CetraC - Driving

A key asset for automotive Ethernet

Driving with CetraC

Autonomous driving will see the accident responsibility shifting from 100% car drivers to 100% car manufacturers from level 4 autonomy in the early 2020ies.

The consequence is that car manufacturers will look with permanent integral safety at each level of the architecture, including networking. With the progress of automated or autonomous systems using high resolution sensors, there is also a growing demand for high data rate and low latency embedded secure networks in several market verticals, in particular new generation aircraft and autonomous vehicles.

Ethernet and its derivatives (AFDX, automotive Ethernet) are natural candidate technologies market players are looking for, working hard to bridge the gap for determinism, safety and security. CetraC is the enabler to build a secure embedded networked architecture, based on automotive Ethernet, CAN networks. Other protocols can be added on demand.

The concept is the following:

– CetraC is interconnecting networks or calculators, with the help of standard modular CetraC components, positioned at each place where determinism is required: I/O connection devices such as sensors, network switching, processors and controlling units.

– CetraC ensures a safe, secure and deterministic behavior at the system level, by:

– establishing data exchange contracts with each connected user
– validating the configuration with a dedicated tool using modelling and simulation based on the overall architecture
– guarantying the transit of critical data by enforcing the user rules imposed by the configuration
– inspecting all the data frames that go through without additional latency
– distributing time to external components if necessary, although itself not relying on synchronization
– Typical throughput is 1Gbps ports and 10 Gbps backbone, typical latency is 2 microseconds for a 64 bytes data frame
– Once all CetraC components are configured, the data that have been prioritized will be delivered safely and securely in a deterministic way, whatever the context.

The other data will be delivered on a best effort basis. – each CetraC component is an IP, which hardware implementation can be placed on an ASIC available locally. On top of delivering this security and safety features in a way that is demonstrated upfront, CetraC will also allow to multiplex easily all the necessary sensors on a limited number of networks, avoiding a wire harnessing overcost. A key opportunity is that CetraC allows smooth integration of existing networks such as CAN, opening the door to incremental steps starting from existing electronic architectures.