Ethernet for Vehicles

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. The irony of this sudden trend is that a few years ago, Ethernet wasn’t seen as a solution to any applications in the car (one exception for this rule is that BMW cars supporting Ethernet have been on the market since 2008).

There are many existing in-vehicle technologies such as CAN, LIN, LVDS and FlexRay. Just few years ago MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) was seen as the de-facto standard for multimedia and infotainment networking in the automotive industry, but is has has now fallen out of favor. So now it seem to be right time for Ethernet.


A coalition of automakers and automotive suppliers said recently that they are forming a special interest group (SIG) aimed at driving broad-scale adoption of Ethernet in vehicles, largely to serve the expected boom of camera-based applications in cars. NXP and Broadcom are playing a big role in the launch of the new special interest group, known as the OPEN (One-Pair-Ether-Net) SIG. This SIG is focused on the idea of creating a single physical layer that would enable easy use of Ethernet with vehicle cameras. OPEN Alliance is designed to encourage wide scale adoption of Ethernet-based, single pair unshielded cable networks as the standard in automotive applications.

NXP said it would be the first supplier to license Broadcom’s BroadR-Reach ethernet technology (technology originally designed to extends the range of twisted pair connections from 100 meters to up to 500 meters) for in-vehicle networking. Broadcom has also introduced their Automotive Ethernet Product Portfolio. BroadR-Reach allows full-duplex operation over a single twisted pair at 100 Mbps (same type of cabling 80-110 ohms unshielded or shielded twisted pair cabling as used in FlexRay works).


Interest in one pair Ethernet technology has grown dramatically as the automotive industry accelerates its adoption of Ethernet based networks. BMW and Hyundai have teamed up with Broadcom, NXP Semiconductors, Freescale and Harman to make ethernet the computer networking technology of choice inside the car. Infotainment systems maker Harman said that higher-bandwidth connectivity will address customers’ growing demand for seamlessly integrated information, entertainment and safety features in the car.

I have been for long time wondering why the automotive makers have been very hesitant to spec Ethernet in the past since it’s such a well-proven technology? Ethernet has gained momentum in many sectors, because it’s a fast, mature technology with high production volumes in the computer industry. Now it is the time for the auto industry is to leverage the computer industry’s enormous Ethernet know-how.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Single-Pair Ethernet Comes Just in Time
    March 2, 2022
    Industrial facilities and automakers needed a cost-effective connectivity solution for low-data-rate devices, and 10BASE-T1S and 10BASE-T1L deliver it with low cost and simplicity.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Meeting the Challenge of Ethernet System Validation
    Aug. 6, 2018
    As data becomes as important to modern vehicles as oil and gasoline were in the past, simulators will provide the assurance that every vehicle operates at peak performance.

    Cars and trucks are quickly becoming Formula One race cars—at least in terms of data. With more types of onboard devices requiring near-instantaneous data transmission than ever before, engineers and designers are challenged to accommodate the accelerating need for bandwidth and speed.

    At the core of just about every innovation today, from advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) to collision detection sensors and infotainment systems, is data. Traditional automotive data networking technologies such as controller area networks (CANs), local interconnect networks (LINs), and Media Oriented Systems Transport (MOST) were not designed to support the bandwidth these systems demand. In fact, the need to implement time-sensitive networking (TSN) standards has forced engineers to look outside the automotive arena for alternative transit solutions.

    Ethernet is the obvious choice. This staple of the IT world, while not exactly new to automobiles, is being applied with increasing frequency, and for a number of reasons. Ethernet technology allows for fewer cables of lighter weight—not an insignificant advantage. Also, automotive engineers know that Ethernet is proven technology, supported by many device manufacturers, and has a strong hardware/software support ecosystem.

    Yet Ethernet can’t satisfy all requirements for data networking performance—which is why there’s also a need for TSN technology. TSN guarantees that high-quality data packets are delivered with low latency, something Ethernet doesn’t natively support. In addition, TSN provides a network-wide clock for packet synchronization across systems, and prioritizes time-sensitive data streams over those of lower priority. Finally, it guarantees a minimum level of availability for emergency transmission.

    Validating high-speed Ethernet devices for automotive use is a complex undertaking.

