Automotive Ethernet is poised to become one of the fastest growing markets for Deterministic Ethernet. By replacing legacy networks and connectivity with Ethernet, many advantages become apparent. Complex wiring harnesses will become much simpler, lighter in weight and less expensive to produce. The vehicle electronics will be more readily adaptable to modern ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) requirements and the end user experience will be greatly improved as the "connected car" and "autonomous vehicles" become a reality.
A lot of work has been done to identify new physical layer solutions (PHY) that would be suitable for automotive applications where a single unshielded twisted pair connection is desired to reduce cable cost and weight. This work has resulted in a new PHY standard, known as 100BASE-T1, which is currently being finalized in the IEEE 802.3 standards body. A similar standard for a new gigabit PHY is also being developed. Meanwhile, the IEEE Standards Association is also finalizing some new additions to the IEEE802.1 and IEEE802.3 Ethernet standards that will allow for deterministic operation within a standard Ethernet MAC or switch. When these standards are finalized, there will be a menu of options that OEMs will be able to select from to achieve the level of deterministic performance needed in critical automotive applications.
Ethernet is currently used in vehicles only for diagnostic connectivity, cameras and entertainment systems. By adding the new deterministic features, Ethernet will be able to used as a core network backbone, for ECU and DCU connectivity and ultimately to replace legacy existing serial networks such as CAN, LIN, MOST and FlexRay.
The new deterministic features that will become part of the standard are broadly known as Time Sensitive Network (TSN) features. These new features include time synchronization and ingress policing which are essential requirements for almost all new automotive applications. Another new feature, scheduled traffic, will be required for the most critical ECU applications such as braking, etc. When the new standards are completed, new semiconductor and software solutions will be available to allow Tier 1's and OEM's to integrate TSN into their automotive products. For information on the availability of Starter Kits for early development and prototyping please click the link below: