Three cases of Infineon’s response to 4 major trends in the development of automotive electronics

What will the car of the future look like? Recently, Ms. Xu Hui, Vice President of Infineon Technologies Greater China and Head of Automotive Electronics Division, accepted an interview with a reporter from the world of Electronic products and introduced three core views of Infineon: drivers will become passengers, zero emissions Eventually, the closed system will become interconnected. ON this basis, safety is very important, and multi-core MCUs can effectively ensure redundancy and functional safety, and reduce costs.

Automotive semiconductor makers need to forecast industry changes five years in advance

Infineon decided on some of its product development plans about five years ago. Because Semiconductor products must be at the forefront of technology, the technology we see today requires chips to realize these functions first. For example, the popular “autonomous driving”, assisted driving, or energy saving and emission reduction functions must be implemented five years ago. Planning, and then to design the chip, can finally make these functions come true.

In the past 20 to 30 years, the changes in the automobile industry can be described as great ups and downs, and the situation has changed. In the two or three decades since the 1990s, the automotive industry has undergone an astonishing transformation, both globally and in China. The U.S. auto industry grew rapidly in the late 1990s, and then declined again; China has grown rapidly in recent years, especially since the end of 2018 or even at the end of 2017, and the auto industry has entered a very special stage. This is a very exciting time for the automotive industry.


Four trends in the auto industry

In the rapid development of the automobile industry, it mainly revolves around four major trends.

1. Energy saving and emission reduction. Now traditional cars will continue for many years, so energy saving and emission reduction on traditional cars and the development of new energy vehicles must be a major trend in the future.

2. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and future autonomous driving.

3. Internet of Vehicles. From the closed state of the entire automotive industry before, it has now become more open. Because of the introduction of the Internet of Vehicles and intelligence, many emerging and outstanding companies in the non-automotive industry now have the opportunity to join the automotive industry. Therefore, the system opening of the Internet of Vehicles and the whole vehicle is a trend.

4. Information security. Since it is no longer a closed state, after the system is opened, there will be many security risks. Therefore, information security must complement and develop together with the Internet of Vehicles.

Three core views of Infineon

In response to the above four trends, Infineon has three core views on the future development of the automotive industry.

1. “Zero emissions” will definitely be achieved. One day in the future, there will be no more traditional fuel vehicles, and all new energy/electric vehicles will achieve “zero emissions”, so as to best support the development of the entire society.

2. The current driver will definitely become a passenger in the future. That is, autonomous driving will definitely be realized in the future.

3. Although the car will change dramatically, the car will still be the car. This does not mean that the car must still have the current shape or interior design, but the function of the car itself is to really bring passengers from point A to point B, and it is based on safety. In addition, all of these basic functions in the car, such as controls, windows and some basic structures, will still exist.

Infineon’s three response cases

In terms of “zero emissions will definitely be achieved”, China is the market that attracts the most global attention in the field of new energy vehicles. In addition to traditional car companies making new energy vehicles, China also has many new forces making cars. 2018 can be described as the first year for new forces to build cars. Many new forces are eager to release new cars to customers in 2018 to seize market opportunities.

For example, “NIO”, at the launch conference in Beijing at the end of 2017, mentioned that Infineon is an important partner. In the electronic control system of NIO, two core devices of Infineon are used. The first is Infineon’s latest HP-Drive IGBT module, which uses a total of four; the other is the driver, including Infineon’s core AURIX 32-bit microcontroller. The close cooperation between the two parties enables Infineon’s products to reflect the best control capabilities in NIO’s vehicles. On this basis, Infineon helped Weilai realize the “dual motor” system. Therefore, NIO’s new energy vehicle architecture actually has two sets of motors and electronic control systems: one on the front axle and one on the rear axle. Each electrical axle has a six-phase motor, which requires two IGBTs from Infineon. module to drive its motor system. The front and rear motors are 240 kW respectively, so the whole vehicle can reach a strong power of 480 kW.

The second case is for “autonomous driving will definitely be realized, and the driver will eventually become a passenger”, which is the cooperation between Infineon and Baidu Apollo.

In the whole process of autonomous driving, in addition to its own function is very important, more ecosystems and the combination of various industrial chains are required, because this is not just to achieve a certain function, but ultimately to be very safe and reliable. Realize the control of the whole vehicle, including the field of intelligent transportation. On this basis, first of all, the software support of the whole bottom layer is very important especially for the road conditions in China, because the road conditions in China are very complicated. So there are some emerging, former crossover leaders in this area that are now entering the automotive space as well. Baidu officially started research on artificial intelligence and autonomous driving a few years ago, and Infineon also joined the Apollo program as a partner in its ecosystem during the “Baidu Apollo Program 2017”.

