Fraunhofer IPMS Creates the CANsec Controller IP-Core CAN-SEC for Enhanced Security in Electronic Vehicle Systems.

By Chad Cox

Production Editor

Embedded Computing Design

June 27, 2022


Image Courtesy of Fraunhofer IPMS

A large number of electronic systems in modern vehicles are networked with one another. Because these systems are vulnerable to cyber attacks, Fraunhofer IPMS created a CANsec IP core to improve the security of vehicle systems.

Partner Renesas Electronics Corporation is already evaluating the IP core in a demonstration. Both Fraunhofer IPMS and Renesas debuted the CAN-SEC IP-Core at the Embedded World trade show.

Because of the increasing number of sensors and actuators, driver assistance systems, and additional control units, vehicle electrics and electronics are becoming more comprehensive. It is not unusual for a luxury car to have up to 120 control units. As a result, communication control in vehicle networks becomes more complex, requiring guaranteed low latency and higher bandwidths.

As the complexity of vehicle electrical/electronic architecture (E/E architecture) grows, so does the potential for cyber attacks on vehicle networks. These can cause both financial and, more importantly, functional damage, which, in the worst-case scenario, can jeopardize the safety of passengers inside. As a result, the automotive industry employs various network technologies to meet the various technical and economic requirements of a vehicle.

The CAN protocol (CAN bus), which was developed in the 1980s, is one of the most widely used data transmission protocols. It entices with its high robustness, flexibility, and cost savings. Several variants of this serial bus system have since been developed to meet increasing demands.

The most recent variant, CAN XL, supports higher data transmission rates as well as scalable user data length, allowing for the inclusion of additional safety information. CAN in Automation (CiA) created a new standard (CiA613-1 and 2) to add security functions to the CAN XL protocol (CANsec). In CAN-based networks, this prevents unauthorized access and ensures the integrity and authenticity of the origin, as well as the confidentiality of data. The Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS built on this by developing the CANsec Controller IP Core CAN-SEC.

Renesas debuted a demonstration with the integrated CAN-SEC IP-Core at the Embedded World trade show in Nuremberg, 2022. Fraunhofer IPMS also presented at the fair, where it showcased its latest developments and cores such as the CAN-SEC IP-Core.

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Chad Cox. Production Editor, Embedded Computing Design, has responsibilities that include handling the news cycle, newsletters, social media, and advertising. Chad graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.A. in Cultural and Analytical Literature.

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