The past week or so has been relatively momentous for automotive Ethernet.
– The OPEN Alliance (One-Pair EtherNet) Special Interest Group (SIG) announced the formation of several new technical committees,
– the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) announced expanded interoperability testing and support for 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (40G/100G) including automotive Ethernet, and
– the AVnu Alliance, an enthusiastic supporter of automotive Ethernet, announced a new industrial market segment, which it estimates to be worth $150 billion or so per-year.
The new OPEN Alliance technical committees will work to refine automotive xMII interfaces, enable Gigabit automotive Ethernet over Plastic Optical Fiber (POF), define tests for one-pair Ethernet Electronic Control Units (ECUs), and specify channel components for Gigabit copper Ethernet. More information can be found at www.opensig.org.
The Alliance says its membership has grown quite a lot in the past three years and it now includes nearly 250 automakers, tier ones and technology companies. It’s focused on establishing automotive Ethernet as the connectivity technology and network backbone of choice for the next generation of cars, at least for infotainment and safety.
Two years ago the Alliance endorsed the UNH-IOL as the first laboratory to test BroadR-Reach, a standard for 100Mbps Ethernet connectivity in automotive networking applications. Ian Riches, Strategy Analytics’ Director of Automotive Electronics, noted automated-driving assistance (ADA) and infotainment systems as the two leading growth areas for automotive Ethernet.
Frost & Sullivan estimates that by the end of the current decade there’ll be more than 100 automotive Ethernet nodes in luxury cars and 50 to 60 or so in mass market vehicles.
Jeff Lapak, UNH-IOL Senior Manager, Ethernet Technologies, said he anticipates automotive Ethernet announcements in the coming year. The advantages of automotive Ethernet include greater bandwidth and flexibility. A vendor can develop technology that can be used by many automakers. The UNH-IOL Automotive Ethernet Consortium is gaining momentum and is now open to car manufacturers and parts suppliers worldwide.
The AVnu Alliance noted the evolution of the Audio Video Bridging (AVB) standard into Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) and cited the benefits of TSN for industrial control applications. Earlier the Alliance announced support for TSN in automotive applications such as drive-by-wire and autonomous driving.