The cooperation between Infineon and Baidu has two levels: First, Infineon can discuss with the Baidu team some of Infineon’s experience and insights on the entire architecture of the car and the autonomous driving system. Because Baidu was an expert in the non-automotive industry in the past, although it is very familiar with software development, including the construction of intelligent transportation systems and architectures, it does not necessarily know much about automobiles. Infineon and Baidu can share insights and learn about areas that are not very familiar to each other. Second, in terms of product and design, the bottom layer of Baidu Apollo software uses Infineon’s core AURIX 32-bit microcontroller, so that the design of Baidu Apollo can achieve good results from hardware to software cooperation, and can have better , faster and stronger computing power.

The third example is for the third core idea – a car will be a car. Infineon believes that some of the functions of the final car will still exist. Of course, the major automakers may have started to make some announcements now, saying that they will not spend too much energy on the R&D team to develop traditional power systems and control functions, and may focus more on smart cars and new energy vehicles. direction development. But some basic functions of the car will still exist. Not long ago, Infineon cooperated with United Electronics to jointly develop the latest gearbox solution. There are also some integrated chips customized for customers.

Infineon believes that in the future cooperation process, more customers may be able to continue the platform for the next ten years or so for more traditional automotive systems. On this platform, some optimization and cost reduction work may be done, so the current few years may be a core time period for cooperation with car manufacturers, which can help car manufacturers lay a good foundation for the next ten or two years. Let them do the most cost-effective designs on these systems.

This time, Infineon also cooperated with United Electronics to provide some core system construction for its gearbox. Including some core chip cooperation, can make its gearbox achieve the highest efficiency and the best cost performance. It is worth mentioning that Infineon is also the first time that Infineon has achieved a very high “functional safety” ASIL C and a certain level of ASIL D functional safety with domestic customers, which is also very advanced in system design. , so in the entire industry, especially in China and even internationally, the number of gearboxes that can really reach ASIL D is very small. So in this project, Infineon also spent a lot of energy with the United Electronics team to make this system achieve the highest level of functional safety.

Functional Safety with Multicore MCU Architectures

Infineon has just launched the second generation of the AURIX product family of 32-bit multi-core microcontrollers – the AURIX 2G series. So, what are the advantages of AURIX compared to some friends who use the Arm architecture?

Vice President Xu Hui told reporters in the world of electronic products that compared with its competitors, Infineon is the most focused on automobiles among semiconductor companies and has more than 40 years of experience in automobiles. Therefore, according to Infineon’s development of automobiles, including some of Infineon’s own assessments and judgments, it is believed that the architecture of functional safety and information security that automobiles really need most in the future must be made by microprocessors. So from this point of view, when Infineon first decided to launch AURIX products, it defined multi-core control. This is the demand for future automobiles, whether from the perspective of computing functions or actually dealing with functional safety. What must be implemented in the car is also the final, most efficient or most cost-effective solution.

What is the concept of functional safety? In fact, it is the concept of redundancy. How can functional safety be achieved? If it is always a system, it is nothing more than how to ensure the highest security of this system, but it is definitely not 100% secure. For example, aerospace is now considered to have the highest level of functional safety. In fact, all of the core systems in aerospace have a lot of redundancy. There may be two or three systems working at the same time. When the first set of main system is working, the second set of auxiliary system is to help it check and do backup, in case the first set of system fails, the second set of system will immediately take over the first set of system. The work of the system. In a car, this concept can also be implemented, but at the cost of consumers willing to pay double the price for the same car? I believe that the general consumer is unacceptable.

Therefore, in order to make the car safer, Infineon has introduced a multi-core architecture, that is, the same chip in the AURIX microcontroller can implement mutual inspection and mutual backup. Although Infineon’s single-chip microcomputer is a chip, it is divided into different multi-core architectures in this chip, and each core can operate independently. For example, the current generation of single-chip microcomputers has three cores, and the next generation will have stronger functions. The three cores can be sorted and checked with each other respectively. One chip itself achieves redundancy, mutual checking and mutual backup, which is very suitable for improving the cost performance of the whole vehicle.

Therefore, Infineon’s design concept is not the same as some competitors in the industry, but these are some functions that must be possessed by the future development of automobiles, including the power system domain, information transmission domain, and automatic driving domain in the future. The concept of “domain” will be realized. In each “domain”, stronger functional safety and computing functions are needed to ensure the realization of the function of this “domain”.

The current design architecture of Infineon AURIX is fully in line with the needs of car manufacturers and Tier 1 (Tier 1 automotive suppliers). Vice President Hui said, “So we think this design direction should be correct, and Infineon will also launch products with stronger capabilities and more suitable for customers on this basis.”

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