Automotive Technology Advancement: Continental’s Plug & Play Concept Empowers Vehicle Manufacturers with Flexible HPC Integration

With the Plug & Play HPC Continental reduces complexity and enables updates and upgrades of computing modules.

(IN BRIEF) Continental has unveiled a new Plug & Play solution for integrating high-performance computers (HPC) into vehicles. The modular and scalable concept allows for easy replacement and upgrades of computing modules while the vehicle is in use. The system is accompanied by a new liquid cooling technology based on flexible cooling pads to maintain safe operating temperatures. As the demand for software-based vehicle functions and services increases, Continental’s HPC solution provides the necessary power and flexibility for processing data and supporting automated driving and infotainment applications. The innovative design enables vehicle manufacturers to customize configurations and scale computing power according to their requirements. Additionally, the integration of different modules reduces costly cabling, and the plug & play approach allows for swift module exchanges. Continental’s cooling system simplifies the replacement process, making repairs and upgrades more cost-effective. This advancement represents a significant milestone in the integration of high-performance computers in vehicles and supports the industry’s evolving needs for software-driven functions in the era of self-driving vehicles.

(PRESS RELEASE) REGENSBURG, Germany, 15-Jun-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — Continental (ETR: CON), a German multinational automotive parts manufacturing company, introduces an advanced and adaptable solution for integrating high-performance computers (HPC) into vehicle architectures. The company’s revolutionary Plug & Play concept offers a modular and highly scalable approach that allows for seamless replacement and upgrades of individual computing modules, even while vehicles are in operation. Furthermore, Continental’s state-of-the-art liquid cooling system, based on flexible cooling pads, ensures optimal operating temperatures at all times.

“We focus on a flexible and scalable concept for cross-domain HPCs including an innovative cooling solution for all vehicle classes. Our plug & play solution requires less installation space and reduces the complexity of the vehicle architecture as well as the wiring harness. In addition, we enable individual computing modules to be exchanged and upgraded when the vehicle is already in the field,” says Jean-Francois Tarabbia, head of the business area Architecture and Networking at Continental.

In light of significant advancements in self-driving vehicle (SDV) development, software plays a pivotal role in controlling, monitoring, and maintaining various functions within vehicles. Analysts predict that the market for software-based vehicle functions and services will reach a staggering $640 billion by 2031. As vehicles handle increasingly large volumes of data and support a growing number of software functions for automated driving and infotainment applications, the need for modular and powerful HPCs integrated into a vehicle’s electrical/electronic (E/E) architecture becomes paramount.

Flexibility and scalability are at the core of Continental’s HPC solution, ensuring easy adaptation to diverse customer requirements. The company emphasizes maximum modularity during the development process, enabling the combination of HPC modules in different configurations and the ability to scale computing power to meet specific demands. Vehicle manufacturers have the option to integrate individual HPCs or opt for modular stack or rack solutions, which consolidate various HPC modules into a single unit.

Integrating different modules within a single box not only streamlines the high-speed exchange of data but also eliminates the need for costly cabling. Similar to replacing graphics cards or hard disks in traditional desktop computers, Continental’s plug & play approach allows for the seamless exchange of individual computing modules in the field.

To effectively manage the substantial computing power of HPCs, which can reach power dissipation levels of up to 1KW depending on the application, reliable liquid cooling is essential to maintain safe operating temperatures for internal components. Existing cooling solutions typically require interruptions in the cooling water circuit and the application of thermal paste between the cooler and the electronic control unit, resulting in complex and cumbersome electronic control unit replacements. Continental introduces a breakthrough cooling concept that simplifies this process significantly. The innovative system employs flexible cooling pads that conform to the HPC modules through fluid pressure, eliminating the formation of unwanted air gaps. As a result, replacing HPC modules becomes remarkably straightforward. This cutting-edge approach ensures cost-effective repairs and upgrades, providing enhanced efficiency for vehicle manufacturers and owners alike.

Continental’s Plug & Play concept, coupled with its groundbreaking fluid cooling system, represents a significant milestone in the integration of high-performance computers within vehicles. With this innovative solution, Continental continues to drive the advancement of automotive technology, empowering the industry to meet the evolving demands of software-based vehicle functions and services in the era of self-driving vehicles.

Media Contact:

Sebastian Fillenberg
Head of Content, Media Spokesperson and Topic Manager Architecture and Networking
Continental Automotive
+49 69760372234

SOURCE: Continental AG



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