    Automakers, along with in-vehicle device and system OEMs, have stringent requirements for latency, synchronization, conformance, availability, and QoS. These requirements must be met, as consumers must be able to rely on their cars and trucks for safe, reliable performance. The potential cost of failure—not to mention recalls, liability, and damaged reputations—is simply too high.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Autojen uusi verkko siirtää 50 gigabittiä sekunnissa

    Takana ovat ne päivät, kun autoissa riitti CAN-väylä kaikenlaisen datan siirtoon. Nyt tulollaan on 802.3cz-standardi, joka on edennyt IEEE:ssä jo äänestysvaiheeseen. Se nostaa autojen sisäisen optisen verkon nopeuden jopa 50 gigabittiin sekunnissa.

    Autojen optisten verkkojen pioneereihin kuuluu espanjalainen KDPOF. Se lupaa esitellä 802.3cz-pohjaista ratkaisua jo Vehicle Electronics & Connected Services -messuilla Göteborgissa toukokuun puolivälissä.

    Autoteollisuuden 802.3cz-standardiluonnos määrittelee nopeudet alkaen 2,5 Gb/s aina 50 Gb/s asti. IEEE:n 802.3-työryhmässä ovat mukana monet suuret autonvalmistajat, kuten PSA, Toyota, BMW, Ford, GM ja Volvo. Lisäksi mukana on kärkipään järjestelmä- ja komponenttien toimittajia.

    Ehdotettu IEEE 802.3 autojen optinen monen gigabitin standardiluonnos määrittää 2,5, 5, 10, 25 ja 50 gigabitin GBASE-AU-määritykset OM3-luokan kuidulla. OM3-luokka on valittu, koska sitä käytetään jo laajasti datakeskuksissa, ja sitä käytetään myös monissa haastavien olosuhteiden kohteissa kuten ilmailutekniikassa.

    Ehdotettu usean gigabitin järjestelmä herää alle 100 millisekunnissa.

    Autoympäristön käyttölämpötila -40 ºC … +125 ºC (AEC-Q100 luokka 1) on perinteisiä verkkosovelluksia haastavampi, samoin kuin OEM-luotettavuusvaatimukset, joiden mukaan järjestelmän ja komponenttien pitää kestää käytössä vähintään 15 vuotta.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ethernet yltää nyt 1,7 kilometrin päähän

    Analog Devices on tuonut markkinoille täydellisen 10BASE-T1L Ethernet-ratkaisun, joka on suunniteltu rakennusautomaatioverkkoihin. Uusi ADIN2111 lisää pitkän ulottuvuuden Ethernet-liitettävyyden ohjaimiin, antureihin ja toimilaitteisiin, mikä tarjoaa oivalluksia tehokkaampaan ja kestävämpään kiinteistönhallintaan.

    Piiri on suunniteltu datan ketjuttamiseen linja- ja rengasverkoissa käyttämällä olemassa olevaa yhden kierretyn parikaapelin infraa rakennuksissa.

    Tämä IEEE 802.3cg -standardin mukainen ratkaisu mahdollistaa Ethernet-yhteyden yli 1,7 kilometriä kaapelointia, tukee soittojen redundanssia ja pehmeitä reaaliaikaisia protokollia, kuten Modbus/TCP, BACnet/IP ja KNX.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Moving from Domains to Zones: The Auto Architecture Revolution
    May 24, 2022
    A new approach is needed in automotive interconnection architectures—a fundamental shift in the way hardware and software functions are partitioned across newly configurable platforms.

    What you’ll learn:

    The shift from conventional electrical and electronic (E/E) architecture within the vehicle to the domain and zonal architectures.
    How software is taking precedence over hardware in defining the vehicle and its key components.
    How automotive manufacturers are now moving from domain to zonal architectures.
    Challenges with—and a solution to—the zonal approach implementation.

    The wiring harness in many vehicles now weighs more than any other component, except the engine—whether it’s an internal combustion engine (ICE) or battery-powered electric motor. Reducing this unsustainable burden demands an entirely new approach to interconnection architectures, and it can’t be realized using high-speed serial buses and networking technologies alone.

