Central Computing Backbone of the Software-Defined Vehicle

High-Performance Computers (HPCs)

High-Performance Computers

Central Element of Server-based Vehicle Architecture

The electrical/electronic architectures of today’s vehicles are reaching their limits in terms of complexity and performance. Connectivity, electrification, shared mobility, and last but not least, automated and autonomous driving require great amounts of computing power. Accordingly, the central computing power with corresponding functions is concentrated in a few, but powerful central High-Performance Computers (HPCs), while Zone Control Units  (ZCUs) consolidate vehicle functions in physical zones and ensure the reliable execution of tasks. This supports further  decoupling of software and hardware and simplifies continuous updates and improvements to the "lifelong learning" vehicle.

Smart Cockpit HPC @ IAA Mobility 2023

A preconfigured cockpit system that combines cluster, infotainment and driver assistance functions. In collaboration with Google at the IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich, Germany, Continental is demonstrating how the Smart Cockpit HPC enables the mobility experience of the future – in a cost-optimized way and with a short development time.


Continental is Your Partner Across the Entire Product Lifecycle

As a full stack provider, Continental is your partner of choice along the entire product lifecycle from architecture definition until deployment services.

Continental’s extensive automotive experience and state-of-the-art processes, methods, and tools allow us to manage and develop HPC projects of the highest complexity.

High-Performance Computers for Lifelong Learning Vehicles


High-Performance Computers (HPCs) form the computing backbone of the software-defined vehicle. They provide the necessary computing power for the software functions in the vehicle enabling them to be further developed throughout their life cycle.  This allows vehicles to become an integral part of their users’ digital life. With HPCs at the center of service-oriented architectures, improved functions and important firmware or cyber security updates can be installed over-the-air throughout the entire lifetime of a vehicle – just as convenient as on a smartphone.

Reduction of System Complexity

Increasing system complexity and functional growth bring today’s decentralized electrical/electronic architectures with many singe Electronic Control Units to their limits. Centralized server-based architectures clean up the existing electrical/electronic system in the vehicle. Reduction of stand-alone ECUs and wiring harness allow an overall architecture optimization, leading to less weight and CO2 emissions.


Consistent Separation of Hardware and Software

High-Performance Computers enable efficient and consistent separation of hardware and software so that both OEM and 3rd party software can be integrated and updated over the entire lifecycle of the vehicle. This allows HPCs to serve as integration platform for software and services from various providers. Hypervisors on an efficient hardware enable secure processing of feature and functions across domains.



HPC Key Indicators  

  • Hosts services as active part of a service-oriented architecture
  • Ability to continuously update software and to upgrade new features
  • Hosts multi-vendor software functions
  • POSIX-based Operating Systems and software frameworks
  • Hardware-support for hypervisor or other separation methods
  • Multi-core processing unit(s)
  • Multiple high-speed communication interfaces

From Domain Centric towards Central HPC

Continental provides High-Performance Computers for all vehicle domains. A customized configuration of hardware and software building blocks allows to tailor features and functions fitting to individual customer needs.

In addition to domain-specific HPCs, Continental offers cross-domain high-performance computing solutions that enable function integration across all vehicle domains.


Continental Drives the Market Trend of Increasing Centralization


Advanced Mechanical HPC Housing and Cooling Solutions

Continental’s flexible and scalable HPC solutions are adaptable for any vehicle architectures, e.g. Single, Stack, or Rack HPC design with innovative cooling solutions. Thus, we are able to serve all vehicle classes – from economy to premium.

Modular Toolkit Approach for Fast Time to Market

High-Performance Computers consist of various hardware and software building blocks. With our modular toolkit approach, OEMs benefit from customized HPC solutions depending on their requirements.

This allows our customers to tailor features and functions fitting to their individual needs while enabling fast start of development.


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