Car Electronics 2012

The Year of The EV article tells that We can dub 2011 the year of the EV (electric vehicles) and gives a timeline what happened 2011. The end result is that today there are enough Volts on the road (along with competitors like Nissan’s Leaf, various hybrids, and an electric Ford Focus) that it might be safe to suggest that the electric car is here to stay.

There has been many different car charging connectors in use on electronic vehicles. Electric Car Charging Standards Split article tells that many car manufacturers have agreed on a single EV charging port connector standard that has been in development by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for several years. European car companies have been divided on standards for both AC and DC charging. The new single connector will support fast DC charging as well as be backward compatible with the J1772 AC charger that is standard on many plug-in electric vehicles today. I think that use of that standard will rise in 2012, and common charging standard will speed up the EV deployment.


Automotive electronics: What’s hot in 2012 article tells that in automotive electronics, 2012 looks to be a year of consolidation as technologies introduced previously become more widespread across model lines. In particular, voice recognition, with different features and interfaces, is seen as a way of distinguishing one brand from another, while electrified power trains in the form of hybrids and pure electric drives will be available in more models. In keep costs down driven auto industry the more mature the technology that goes into a car, the less risk of failure and costly warranty claims.

Cars and smartphones start to communicate using MirrorLink technology to allow new features. MirrorLink™ has been developed with the objective to provide a technology, offering seamless (extremely simple from the consumer perspective) connectivity between a smart phone and the in-vehicle infotainment system. It uses IP technologies in order to be independent of the physical transport mechanism and supports many car connectivity solutions (Bluetooth, WLAN, USB etc.). Whereas MirrorLink™ does allow any legacy application on the mobile device to show-up on the car display, it specifically enables easy development of mobile device based automotive applications.

Ethernet for Vehicles is gaining momentum in in the car. Ethernet for Vehicles Advances article tells that Ethernet technology in the car (a concept that was once unthinkable for the automotive industry) has been gaining momentum lately. Special interest group, known as the OPEN (One-Pair-Ether-Net) SIG, is aimed at driving broad-scale adoption of Ethernet in vehicles, largely to serve the expected boom of camera-based applications in cars. Many vehicles now have backup cameras, and many others are going to add cameras for such applications as lanekeeping, adaptive cruise control, and collision avoidance.

There is going to be an increasing number of Driver Information applications that involve displaying complex images and graphics. Xilinx Paves the Way for a New Generation of Automotive Driver Assistance and Infotainment Systems at CES 2012. World’s first Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based Ethernet Audio/Video Bridging (EAVB) network implementation optimized for carrying high-speed data traffic within the automobile was shown at CES 2012. The IEEE 802.1 EAVB standard is already gaining the attention of a number of leading automotive manufacturers even though the specifications are still being finalized. OMG! Amazing home displays and automotive Ethernet AVB stuff from Xilinx article gives some more details what is expected in near future.


New electronics features are making challenges for developers. Automotive Electronics: Do We Really Need All This Stuff? article tells that everyone in the auto industry knows that the number of electronic control units (ECUs) in vehicles is nearing the point of unmanageability. Low-end vehicles now incorporate between 35 and 40 ECUs, while luxury cars may have 80 or more. “We’re right up against the limit right now. We need to find unique ways to integrate features and functions, and give our customers what they want without overloading our controllers.” The number of automotive features and functions keeps rising.

Would Cellphone Ban Secure Car Safety? article tells that the proliferation of in-car entertainment technologies (internet routers, smartphone links, MP3 connections, capacitive touch screens, etc.) are great for selling cars. Auto executives understand what consumers want: Many people don’t want a car with no extra features. Those new extra features have also sparked a serious debate about driver distraction dangers. “According to NHTSA [the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration], more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents.” “You’re dealing with human nature here. People want what they want. And sometimes they want more than they should have.”


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Rachael King / Wall Street Journal:
    Automakers tackle the huge security challenges of vehicle-to-vehicle communication

    Automakers Tackle the Massive Security Challenges of Connected Vehicles

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is accelerating its efforts to mandate vehicle-to-vehicle communications, a step that could help lower the number of traffic deaths in the U.S., but also creates a major challenge for data security and privacy.

    NHTSA plans to submit a proposed connected car rule by the end of the year. New cars equipped with the communications technology could hit the market by the early 2020s, the Transportation Department estimates. The technology could have great public benefits, potentially reducing the 30,000-plus crash related deaths that occur in the U.S. every year. But the technology would emit a stream of data broadcasting the location of millions of cars, a potential security dilemma.

    A group of eight automakers already has put years of work into developing an unprecedented system to manage such risks. The system is a form of so-called public key infrastructure, which employs encryption and authentication and is widely used by online shopping sites and banks. The idea is to let two vehicles that have no existing relationship securely exchange data.

