Automotive and industrial companies have a diverse range of applications they expect to address over time. For example, within a year BMW is expected to roll out some cars that use single-pair, 100 Mbit/s Ethernet using the AVB protocols to connect driver-assistance cameras, replacing existing LVDS links.
However, car makers generally need support for 250 microsecond latencies to use Ethernet in engine control and safety-critical systems. Those apps will require the new protocols now in the works.
Today’s 100M chips are generally sufficient for linking end points in a car. But over the next few years car makers will need Gbit/s links for their backbone nets and future high-res, long-distance cameras.
“In the short term they could use existing Gbit Ethernet components with some difficulty because they are not intended for that nasty automotive EMI environment, so we have to shield the hell out of the cables,” said Teener. “That could be ok if it’s just the backbone with one or two cables per car, but they’d like to move to one single pair of cheap off-the-shelf cables,” he said.
Cabling represents the third heaviest and second most expensive class of components in cars today, he noted.
By contrast, “industrial guys wanted lower latency and Gbit yesterday” pushing toward the single-digit microsecond latency for some apps, said Teener “They are very aggressive about saying they want this now,” he added.