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Renesas Electronics Enables Security and Safety for Next-Generation Connected Cars With Embedded Virtualization Technology for the R-Car Platform

Release Date:2017-11-20


Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced its new software packages for the R-Car automotive computing platform to improve security and safety capabilities for next-generation connected cars. The software packages implement embedded optimized virtualization technology that enables embedded systems to have—in a single system—security features that protect the car from external threats, and functional safety features that assure continued safe operation even in the event of failures.

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Safety is a primary concern for the automotive industry. Automotive systems including cloud-connected systems, instrument cluster, and driver monitoring are expanding in number and scale year by year. In addition, the demand for new user experience, such as information sharing and control linked with other systems over multi displays, is increasing. These trends have led to increasing expectations for the integration of automotive systems. For instrument cluster and driver monitoring, support for functional safety is particularly required to safely handle the car even in the event of failures.

Security is another key concern. For example, automotive cyber security becomes mission critical as modern cars are advancing towards connected cars that allow applications to be downloaded from the open cloud to update and upgrade the software in the car. Increased security functions are required to protect the car from malicious attacks over the network and to secure personal information handled in the cloud. Applications for cloud services need to be separated from instrument cluster to avoid important information from being lost or destroyed.

At the same time, the car cockpit environment is poised to evolve to an automotive computing system that integrates multiple systems to provide a more consistent and more advanced user experience. This creates new integration challenges for OEMs and Tier 1s to achieve, in a single system, both the security and the functional safety features that were previously implemented individually in multiple systems.

To resolve these issues, Renesas offers several new software packages that enable the integration of multiple automotive systems, including systems that require security and functional safety features, in a single R-Car platform:

  1. Virtualization Package that allows multiple operating systems (OS) to be integrated simultaneously and for multiple different applications to operate on a single R-Car system for enhanced system integration.

  2. Security Package that allows the implementation of secure booting and secure updates among other functions to meet changing security requirements.

  3. Functional Safety Package that enables control of the safety mechanisms (hardware IPs) included in the R-Car system-on-chip (SoC).

Renesas, along with its partner companies, is making these software packages available to system manufacturers now, and plans to expand them in the future.

Key features of the new software packages:

(1) Embedded virtualization technology that enables integration of multiple systems while achieving both functional safety and security features

As its first release of embedded hypervisor for virtualization, Renesas adopted the INTEGRITY® MultivisorTM from Green Hills Software. With this hypervisor, a suitable OS for the application software, such as Real Time OS (RTOS), Linux, or AndroidTM, can be installed. The required level of security and functional safety can be assured by dividing the system into independent and robust partitions. Diverse applications can be run on a single R-Car platform. For example, Linux and/or Android OS can also be installed to run applications that require cloud connectivity or navigation, and the Green Hills Software INTEGRITY or other real-time OS can be installed on the same platform for applications that require functional safety support, such as instrument cluster and warning sound generator. The low performance degradation compared to running these applications on individual hardware such as system-on-chips (SoC) or microcontrollers (MCUs), enables integration in a single system on the R-Car platform. Support for other hypervisors will be rolled out sequentially.

(2) Security software that realizes a secure environment to safely run programs

Security functions are becoming crucial to prevent hacking and other attacks over the network. Renesas provides a variety of software for implementing strong security functions, such as: secure boot functions that prevent modifications to programs; security level management functions that correspond to the product lifetime; and trusted execution environments. In addition, the new software also enables OTA updating, which allows application and OS upgrades without the driver having to return to the car dealer. Renesas plans to sequentially roll out a variety of security software packages to respond to system structures and needs, and to support the hypervisor.

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