Renesas Electronics has released new software packages for the R-Car automotive computing platform to improve security and safety capabilities for future connected cars. The software packages implement embedded optimised virtualisation technology that enables embedded systems to have—in a single system—security features that protect the car from external threats, as well as functional safety features that assure continued safe operation even in the event of failures.

Renesas said its new software packages allows the integration of multiple automotive systems, including systems that require security and functional safety features, in a single R-Car platform.

The virtualisation package allows multiple operating systems (OS) to be integrated simultaneously and for multiple different applications to operate on a single R-Car system for enhanced system integration. As its first release of embedded hypervisor for virtualisation, Renesas adopted the Integrity Multivisor from Green Hills Software. With this hypervisor, a suitable OS for the application software, such as Real Time OS (RTOS), Linux or Android, can be installed, according to the company. The required level of security and functional safety can be assured by dividing the system into independent partitions, and diverse applications can be run on a single R-Car platform.

Meanwhile, the security package allows the implementation of secure booting and secure updates among other functions to meet changing security requirements. The new software also enables OTA updating, which allows application and OS upgrades without the driver having to return to the car dealer. Renesas plans to sequentially roll out a variety of security software packages to respond to system structures and needs, and to support the hypervisor.

There's also the functional safety package, which enables control of the safety mechanisms (hardware IPs) included in the R-Car SoC.

To implement functional safety, the Renesas R-Car H3 and R-Car M3 SoCs feature multiple hardware IPs, including the runtime self-test system that Renesas announced at the ISSCC 2016 conference. This technology achieves the required diagnostic coverage of functional safety and reduces interruptions to programs running during the tests while taking advantage of multi-core CPUs to perform self-tests to detect faults, according to the company.

Renesas, along with its partner companies, is making these software packages available to system manufacturers now, and plans to expand them in the future.