When it comes to automated and connected vehicles, it is imperative that the high-performance computers fitted to the car can process data and information efficiently and reliably to ensure a high level of safety when navigating traffic. Working toward this goal, the Mannheim-CeCaS (Central Car Server) research project aims to produce a supercomputing platform for the automotive industry.
Led and coordinated by Infineon, the project will see 30 partners from a range of industries and universities working collaboratively to achieve the goal, supported by the German federal government’s large-scale funding initiative for the digitalization of auto-mobility.
“The high level of acceptance enjoyed by driver assistance systems is a sign that there’s no end in sight for the automation of driving,” said Peter Schiefer, Infineon’s division president – automotive. “Here we’re also talking about digital sovereignty in the interest of a robust automotive industry in Germany and Europe. That’s why we’re consolidating our strengths in order to develop reliable high-performance computing structures for highly automated vehicles. As the world market leader in semiconductors for the automotive industry, Infineon is contributing its automotive system expertise and handling the coordination of the research project.”
Mannheim-CeCaS will investigate and develop a holistic central computing platform for future highly automated vehicles, filling an emerging gap for connected and electrified vehicles in terms of the required computing power and complexity. The solution will combine safety, high-performance computing and specially designed processors in addition to interfaces and system architectures.
Project partners will base the central computing unit design on high-performance processors that have been qualified for automotive application. These also use non-planar transistor technology (FinFET). Application-specific hardware accelerators and an adaptive software platform for AVs will complement the processors. Furthermore, the necessary modifications of the onboard power network and automotive-capable integrated circuit packaging will be evaluated. The consortium aims to achieve a complete automotive qualification (ASIL-D) at the system level.
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research will support Mannheim-CeCaS with approximately €46m (US$48.8m) as part of the government’s Mannheim initiative. Major consortium partners include Bosch, Continental and ZF Friedrichshafen, several Fraunhofer Institutes and partners such as TU Munich (TUM) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
Over the project’s three-year duration, the 30 partners propose an overall budget of approximately €90m (US$95.5m) for the development of the future-capable central computer concept for automotive electronics.