UltraSoc leads £2m automotive cybersecurity project

July 18, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
UtraSoc leads £2m automotive cybersecurity project
UltraSoC Ltd (Cambridge, UK) is leading a £2m project with two UK universities and a security specialist to embed cybersecurity into the next generation of chips for connected and autonomous vehicles.

The £2m ($2.51m, €2.1m) funding to embed cybersecutiy into system-on-chip (SoC) devices comes from Innovate UK. 

Machine Learning (ML) experts from the University of Southampton will work alongside UltraSoC engineers to develop algorithms and code to intelligently identify security and safety issues, while the Institute of Future Transport at Coventry University will develop a testbed demonstrator representing a full-scale automotive functional architecture to prove the resulting solutions. Finally, IoT security developer Copper Horse will model cybersecurity scenarios and test the robustness of the project’s output.

UltraSoC’s embedded analytics uses dedicated hardware IP integrated into an SoC to identify cybersecurity problems such as hacking far more quickly and reliably than traditional software techniques. The IP is an independent monitoring infrastructure that can operate without interfering with the operation of the main system and, being hardware-based, responds in microseconds raher than milliseconds. Unexpected or anomalous CPU transactions can be immediately flagged or blocked; faults or malicious attacks in sensor systems can be similarly detected. Developers can also implement ‘black box’ type forensic trace capabilities, logging on-chip activity and creating a digitally signed record that can be used to track the progression of a malicious attack, or determine legal liability. The complexity of connected and autonomous automotive systems and their critical safety implications create a compelling need for such capabilities.

“Cybersecurity and functional safety risks in these CAV applications are real. We are proud to have been recognized by Innovate UK for our ability to deliver safer and more secure systems for the automotive industry," said Aileen Ryan, UltraSoC’s Chief Strategy Officer. "We look forward to collaborating with our partners and consultants in following through to deliver an improved embedded infrastructure for connected and autonomous vehicles which will ultimately improve the safety of our citizens and infrastructure.”

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