FPGA manufacturer Xilinx has demonstrated at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) the world's first Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based Ethernet Audio/Video Bridging (EAVB) network implementation optimized for carrying high-speed data traffic within the automobile.
As consumer expectations for higher resolution displays and graphics quality in their driver assistance, navigation and passenger entertainment systems grow, so do the associated challenges of moving content around the vehicle. The demonstration highlighted the capabilities of the new EAVB Development Kit co-developed with Xilinx Alliance Program member Digital Design Corp. (DDC) to give automotive system developers the framework and tools necessary to accelerate their development of applications that deliver a richer experience for drivers and passengers.
At the exhibit, the company showed the EAVB demonstration featuring multi-camera driver assistance and infotainment A/V sources streaming, simultaneously on a single network. In addition, a 3D vehicle surround view demonstration built on Spartan-6 FPGAs, highlighted Xilinx's commitment to real-time, multi-camera driver assistance solutions.
"The IEEE 802.1 EAVB standard is already gaining the attention of a number of leading automotive manufacturers even though the specifications are still being finalized. This isn't surprising because the attractiveness of a fully open, flexible and ubiquitous network standard like Ethernet, enhanced to address the unique real-time media streaming needs of automotive systems, is too difficult to resist," said Nick DiFiore, Director of Xilinx's Automotive Segment. "As a founding member of the AVnu Alliance, which is dedicated to enabling an ecosystem of compatible EAVB solutions for reliable transport of audio and video content, our work with DDC furthers that goal and is a natural step in our commitment to offer automotive customers a complete array of vehicle connectivity options that enables them to keep pace with rapidly evolving consumer and information technologies."
The EAVB solution expands the previously released Xilinx Ethernet AVB Endpoint LogiCORE IP into a complete network interface solution, while providing flexibility for addressing a customer's unique application interface needs. The solution also offers maximum integration potential where Xilinx FPGAs are already commonly used. This includes traditional infotainment connectivity (i.e. host processor companion chip) as well as Driver Assistance (DA) applications, where the FPGA is typically performing image processing for features such as surround view, blind spot detection and real-time lane tracking.
The emerging IEEE 802.1 AS, QAT and QAV standards, fully implemented in the Xilinx/DDC EAVB solution, provide for high-fidelity, low-latency audio and video transport in a completely deterministic fashion over a 100Mb/1Gb Ethernet-based local area network (LAN). In the automotive environment, this means a single homogenous LAN can be configured to carry a range of infotainment and DA data content, including system control, audio and video information. Further, the system designer can establish any network topology (e.g. star, tree or combination) expanding overall network bandwidth as needed, and up to 75 percent of the bandwidth on any given connection may be reserved to guarantee quality of service for media streaming. The DDC IP cores includes facilities for A/V data packetization, media extraction, media clock recovery and stream reservation protocol, as well as handling of legacy Ethernet traffic for generic data or command/control.
The EAVB Development Kit is based on the Xilinx Automotive (XA) Spartan-6 FPGA, which provides leading system integration capabilities and the lowest total cost for cutting-edge high-volume automotive applications. The ten-member XA Spartan-6 family delivers expanded densities ranging from 3,840 to 101,261 logic cells, up to 180 parallel DSP MAC engines and comprehensive I/O capability with speeds up to 3.125GHz. Built on a mature 45nm low-power copper interconnect process technology that delivers an optimal balance of cost, power and performance, the XA Spartan-6 family offers an efficient, dual-register 6-input look-up table (LUT) logic configuration and a rich selection of built-in system-level blocks.
Xilinx Automotive (XA) is the programmable engine of choice for many of today's infotainment, driver assistance and driver information systems, and is increasingly adopted in state-of-the-art next-generation systems. Unmatched in reliability and flexibility, XA-qualified devices enhance the driving experience while satisfying rigid automotive quality requirements.
The DDC/Xilinx EAVB Development Kit is currently available from DDC for $9,999 and includes hardware, reference design, and a single-user evaluation IP license.
For more information, visit http://www.xilinx.com/applications/automotive/index.htm.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.