ZF shows high-performance computer at IAA

August 02, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
ZF shows high-performance computer at IAA
In view of the increasing demand for computing power for tomorrow's mobility, ZF has announced a new generation of its central computer for cars. There are already orders for the computer for series production.

High-performance computers form the core of modern E/E vehicle architectures and can be used either as central computers or as domain or zone control units. This is where ZF comes in with its supercomputer ZF ProAI, which the Group is presenting for the first time in Europe at the upcoming IAA. ZF's computer concept is to be characterised by the necessary flexibility to cover different vehicle architectures with equally different levels of automation. On the one hand, the computer is supposed to offer 66 percent higher performance, but on the other hand it is supposed to consume up to 70 percent less electrical power.

The ZF developers paid particular attention to the AI capabilities of the ProAI. They are optimised for Deep Learning and are an important basis for further improved safety functions. The computer offers a GPU-controlled 360° fusion of all available sensor data, including ambient measurement data from cameras, radars, lidar sensors as well as audio patterns.

In addition, the new generation requires less installation space: even taking into account the three available cooling options - passive cooling, air cooling and liquid cooling depending on the desired performance - most ZF ProAI models come in the same standard size of 24x14x5 cm. In line with the requirements of the automotive industry, the inner workings are designed for maximum resilience and reliability even under extreme conditions and offer the latest security mechanisms against cyber threats.

Thanks to its modular design, the computer can be equipped with different SoC variants, i.e. processors from different manufacturers, depending on customer requirements. ZF is silent about the manufacturers, but it is known that the company works together with Nvidia, among others. ZF also emphasises flexibility with regard to the software. The computer can be operated with software from ZF or from third-party suppliers, according to the customer's choice. Standardised connectors and

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