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IP integration is key to V2X

Our day to day experience with automobiles is changing rapidly. More electronics, more automatization are bringing us improved features, security and comfort. The next step is undoubtedly autonomous cars. Experiments are already happening in different parts of the world, and it is now clear that the availability of mass-produced autonomous vehicles (AV) will happen within a visible timeframe.

Of course, the key issues for autonomous vehicles are safety and security. This is particularly crucial when you consider self-driving cars will have to share the road with not only human-driven cars, but also motorcycles, pedestrians and in some cases, even cattle. They also need to exchange with the infrastructure. Different acronyms have been coined to cover these topics: V2I stands for Vehicle-to-Infrastructure, V2V for Vehicle-to-Vehicle, and the global interaction is now called V2X, or Vehicle-to Everything. These communications aim at preventing road accidents, save lives and reduce traffic congestion thanks to a better management of routes for every user.

The core issue to implement V2X technology is to ensure that all stakeholders are able to communicate in a reliable manner with all other users, in all directions, within a 300 meter range. For instance, vehicles may warn each other of an unexpected change of conditions such as the road becoming slippery. Also, a human driver needs to be able to anticipate the movements of an autonomous vehicle or an AV needs to anticipate the movements of a motorcycle rider, even if he/she is not visible at a given moment. In other terms, as vehicles communicate with each other and with the infrastructure, there is no longer blind spots: all events can be anticipated long in advance. Also a better flow management ensures that travel remains smooth when traffic increases or road conditions degrade.

All these interactions actually require both security and performance. Security is provided by mutual authentication in a manner that has become classical using public key cryptography and exchange of certificates. With the increase of the number of stakeholders in an automotive environment (cars, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, … but also road signs, traffic lights, etc), the requirement for communications increases dramatically. A V2X device needs to receive and verify certificates coming from all other devices, while at the same time broadcasting its own certificate to all other devices. This requirement is paramount as it is necessary for a vehicle to identify and authenticate all other vehicles around it. Failing to acknowledge just one of them results in a drop in security as risks of accidents could come from this one unidentified vehicle.

As of now, the most common architecture uses a System-on-Chip (SoC) associated with an additional HSM, hardware security module. The SoC is in charge of all the V2X interactions while the HSM ensures the security of the system. This architecture inevitably creates a bottleneck for communication between the SoC and the HSM, that significantly degrades the performance of the whole system. A solution involving two chips is generally more costly and less efficient. In addition, having two separate chips creates security issues as communication could be tampered with.

Tiempo Secure TESIC secure element IP brings a brand new approach. The secure element IP is integrated within the SoC, in a single chip, which provides a fast and unencumbered communication between the core system and the secure element functions. Consequently, there can be no bottleneck in communications, ensuring always the best performance and guaranteeing security in these communications. More integration is also essential in providing an always higher security level.

Tiempo Secure TESIC secure element IP brings security and ease of integration as Tiempo Secure environment and engineering team have a deeply rooted security culture. They have developed TESIC secure element IP to ensure the System-on-Chip in which it is integrated receives easily the Common Criteria (CC) EAL5+ certification. Tiempo Secure team is here to help SoC designers obtain this certification for their device as they include Tiempo Secure TESIC secure element IP.

To support market evolutions in the automotive industry, Tiempo IP is available for the latest semiconductor technologies, such as 22 nm and 16nm, includes a dedicated V2X software stack and complies with protection profile V2X HSM of the Car 2 Car Communication Consortium (PP 2056).

Tiempo Secure understands the automotive market: Tiempo Secure TESIC secure element IP brings at the same time maximum performance and highest security to developers of V2X devices.

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