Software packages for R-Car enable secure connected cars

Software packages to enable integration of multiple automotive systems have been announced by Renesas Electronics for its R-Car platform.

The software packages for the R-Car automotive computing platform improve security and safety capabilities for next-generation connected cars, says Renesas Electronics. The software packages implement embedded optimised virtualisation technology that enables embedded systems to have security features that protect the car from external threats, and functional safety features in a single system.

Automotive systems including cloud-connected systems, instrument cluster, and driver monitoring are increasing in number and scale each year. Equally, demand for information sharing and control linked with other systems over multiple displays, is increasing. These trends have led to increasing expectations for the integration of automotive systems.

Automotive cyber security becomes mission-critical as cars progress to 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 the instrument cluster to avoid important information 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 for user experience. This creates new integration challenges for OEMs and Tier 1s to achieve security and the functional safety features that were previously implemented individually in multiple systems in a single system.

Renesas offers 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.

The Virtualization Package 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. As its first release of embedded hypervisor for virtualisation, Renesas adopted the Integrity Multivisor from Green Hills Software. With this hypervisor, a suitable OS for the application software, such as real-time OS (RTOS), Linux, or Android, can be installed.

Renesas also offers the Security Package, which allows the implementation of secure booting and secure updates to meet changing security requirements. 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 over the air (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.

A Functional Safety Package enables control of the safety mechanisms (hardware IPs) included in the R-Car system on chip (SoC). The Renesas R-Car H3 and R-Car M3 SoCs feature multiple hardware IPs to support their safety concept. This includes the runtime self-test system announced at the ISSCC 2016 conference. This technology achieves the required diagnostic coverage of functional safety and reduces interruptions to programs running during the tests while taking advantage of multi-core central processing units (CPUs) to perform self-tests to detect faults. Renesas supports system development that supports functional safety by providing software that controls this safety mechanism. The company intends sequentially to roll out a variety of functional safety software packages.


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


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