Toshiba Introduces SHE-compliant security module for automotive electronics

Toshiba Electronics Europe (TEE) has revealed a new security module for automotive microcontrollers, which meets advanced industry standards aimed at protecting vehicle electronics against hacking, tampering and software IP theft. The Toshiba Security Module (TSM) was developed at the company’s European Automotive LSI Development Centre (ELDEC) in Düsseldorf, and will be built into future generations of the company’s automotive microcontrollers.

The module’s firmware is, as a first release step, compliant with the Secure Hardware Extension (SHE) version 1.1 specification of the Herstellerinitiative Software (HIS), a technical collaboration between five leading German car makers.

Toshiba’s TSM is implemented as a hardware security module with its own sub-CPU core that manages a versatile symmetric AES-128 cryptographic engine along with other security elements. As a result the TSM provides high security and tamper resistance without consuming precious host microcontroller CPU resources.

“Our TSM will help the automotive industry prevent intellectual property theft or manipulation, which is a significant threat as an increasing proportion of innovations in new car models are now software based,” said Klaus Neuenhueskes of Toshiba Electronics Europe. “Moreover, the strong security afforded by our SHE-compliant TSM will protect car owners against abuses such as tampering with odometer settings, or sub-standard servicing by unqualified agents.”

The company plans to implement its TSM in future variants of its automotive microcontrollers based on the ARM Cortex processor architecture, and will release software libraries to support the new devices. Future updates of the TSM compliant with upcoming new standards (e.g. in accordance with EVITA Medium requirements) including TSM firmware updates are planned. The related Software libraries for the main microcontroller CPU will enable developers to design in accordance with the latest version of the automotive industry’s common software infrastructure promoting modularity, scalability, transferability and re-usability.

Toshiba already has a proven roadmap of ARM Cortex-based automotive microcontrollers that incorporate innovations such as firmware-based motor control, advanced fault supervision providing the unique ability for a single-CPU architecture to satisfy IEC61508/ISO26262 functional safety, and superior graphic engines accelerating 2D and 3D graphical dashboard graphics.

Toshiba’s first TSM-enabled microcontrollers are expected to begin sampling in Q2/13.


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