ABI Research predicts that the global ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) market will reach $261 billion by 2020, making it one of the fastest growing segments in the automotive sector.
ADAS includes applications like park assist and blind spot detection that benefit from surround view camera systems, but surround view is costly because of the heavy shielded cabling it needs; thus it’s more common in luxury than in mainstream vehicles.
Freescale Semiconductor and Broadcom Corp. hope to change that with a new microcontroller (MCU) they launched this week. The single-chip Freescale Qorivva MPC5606E integrates Broadcom’s BroadR-Reach Ethernet PHY.
Both firms are charter members of the Open (One Pair Ether Net) Alliance Automotive Special Interest Group (SIG), which encourages wide scale adoption of Ethernet-based networks as the future de facto standard in automotive networking applications.
Beyond a speed advantage Ethernet sharply reduces the weight and cost of cabling and connections. Freescale and Broadcom estimate that their new MCU has the potential to reduce cabling weight by up to 30 percent and connectivity costs by up to 80 percent.
They say the chip can also reduce the size of automotive camera modules by up to 50 percent. Automakers prefer peripheral cameras to be miniaturized and unobtrusive to maintain vehicle aesthetics. Smaller cameras can be more easily hidden within design features of the car, such as a front grill, bumper or wing mirror.
“Our collaboration with Freescale will enable the development of more optimized ADAS camera solutions and drive the proliferation of advanced features in a broader range of vehicles – beyond the luxury class,” says Dr. Ali Abaye, Broadcom Senior Director of Automotive.
Freescale is sampling the new device now and expects that will be available in production quantities by the end of 2014.