    PKI technology is effective, but not infallible.

    The data stream that will come from vehicles is bound to attract a broad range of hackers. “A terrorist might want to shut down a major bridge or tunnel in a major urban area by causing a whole bunch of vehicles to misbehave,”

    Designers of the new security system for connected cars are trying to guard against that possibility. The system would be larger than anything in use today, creating a new set of technical challenges. A PKI system for connected cars ultimately will need to scale to 200 million or more vehicles, while maintaining driver privacy and fending off hackers.

    Automakers including Ford Motor , General Motors , Nissan Motor , Mazda Motor Corp., Honda Motor , Volkswagen and its luxury brand Audi , Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors plan to finish a proof of concept for a security credential management system by August of next year. The automakers, part of a Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership consortium, have a cooperative agreement with the Transportation Department to build the system. CAMP has already invested 11 years researching and testing various security approaches.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Automotive King Redefines Future
    Predictive Safety Gateway to Autonomy

    Automotive is becoming one of the largest sectors of the electronics market pulling along with it the major suppliers. Renesas, for instance, made its fortune in automotive electronics before diversifying into consumer markets, but with the merger of Freescale with NXP there will be a new king of the hill in automotive electronics and its futuristic visions aim is to keep it on top for the foreseeable future by perfecting “predictive safety” as a prelude to full autonomy.

    “We estimate from figures supplied to us by TU [Technische Universitat] Munchen that the total cost of a new car was 15 percent electronics in 1990, but will grow from 30 percent in 2020 to as much as 50 percent by 2030,” Patrick Morgan, vice president and general manager of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) told EE Times. “And that doesn’t count the $400 billion that could be saved by preventing accidents, not to mention the 1.2 million lives saved worldwide and the 50 million injures prevented.”

    Today, the biggest safety systems in automobiles are passive systems like airbags and enhanced safety systems (ESC), such smart cruise controls, blind-spot detection, infrared night vision, collision mitigation systems, and rear-view camera systems all the way to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like lane departure warnings and automatic braking to prevent rear-ending the car in front of you. But for the future, the name of the game will be “predictive safety,” according to Morgan. “We will be selling sophisticated vision and image recognition systems—in addition to the radar where we already sell the large majority of systems with one million sold so far—that will be able to classify objects and take evasive action ranging from a simple alerts to the driver all the way to taking over control of the car to prevent collisions–especially with pedestrians.”

    “We provide the safety, reliability and security hardware including encryption/decryption and key management,” said Johnson. “Competitors like mobile don’t protect their algorithms from hackers and reverse engineering in an open ecosystem.”

    The secret sauce in the VS32V234 is its dual APEX-2 image processing engines which can perform complex cognitive recognition tasks potentially realizing Morgan’s goal of predictive safety, which eventually will allow cars to drive themselves.

    Autonomous vehicles will not all look like Google’s “Johnny Cab” but will be even safer with a driver behind the wheel.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Do Head-Up Displays Lead the Wrong Way to Safety?

    In vehicles, head-up displays (HUDs) have been developed to reduce driver distraction and help drivers to keep their eyes on the street by displaying navigation information, road signs and other traffic relevant data at the windshield right in the driver’s field of sight; the goal of the technology is increasing traffic safety. A study of the university of Toronto now reveals that HUDs rather have the opposite effect — they actually can be a threat to safety, the study suggests.

    Drivers need to split their attention to deal with the added visual information says professor Ian Spence from the department of psychology of the university of Toronto. Spence conducted research on what happens when two information sources appear within the same visual range. Not only will drivers as they always did have to concentrate on what is happening on the road, but they will have to attend to whatever information pops up on the windshield in front of them.

    The researchers concluded that when ever the attentiveness of the test persons was occupied by their primary task they had difficulties attending the secondary stimulus.

    In real-world driving this means that more visual information is experienced by drivers as more stressful. They for instance have to differentiate between warnings of a collision and a recommendation to make a turn, Spence explained. Otherwise competing warnings may be more dangerous than no warning at all.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Address E-band cost and reliability issues in MMIC packaging

    Millimeter-wave RF systems have great potential for automotive applications, if they can be made cost effective. Traditional semiconductor packaging approaches are either far too expensive or suffer from signal integrity issues at the frequencies involved. But new techniques are becoming available that can address these problems.

    Whether it’s highway cruising or neighborhood trip, automobile travel would be far safer, especially at night and in bad weather, if all new cars were equipped with long-range, radar-based collision-avoidance systems. Shorter-range collision avoidance systems now in the market, typically operating at 24 GHz, can activate braking and tighten seat belts before an imminent front or rear crash. But long-range systems can warn drivers well in advance that they are closing on slower vehicles or obstructions not yet in their line of sight, and can dynamically adjust the speed of cruise controls to avoid the need for sudden braking.

