Other major topic for Renesas developers are smart infrastructures and security. “These items will be very, very important when automated driving will gain traction”, Axmacher predicted. Renesas’ approach is relying on separating the functional units in the car, like infotainment and control. “These worlds need to be separated, even if they are implemented on the same chip”, Axmacher explained. To keep them separated, Renesas is betting on encryption engines implemented in hardware.
Once automated driving will fall into place, software updates over the air will be a very essential ingredient, because the possibility to eliminate flaws in the installed software will be crucial for safety reasons. While Renesas has no series product in this segment yet, development is underway. Nevertheless, Renesas hardware already supports the Security Hardware Extension (SHE). One of the SHE supporters is car manufacturer Audi with whom Renesas maintains a strategic partnership. Nevertheless, the chipmaker also supports the more advanced Hardware Security Module (HSM) developed in the EVITA project with the participation of, among others, Fraunhofer SIT research center and BMW. While products for both approaches are already available, “HSM is better suited to meet future requirements”, Axmacher said.