Advanced Automotive Processors with Built-In Security Set to Protect Connected Cars against Cyber Threats

October 17, 2017 STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, is leading the race to protect connected cars against cyber threats with its latest automotive processors that feature a dedicated, built-in security module.

Millions of connected cars are already on the road, and industry analysts predict there will be more than 250 million by 2020 . Connected services supported by on-board telematics units, Wi-Fi hotspots, Bluetooth® devices – and aftermarket equipment such as on-board diagnostics (OBD) dongles -- enable drivers and passengers to be safer, more productive, socially connected, and better entertained on their journeys. Unfortunately, all this connectivity builds a real surface of attack for hackers.

Automotive groups are quickly addressing security measures to support growth in valuable markets for connected services such as content streaming, location-based assistance, intelligent emergency support, and remote software updates over the air of in-car electronic control units (ECU), while preventing hackers exploiting the connections for their own ends. Experts recommend manufacturers employ a range of techniques, including establishing trust in connected devices and securing all connections, to provide multiple layers of defense throughout the vehicle’s circuitry and software.

ST is helping the industry meet these challenges by combining its expertise in security chips – proven in financial and government applications worldwide -- and automotive semiconductors that meet important industry safety and quality standards. The new Telemaco3P telematics and connectivity processors (STA1385 and its variants) are the first automotive microprocessors to integrate a powerful, dedicated, isolated Hardware Security Module (HSM), which acts like an independent security guard to watch data exchanges and encrypt and authenticate messages. The HSM securely checks the authenticity of received messages and any external devices that try to connect and protects against eavesdropping.

With this HSM on-chip, Telemaco3P devices are ahead of the general-purpose application processors typically found in current connected-car systems, which lack dedicated hardware-based security. ST’s new chips are also extremely robust, with a 105°C maximum temperature rating for use in locations that can become extremely hot, such as on top or directly beneath the roof in a smart antenna.

“Realizing the benefits of connected cars requires strong protection against cyber-attacks,” said Antonio Radaelli, Infotainment Business Unit Director, Automotive and Discrete Product Group, STMicroelectronics. “Our new Telemaco3P processors combine ST’s proven expertise in hardware security and knowledge of the automotive industry’s standards and requirements to lay solid ground for safe and enjoyable connected motoring.”

The new automotive processors are part of a comprehensive ST strategy to offer products with embedded security functions that include stand-alone Secure Elements (ST33) and embedded Flash microcontrollers (SPC5).

ST is providing engineering samples of the STA1385 to lead partners now and full production is scheduled for mid-2018.

Technical notes for editors:

In addition to implementing state-of-the-art security techniques, including symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, the HSM also runs software-security algorithms, giving extra freedom for the main high-performance CPU to host more sophisticated applications.

Integrated CAN FD (Controller Area Network with Flexible Data rate), Gigabit Ethernet, and 100Mbit/s Secure Digital I/O (SDIO) interfaces allow the Telemaco3P Family to be used as communication gateways throughout the vehicle, for linking infotainment systems, or Electronic Control Units (ECUs) connected to the CAN bus like door controllers, engine or transmission management systems, or body electronics. Essential power-management circuitry is also integrated, which simplifies design, aids miniaturization, and saves bill-of-materials costs.

The STA1385 is designed to comply with the automotive functional-safety standard ISO 26261, up to safety integrity level B (ASIL-B), and meet the AUTOSAR specification for protected communication across the CAN bus. Telemaco3P devices can run POSIX-compliant operating systems, giving users flexibility to choose the optimum OS for a variety of intended use cases.

About STMicroelectronics

ST is a global semiconductor leader delivering intelligent and energy-efficient products and solutions that power the electronics at the heart of everyday life. ST’s products are found everywhere today, and together with our customers, we are enabling smarter driving and smarter factories, cities and homes, along with the next generation of mobile and Internet of Things devices.

By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.

In 2016, the Company’s net revenues were $6.97 billion, serving more than 100,000 customers worldwide. Further information can be found at www.st.com.

1) www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2970017

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