Infineon Technologies is supplying computing technology for the Audi A8, which is claimed to be “the world’s first series production car with autonomous driving features”.
Infineon says it supplies key components for the Audi A8 which gives the car level 3 automated driving capabilities.
The ability of cars to self-drive is split into a number of different levels, as defined by the international engineers’ association, SAE.
Level 0 is no autonomy while level 5 is full automation, or driverless.
With level 3, drivers can temporarily take their hands off the steering wheel under certain conditions.
For example, the A8 allows this when parking and exiting, in slow-moving traffic or in traffic congestion.
Using microelectronics from Infineon Technologies, a car can take over in this kind of driving situation.
Peter Schiefer, president of the automotive division at Infineon, says: “Around 90 percent of innovations in the car are driven by electronics and hence by semiconductors.
“We have been a recognized semiconductor partner of Audi for many years.
“Motoring is now safer, more convenient and more environmentally-friendly with ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ – Progress through Technology – and chips from Infineon.
“We are proud of our contribution toward the mobility of the future.”
Key components for self-drive vehicles
Various chips from Infineon perform the necessary tasks for safe automated driving in the Audi A8: sensors, microcontrollers and power semiconductors. Radar sensor chips from the Rasic family are installed in the front and corner radar.
They send and receive high-frequency 77-GHz signals and forward these on to the central driver assistance controller (zFAS).
A microcontroller from the Aurix family is a key component of the zFAS for reliable automated driving.
Aurix enables to secure the connection to the vehicle data bus. It assesses and prioritizes data packets and initiates their processing in the fastest possible time.
For example, it initiates emergency braking based on data from radar and other sensor systems.
The Aurix family of microcontrollers is especially ideal for this purpose due to high processing power and extensive safety features, claims Infineon.
Aurix microcontrollers are used in several controllers in the Audi A8: On the one hand, they control the functions for the engine.
On the other, they operate in the Audi AI active chassis and in the electronic chassis platform, which controls the shock absorption.
The microcontrollers also support activation of the airbag.
In addition to the electronics for drive, driver assistance and chassis, other semiconductor solutions from Infineon are installed in the comfort and body electronics, such as for example LED drivers from the Litix Basic family in the tail lights as well as bridge drivers from the Embedded Power family in the windscreen wipers.