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Protection against attacks on the car’s ECU

STMicroelectronics joins forces with automotive software experts Etas and Escrypt to streamline the development of secure connected car applications. The solution leverages the SPC58 MCU series, which features CAN FD interfaces.

The SPC58 family combines ISO CAN FD and Ethernet communication interfaces (Photo:ST )

STMicroelectronics has announced its collaboration with Etas, a provider of solutions for developing automotive embedded systems, and Escrypt, an Etas subsidiary focused on security for embedded software. Together the companies can deliver a complete platform comprising micro-controllers, software tools, and security solutions that accelerates development of automotive control units for the connected-car age.

Today’s auto designers rely more and more on electronic control units (ECUs) to manage intricately featured applications, including brake-by-wire, automatic transmission, multi-mode lighting, parking assist, collision avoidance and many others. These ECUs enable “digital” control of each function of the car through sending commands over the communication network that interconnects the vehicle sub-systems. Moreover, more cars are becoming connected to the cloud enabling functionalities like over-the-air (OTA) software updates, remote diagnostics, and the forthcoming V2X communication.

ST is working with Etas and Escrypt to deliver a cost-effective platform for sub-system developers to create ECUs that ensure a high level of protection for vehicle-owners’ privacy, OEMs’ intellectual property, ECU functional integrity, and secure communication among the car’s ECUs and the cloud. “This well-architected and easy-to-use development platform will deliver unprecedented convenience to customers in the form of a ready-made solution that combines the security know-how of Escypt, Etas, and ST,” said Luca Rodeschini of STMicroelectronics.

The solution leverages the SPC58 series of real-time-capable automotive micro-controllers, which feature multiple CAN FD interfaces, plus LIN, Flexray, and Ethernet, to implement control units with a functional integrity check and an in-vehicle network with encrypted communication. The SPC58 MCUs were only recently released and combine ISO CAN FD and Ethernet communication interfaces with the latest HSM technology. They have the highest number of ISO CAN FD and Ethernet communication channels on the market. For example the SPC58 C line feature eight ISO CAN FD modules.

“SPC58 automotive micro-controllers deliver the underlying ruggedness and hardware security the industry needs at a competitive price. They have already been selected by a major Tier-1 supplier for a secure over-the-air application that enables remote software fixes and upgrades without requiring customers to bring their vehicles to a repair garage,” added Rodeschini.

Escrypt contributes its expertise in secure ECU communication, including distribution of OTA software updates, and provides firmware and middleware for ECU developers to utilize the SPC58 HSM. Together, the HSM and Escypt’s security technologies handle all necessary authentication of trusted sources and prevention of access by unauthorized agents. “We provide our product Cycur HSM, the essential solution that exercises the HSM, and our Key Management Solution to secure every aspect of the ECU’s activity, including secure boot-up, programming, and updates, as well as secure in-vehicle communication,” explained Dr. Thomas Wollinger, Managing Director of Escrypt.

The solution leverages Etas’ RTA software products that support ECU code development. RTA-BSW (basic software) consists of a Autosar solution including Autosar R4-compliant basic software capable of supporting safety-critical ECUs for both passenger cars (ISO 26262) and off-highway (ISO 25119) domains. RTA-BSW is complemented by Isolar-A and Isolar-Eve tools for authoring and testing full ECU software stacks in a virtual environment.

“We are building on a proven record of successful collaborations with ST,” said Dr. Nigel Tracey, leader of the Etas Application Field RTA Solutions. “With our comprehensive ECU development environment, and the added dimension of advanced security from our subsidiary Escrypt, this platform will enable OEMs to maximize the value of the connected-car concept and quickly build confidence among partner organizations and end users.”


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