automated vehicles, security has to encompass the entire architecture. Every control unit in the network must be included. AURIX microcontrollers have security functions at the hardware level. This allows secure booting, flashing and debugging. With its symmetrical and asymmetrical encryption mechanisms, such as AES-128, ECC 256 or SHA2, the HSM improves tamper protection, for example of vehicle software or internal and external data transmission. An HSM helps prevent loading of malware and unauthrized software updates. 

eeNews Europe: While we are talking about AI: Would it be conceivable that Infineon would enable AURIX to perform AI tasks through further development?

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