    Such long-range systems operate in the millimeter-wave domain, specifically between 76 GHz and 77 GHz in the E band, to provide better object resolution and extended reach compared to the collision-avoidance radar systems that operate at 24 GHz.

    For their part, semiconductor companies have not been remiss, with cost-saving CMOS E-band transceiver chips recently announced as near-future alternatives to SiGe devices already in production. But although economy at the die level would help, the real concern is not semiconductor processes but interconnects. How do you maintain the integrity of millimeter-wave signals going between a chip and its package, between the package and a PCB, across a PCB, and through a connector at the board edge, using inexpensive, high-yield technologies compatible with existing volume manufacturing and assembly practices? Approaches common to military and aerospace radar systems, for which cost is no object, are unfeasible.

    Chip packaging

    Packages for millimeter-wave devices typically are constructed on ceramic substrates that route controlled-impedance microstrip or coplanar waveguide interconnects up to the mounted chip, which connect to the die by wire bonds, or flip-chip bumps. But even the shortest wire bond that can be produced acts as an inductor at such frequencies, as do bumps. Neither are impedance-controlled structures. This means that a matching network is necessary within the package to cancel the effect of each bond wire’s or bump’s stray inductance and thereby maintain signal integrity everywhere along the path from each die pad outward within the package. Unfortunately, the matching networks, though needed to prevent signal reflections, tend to limit the bandwidth the package can serve.

    Yet QFN cavity-type plastic packages are in use with MMICs (monolithic microwave ICs) that operate at 24 GHz. The packages have standard JEDEC outlines and footprints compatible with pick-and-place machines and surface-mount assembly processes. The main limitation for using those packages at the higher, millimeter-wave frequencies is the bond wire.

    But this is changing, making SMT plastic packages practical for millimeter-wave devices. A new commercial manufacturing process is becoming available that can transform bond wires into coaxial connections with tightly-controlled impedance characteristics

    Bond wires are only one step. To ensure signal integrity from the PCB, into the package, through the internal connections, and to the chip the whole signal path should be viewed as a waveguide. Fortunately, lead frames, if properly architected, can behave as impedance-controlled waveguide structures, and waveguide structures can also be built on the substrate.

    JEDEC does not define the dimensions and spacing internal to the QFN package, merely the external elements, so package developers have the freedom they need.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Ford recalls 433,000 cars: Software bug breaks engine off-switch
    Turning it off and on again not possible until a dealer fixes it

    Ford is recalling 433,000 of its cars as they suffer from a software bug that could prevent drivers from turning off their engines.

    The affected models include some 2015 Focus, C-MAX, and Escape vehicles. If you’re unlucky, turning the ignition key to the off position and removing the key, or pressing the engine stop button, will not actually stop the engine, which will keep running thanks to a flaw in the body control module software.

    Owners should take their cars to their nearest dealer for a bug patch at no extra cost, we’re told.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Jaguar Land Rover calls it-and hostess more flexibility

    Car manufacturer CTO keep the graying workforce biggest obstacle to the transition towards a supple IT-infrastructure.

    The renowned British car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover Chief Technology Officer Anthony Headlam takes talks on your IT department workers to conservatism and resistance to change.

    Last week in London in Cloud World Forum event occurred in Jaguar Land Rover’s CTO Anthony Headlam says report seeing every day the older it-people resistance to change.

    This is especially true for the support functions of the business, the so-called back office -tasks.

    “I want to accelerate the cycle of IT systems, so that the software is updated monthly Faster, more pliable IT systems are JLR. The lifeline, especially now that the company has moved its production for the first time in Great Britain outside.”

    As with other car manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover to develop intelligent cars and their production methods in new mills.

    “We have the IT department use up to 1 700 different software applications, the oldest of which are from the 1970s,”

    In 2013, Jaguar Land Rover’s CTO appointed KSI Headlam says that in his first year as much as 90 percent of the time IT department took mere operation of existing systems maintenance. Today, the maintenance of the ratio has been reduced by quarter.

    It-mindedness and hostess are required

    The transfer of production abroad, and the new, intelligent vehicles related to manufacturing processes still require more and more flexible, suitable for industrial IT systems for the Internet.

    “Today, all our cars are networked. This means that we are constantly customer data from the use of cars and the need for care in different parts of the world. In this kind of big-data and analytics needed for cloud services,” says Headlam.

    “And the management of such amounts of data, we can not resort to the 1970s or from the technology, which may have been gradually updated in the 2000s, 80′s,” says Headlam shall go through the company’s IT renovation challenges.


    Jaguar Land Rover: staff are biggest obstacle to IT transformation

    CTO says greying IT workforce are stubborn in face of new agile approach

    People are the biggest obstacle Jaguar Land Rover must overcome to implement an agile methodology that will help modernise its IT infrastructure.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *