Supporting global car-to-X communication (C2X) and WiFi standards, the RF transceiver TEF510x from NXP Semiconductor is the second of NXP's RoadLink products in the rush to connect the car. The transceiver, announced in June, is billed as a way to add wireless to cars with a single chip.
The C2X market (known as V2X in North America) is growing as manufacturers try to integrate wireless communications in new models. The DRIVE C2X project, promoted and funded by the European Commission, will enable drivers to look farther ahead, using vehicle-to-vehicle communication to increase safety, be aware of road conditions, and avoid potential accidents. Vehicle manufacturers are installing more sophisticated dashboards and driver information systems on new models and need to provide seamless connectivity for current and future applications.
No wireless communication system design is needed, NXP claims, because its TEF510x provides full 802.11p functionality on a chip, enabling automotive OEMs to develop C2X without implementing a design for wireless communication. Together with the NXP/Cohda Wireless SAF510x baseband processor, powered by software-defined radio technology, the RoadLINK chip is billed as providing fast, accurate, and reliable communication to and from the vehicle. RoadLINK takes C2X communications to the next level by bringing safety-critical information to the driver significantly faster than current, conventional applications can.
NXP designed the chip to provide OEMs with an optimized solution to meet 802.11p modem functionality on one chip. The chip has the flexibility to support global deployments and various system configurations.
Thomas Hinz, senior product marketing manager, RoadLINK, NXP Semiconductors, said in a press release:
Our chips enable OEMs to utilize a unique software-defined radio approach, to deploy global solutions based on a single hardware platform with end-of-line configurability... It's the only solution that has been field proven in simTD and Safety Pilot, and which easily exceeds all of emerging Car-to-Car minimum performance requirements. It's fast, it works over extended distances, and it has the features to fully realize the potential of C2X technology.
The potential benefits of C2X communication technology will become clearer when new vehicles equipped with the wireless technology hit the roads and field trials can begin. The Drive C2X project has 34 partners, including car manufacturers such as Opel, Audi, BMW, Fiat, Daimler, Ford, and Volvo.
The future benefits of Drive C2X will include traffic warnings (traffic jam ahead, roadworks, car breakdown, obstacles), detection of approaching vehicles, in-vehicle signage, dealer management, speed limits, etc. DRIVE C2X will lay the foundation for rolling out cooperative systems in Europe. This will lead to more economical and more ecological driving.
The TEF510x RF transceiver meets Japanese 760 MHz V2X requirements, USA and European (5.9 GHz), as well as WiFi and DSRC (dedicated short-range communications) 5.8 GHz specifications. It will be released for automotive production in 2015 and is expected to be available to consumers as early as 2016.
— Pablo Valerio is a freelance blogger who writes about mobile and telecom issues for EE Times. He lives and works in Barcelona.