Automotive technology is progressing so rapidly in the 21st century that it's hard
to imagine a modern car without engineering marvels such as entry, built-in infotainment with navigation, Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi and
cellular connectivity, smartphone integration, voice recognition, lane-keep
assist and other advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Beyond these
marvels are the latest battery-electric vehicle (BEV) innovations,
accelerating automotive transformation to yet another level.
Simply put, today’s car is no longer just a “set of wheels.” It’s a smart,
connected car, and increasingly, a cloud-connected, software-defined vehicle
that runs on
many millions more lines of code than ever before.
As cars advance technologically, vehicle networking platforms are evolving
rapidly to make cars safer, smarter, more secure and more connected. They
communicate with the outside world through a variety of wireless technologies
to provide drivers with infotainment, navigation and ADAS capabilities. Over
the years, automakers have added various wireless connectivity options to cars
in an evolutionary manner. As a result, in today’s typical vehicle electrical
architecture, wireless connectivity interfaces tend to be distributed among
many different electronic control units (ECUs). However, this distributed
approach creates wireless coexistence challenges and presents growing security
With multiple wireless connections transmitting streams of data from the
outside world into the car, each wireless link represents a potential attack
surface and cybersecurity vulnerability. With wireless connections to the car
being made at many, it is almost impossible to apply a consistent security
firewall across all of the data entering the car in order to block malware and
prevent cyberattacks. Today’s in-vehicle security technologies typically aim
to monitor internal buses to detect and isolate malicious code after it enters
the car network. That is important, but should be complemented by a consistent
and state-of-art preemptive firewall solution based on a unified connectivity
platform that seeks to prevent malware from entering the vehicle in the first
The Solution: A Wireless Connectivity Platform Geared for Secure,
NXP has introduced an automotive-grade development platform that provides a
unified connectivity domain which enables all external wireless connections to
the car to be managed through a single subsystem. Dubbed OrangeBox, the new
automotive connectivity development platform combines NXP’s broad automotive
portfolio of wireless and wired connectivity solutions across
vehicle-to-everything (V2X), secure car access and radio technologies,
hardened security and third-party cellular modem technologies into a
consolidated connectivity domain controller.
Consolidate wireless and wired connectivity solutions seamlessly.
can offer in your next vehicle design.
OrangeBox Automotive Connectivity Domain Controller Development Platform
OrangeBox accelerates the transformation to software-defined vehicles by
unifying automotive wireless connectivity through a domain-based architecture
that also complements emerging zonal architectures. Designed as a modular
platform, OrangeBox provides automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers with the
flexibility to adapt to various regional requirements for cellular
connectivity, V2X and secure access, as well as enabling software updates to
incorporate evolving technologies. This platform approach accelerates
time-to-market, reduces design cost and complexity—and provides a flexible
development platform ready for application deployment.
A helpful way to understand the purpose and benefits of a unified connectivity
domain for the car is to consider the analogous wireless transformation of the
smart home. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the proliferation of
smart, connected devices in the home have ushered in a growing array of
wireless protocols optimized for the smart home: Wi-Fi,
Bluetooth® Low Energy ,
Zigbee, Z-Wave and, most recently, the Matter application layer protocol, providing
secure home access.
To bring order to this fragmented wireless landscape, consumers and service
providers now use smart hubs and gateways designed to integrate the many
disparate wireless links inside the home, thereby simplifying network
deployment, device commissioning, cloud connectivity and software updates.
Similarly, the OrangeBox development platform consolidates a wide variety of
wireless technologies into a single automotive platform, bringing together
secure wireless access, V2X,
Wi-Fi® 6, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE),
ultra-wideband (UWB), AM/FM radio through a software-defined broadcast tuner, 4G LTE and 5G
cellular modems, and GPS/GNSS into one domain. As a leading provider of
silicon, software, security technology and development platforms for the
automotive market, NXP provides many of these wireless technologies. OrangeBox
readily supports cellular modems and GPS/GNSS receivers, which are supplied by
OrangeBox enables developers to create a unified connectivity domain with all
external wireless connectivity managed in a single subsystem powered by NXP’s
i.MX 8XLite applications processor, which is optimized for smart antenna, telematics, V2X connectivity and
secure access. In addition, the platform supports leading wired vehicle
network interfaces including gigabit Ethernet time-sensitive networking (TSN)
and the CAN FD protocol (for flexible data rates).
OrangeBox Automotive Connectivity Domain Controller Development Platform
The OrangeBox platform integrates seamlessly with the NXP
vehicle networking platform and the central vehicle gateway, enabling other
automotive systems to easily leverage wireless connectivity. By complementing
GoldBox, OrangeBox serves as a focal point where wireless data can enter and
exit the car, from broadcast radio to Wi-Fi to 5G signal—providing the
interface to the rest of the world.
A Critical Piece of the Puzzle: Enabling Cloud Connectivity and Secure Access
OrangeBox provides a critical piece of the puzzle to build a modular,
domain-based or zonal car architecture, spanning multiple antennas to the
driver infotainment display and to safety-critical systems throughout the car.
By providing a unified interface between the vehicle’s central gateway and its
wireless technology, OrangeBox streamlines secure communications between the
car and the world around it. This approach enables robust, state-of-art
security protection with consistent security policies and intrusion prevention
system (IPS) filtering that is applied to all wireless traffic entering the
car. The platform helps developers to identify any potential RF coexistence
challenges and it simplifies cloud connectivity and over-the-air (OTA)
software updates that are essential to reducing cost of ownership.
The OrangeBox platform is a logical extension of the domain-based architecture
shift that’s transforming automotive designs. It consolidates multiple
connectivity technologies in one convenient place with a modular architecture
that plugs into the automotive Ethernet backbone. By channeling all wireless
connections into one domain, OrangeBox makes it easier for automakers to
consistently apply advanced, cloud-managed cybersecurity technologies, such as
next-generation firewalls, to data traffic entering or leaving the vehicle.
The platform includes NXP’s
EdgeLock® Secure Element devices as part of the secure car access and V2X
Start Prototyping with OrangeBox
The OrangeBox automotive connectivity domain controller platform helps OEM and
Tier 1 manufacturers reduce costs and accelerate time-to-market by providing
developers with a comprehensive prototyping platform while leveraging software
integration from NXP. Evaluate the many benefits of NXP OrangeBox connectivity
domain controller development platform today.