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The Right Stuff: A Past and Future History of Automotive Connectivity

By Amir Bar-Niv, VP of Marketing, Automotive Business Unit, Marvell

and Mark Davis, Senior Director, Solutions Marketing, Marvell

In the blog, Back to the Future – Automotive network run at speed of 10Gbps, we discussed the benefits and advantages of zonal architecture and why OEMs are adopting it for their next-generation vehicles. One of the biggest advantages of zonal architecture is its ability to reduce the complexity, cost and weight of the cable harness. In another blog, Ethernet Camera Bridge for Software-Defined Vehicles, we discussed the software-defined vehicle, and how using Ethernet from end-to-end helps to make that vehicle a reality.

While in the near future most devices in the car will be connected through zonal switches, cameras are the exception. They will continue to connect to processors over point-to-point protocol (P2PP) links using proprietary networking protocols such as low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS), Maxim’s GMSL or TI’s FPD-Link.

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Ethernet Camera Bridge for Software-Defined Vehicles

By Amir Bar-Niv, VP of Marketing, Automotive Business Unit, Marvell

Automotive Transformation

Smart Car and Data Center-on-wheels are just some of the terms being used to define the exciting new waves of technology transforming the automotive industry and promising safer, greener self-driving cars and enhanced user experiences. Underpinning it all is a megatrend towards Software-defined Vehicles (SDV). SDV is not just a new automotive technology platform. It also enables a new business model for automotive OEMs. With a software-centric architecture, car makers will have an innovation platform to generate unprecedented streams of revenue from aftermarket services and new applications. For owners, the capability to receive over-the-air software updates for vehicles already on the road – as easily as smartphones are updated – means an automobile whose utility will no longer decline over time and driving experiences that can be continuously improved over time.

This blog is the first in a series of blogs that will discuss the basic components of a system that will enable the future of SDV.

Road to SDV is Paved with Ethernet

A key technology to enable SDVs is a computing platform that is supported by an Ethernet-based In-Vehicle network (IVN). An Ethernet-based IVN provides the ability to reshape the traffic between every system in the car to help meet the requirements of new downloaded applications. To gain the full potential of Ethernet-based IVNs, the nodes within the car will need to “talk” Ethernet. This includes devices such as car sensors and cameras. In this blog, we discuss the characteristics and main components that will drive the creation of this advanced Ethernet-based IVN, which will enable this new era of SDV. 

But first let’s talk about the promises of this new business model. For example, people might ask, “how many new applications can possibly be created for cars and who will use them?” This is probably the same question that was asked when Apple created the original AppStore, which started with dozens of new apps, and now of course, the rest is history. We can definitely learn from this model. Plus, this is not going to be just an OEM play. Once SDV cars are on the road, we should expect the emergence of new companies that will develop for the OEMs a whole new world of car applications that will be aligned with other megatrends like Smart City, Mobility as a Service (MaaS), Ride-hailing and many others. 

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Back to the Future – Automotive network run at speed of 10Gbps

By Amir Bar-Niv, VP of Marketing, Automotive Business Unit, Marvell

In the classic 1980s “Back to the Future” movie trilogy, Doc Brown – inventor of the DeLorean time machine – declares that “your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.” At Marvell, engineers are doing just that by accelerating automotive Ethernet capabilities: Earlier this week, Marvell announced the latest addition to its automotive products portfolio – the 88Q4346 802.3ch-based multi-gig automotive Ethernet PHY.

This technology addresses three emerging automotive trends requiring multi-gig Ethernet speeds, including:

  1. The increasing integration of high-resolution cameras and sensors
  2. Growing utilization of powerful 5G networks
  3. The rise of Zonal Architecture in car design

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Full Steam Ahead! Marvell Ethernet Device Bridge Receives Avnu Certification

By Amir Bar-Niv, VP of Marketing, Automotive Business Unit, Marvell

and John Bergen, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Automotive Business Unit, Marvell

In the early decades of American railroad construction, competing companies laid their tracks at different widths. Such inconsistent standards drove inefficiencies, preventing the easy exchange of rolling stock from one railroad to the next, and impeding the infrastructure from coalescing into a unified national network. Only in the 1860s, when a national standard emerged – 4 feet, 8-1/2 inches – did railroads begin delivering their true, networked potential.

Some one hundred-and-sixty years later, as Marvell and its competitors race to reinvent the world’s transportation networks, universal design standards are more important than ever. Recently, Marvell’s 88Q5050 Ethernet Device Bridge became the first of its type in the automotive industry to receive Avnu certification, meeting exacting new technical standards that facilitate the exchange of information between diverse in-car networks, which enable today’s data-dependent vehicles to operate smoothly, safely and reliably.

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Ethernet Advanced Features for Automotive Applications

By Amir Bar-Niv, VP of Marketing, Automotive Business Unit, Marvell

Ethernet standards comprise a long list of features and solutions that have been developed over the years to resolve real network needs as well as resolve security threats. Now, developers of Ethernet In-Vehicle-Networks (IVN) can easily balance between functionality and cost by choosing the specific features they would like to have in their car’s network.

The roots of Ethernet technology began in 1973, when Bob Metcalfe, a researcher at Xerox Research Center (who later founded 3COM), wrote a memo entitled “Alto Ethernet,” which described how to connect computers over short-distance copper cable. With the explosion of PC-based Local Area Networks (LAN) in businesses and corporations in the 1980s, the growth of client/server LAN architectures continued, and Ethernet started to become the connectivity technology of choice for these networks. However, the Ethernet advancement that made it the most successful networking technology ever was when standardization efforts began for it under the IEEE 802.3 group.

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