Infineon will co-ordinate a new research project in Germany based around the implementation of supercomputers in new, highly automated vehicles.

The project, called Mannheim-CeCaS (CentralCarServer), will ultimately work to develop a corresponding automotive supercomputing platform for these vehicles. Thirty research partners from the automotive industry and local universities are working on the project, which is being supported by the German government’s funding initiative for the digitalization of auto-mobility.

Mannheim-CeCaS ultimately aims to fill a gap which is currently emerging for connected and electrified cars: their feasibility for everyday use still requiring high-end, energy-efficient, and economical computers that can keep up with the increasing requirements on computing power and complexity, while also meeting the demands placed on automotive qualification. Closing this gap will involve a combination of safety, high performance, and automotive supercomputing – including specially designed processors, interfaces, and system architectures.

The central computing units at the center of Mannheim-CeCas will be based on high-performance processors qualified for automotive applications and use non-planar transistor technology. Application-specific hardware accelerators, and an adaptive software platform for autonomous vehicles, will complement these processors. Approaches for convolutional neural networks and event-driven neuromorphic accelerators will also be utilized. The necessary modifications of the on-board power network are to be taken into account, as well as an automotive-capable integrated circuit packaging. The consortium’s objective is the achievement of a complete automotive qualification (ASIL-D) at the system level.

Mannheim-CeCas is being supported by €46 million ($49 million) of funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and will form a part of the government’s larger Mannheim initiative. The project’s participants comprise the entire chain – from component suppliers and specialists, through to research institutes and universities across Germany. The major participating corporations include Bosch, Continental and ZF Friedrichshafen, in addition to various Fraunhofer Institutes and partners like TU Munich, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Together, the partners have proposed an overall budget of approximately €90 million ($95.9 million) for the development of a future-capable automotive central computer concept.

The full list of partners of the CeCaS research project includes Bosch, Continental Automotive, ZF Friedrichshafen, Hella, AVL Software & Functions, Ambrosys, Infineon Technologies AG (coordination; with Infineon Technologies Dresden GmbH & Co. KG and Infineon Technologies Semiconductor GmbH), Kernkonzept, Berliner Nanotest und Design, Missing Link Electronics, Inchron, Glück Engineering, STTech, Steinbeis ZFW, Swissbit Germany, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, FZI Research Center for Information Technology, Technical University of Munich, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Universität zu Lübeck, Chemnitz University of Technology, Fraunhofer ENAS, IMWS, IPMS and IZM.