The electrical/electronic architectures of today’s vehicles are reaching their limits in terms of complexity and performance. Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), connectivity, over-the-air updates, and last but not least, automated and autonomous driving require great amounts of computing power. Continental therefore concentrates the central computing power with corresponding functions in a few, but powerful central High-Performance Computers (HPCs), while Zone Control Units (ZCUs) ensure the reliable execution of vehicle functions. In this way decoupling of soft- and hardware is supported. This is a central prerequisite for continuous updates and improvements to the "lifelong learning" vehicle.
The HPCs form the computing backbone and provide the necessary computing power for the software functions in the vehicle so that the vehicles can be further developed throughout their life cycle and become an integral part of their users’ digital life. With HPCs at the center of service-oriented architectures, improved functions and important firmware or cybersecurity updates can be installed over-the-air throughout the entire lifetime of a vehicle – just as conveniently as on a smartphone. This is possible because the functions of many individual control units are combined and mapped in a central powerful unit.
Continental's High-Performance Computers use state-of-the-art solutions for software separation and virtualization for this purpose – hypervisors on an efficient hardware enable secure processing of features and functions across domains. They thereby enable consistent separation of hardware and software, so that both OEM applications and third-party software can be integrated and updated over the entire lifecycle of the vehicle. HPCs serve as an integration platform for software and services from various providers.
Continental provides High-Performance Computers for all vehicle domains and enables a customized configuration of hardware & software building blocks allowing to tailor features and functions fitting to individual customer needs.
Automated Driving HPC
The next generation HPC family for automated driving covers the performance range of human and machine vision from Continental's HPC portfolio. ADAS functions such as visualization, parking, driving from L2+, and combinations of these functions can be hosted by the members of this new family. Therefore, a perfect hardware and software co-design is required to ensure scalability of the required hardware resources.
Landing page Automated Driving HPC
Safety & Motion HPC
High computing power is needed when it comes to centrally handling the wide range of tasks involved in vehicle safety and motion. The Safety & Motion High-Performance Computer is an integration platform for the central management of vehicle movements. It also serves as a host for all non-Automated Driving advanced safety functions and as a decoupling point between the vehicle head and the vehicle motion.
Landing page Safey & Motion HPC
The Body High-Performance Computer is the host for all body-related functions and acts as the central data and communication hub for cloud and IoT services of the software-defined vehicle. It enables new mobility concepts and an enhanced end-customer experience by providing a high-performance computing platform that allows the vehicle to be updated, upgraded and to provide state of the art security features throughout its lifetime. It also serves as a platform for integrating third party software applications and services, thanks in part to its comprehensive diagnostic capabilities.
Landing page Body HPC
The Cockpit High-Performance Computer is the central integration platform for all cockpit functions. It is at the heart of the user experience in the car and enables maximum personalization for drivers and passengers. By centrally controlling the entire human-machine interface – visual, acoustic, and haptic – it creates a symbiosis of cockpit functionalities that takes ease and pleasure of use to a whole new level. The real "wow effect" for a personalized, but also brand-specific vehicle interior.
Landing page Cockpit HPC
Cross-domain high-performance computing
In addition to these domain-specific High-Performance Computers, Continental offers cross-domain high-performance computing solutions that enable function integration across all vehicle domains. With this, Continental is anticipating the needs of customers and the ongoing development toward centralized vehicle architectures at all manufacturers over the coming years.
In a next step, Automated Driving and Cockpit HPC will merge. The symbiosis of Automated Driving and Cockpit HPC is serving as the central computing unit for the entire human-machine interface realizing all kinds of interactions for drivers and passengers while at the same time acting as the host for Automated Driving functions and visualization such as parking or cruising.
In addition, the Body HPC and the Safety & Motion HPC will merge and become the central integration platform for all body, chassis, safety & motion, and energy management functions. Additionally, it can be extended to host automated driving functionalities up to level 2. This HPC acts as the central data and communication hub in the software-defined vehicle for cloud/IoT services and enables new mobility concepts as well as an enhanced end-user experience by enabling over-the-air updates and upgrades, allowing vehicles to evolve and adapt during their lifetime.
Merging the HPCs along similar and complementary requirements and performance parameters of the respective systems improves functionality as well as user experience and reduces costs.
Beside single-domain and cross-domain High-Performance Computer solutions, Continental provides a modular and upgradable hardware solution which enables the configuration of various HPC modules into one central unit. With that Continental serves the market trend to further centralize computing power and allows upgradability and maintenance of the various modules over the vehicle’s lifecycle.
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