    To fully address the issue requires a fundamental shift in how hardware and software functions are partitioned across newly configurable platforms.
    Dividing into Domains—and the Need for a Zonal Approach

    Due to the increasing complexity of the conventional vehicle architecture caused by the addition of more and more electronic control units (ECUs), an alternative approach was introduced to add structure and hierarchy. The approach was to divide the vehicle into “domains,” or areas with common functionality—such as the chassis, powertrain, body & comfort and infotainment, and ADAS—and connect them to a centrally located service-oriented gateway via a dedicated domain controller

    Challenges in Zonal-Approach Implementation

    While the automotive industry has relied on CAN networking for decades, it’s becoming apparent that it’s unable to cope with the demands of vehicles today. This is especially the case for the “backbones” that connect the zonal gateways, which will be based on Ethernet. However, the hierarchical nature of the zones will introduce more “hops” within the network, potentially causing latency and jitter issues.

    Many of the systems in a modern vehicle have time dependencies, which is especially critical in safety-related systems, such as ADAS. While a delay in opening a window or changing a radio station would be an inconvenience, a delay to a message from a camera that has detected an obstruction resulting in brakes being applied late is potentially catastrophic.

    This highlights a weakness of traditional Ethernet in that data packets are only propagated when the backbone is free of other traffic, and there’s no hierarchy of relative importance. Simply put, traditional Ethernet would see a data packet for changing a radio station as equally important as one to apply the brakes.

    In-vehicle networking will be based on IEEE 802.1AS-2020, the IEEE-approved standard for timing and synchronization in time-sensitive networking (TSN) applications. Often called “deterministic Ethernet,” this standard includes several features for ensuring that data is managed to strict time criteria based on the importance of the data, including ensuring that time-sensitive traffic is propagated via the shortest path.

    This high-speed Ethernet will form the backbone of the zonal architecture and connect zone controllers with one another as well as with the central computing resources. However, things will become more complex within each zone due to multiple types of edge networks being implemented, connecting the zone controller to various edge ECUs. While Ethernet may be used in some cases, a significant amount of CAN infrastructure will exist in both CAN (FD) and CAN XL formats.

    Several areas should be considered for this multi-protocol approach to work effectively. In particular, the designer must consider how data is moved onto and from the Ethernet backbone to and from the in-zone network. This is further complicated by the fact that CAN traffic is typically periodic and broadcast, compared to Ethernet, which is usually event-based and point-to-point.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Broadcom Delivers World’s First 50G Automotive Ethernet Switch

    Industry’s highest bandwidth switch solution enables efficient zonal and central compute platforms and accelerates adoption of software defined vehicles

    SAN JOSE, Calif., May 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO) today announced it has delivered its high bandwidth monolithic automotive Ethernet switch device, the BCM8958X, designed to address the growing bandwidth need for in-vehicle networking applications and facilitate the adoption of software defined vehicles (SDV). The BCM8958X features 16 Ethernet ports of which up to six are 10 Gbps capable, as well as integrated 1000BASE-T1 and 100BASE-T1 PHYs, providing greater flexibility and switching capacity needed to support automotive zonal electronic control unit (ECU) and central compute ECU architectures. Additionally, this switch is equipped with an advanced rule-based packet filter engine that can adapt to different vehicle operation modes to enhance driving safety.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Autoihin tulee gigabitin optinen verkko

    Autojen sisäisissä verkoissa datan nopeus- ja kapasiteettivaatimukset kasvavat koko ajan. Perinteinen CAN ei jatkossa enää riitä ja sen tilalle ovat tulossa nopeammat Ethernet- ja kuituratkaisut

    Espanjalainen KDPOF kehittää optisia kytkinratkaisuja myös ajoneuvoihin. Nyt yritys on yhdessä NXP Semiconductorsin kanssa esitellyt ensimmäisen evaluointikortin, jolla voidaan tetata gigabitin optista verkkoa ajoneuvossa. Alustan on tarkoitus vastata tulevaisuuden verkkoon kytkettyjen autonomisten ajoneuvojen tarpeisiin.

    KDPOF:n ensimmäinen autoihin kehitetyssä Ethernet-kytkimessä (EVB9351-AUT-SW-NXP) on viisi 1000BASE-RH optista porttia, joista jokainen koostuu KDPOF:n KD9351 FOT- ja KPHDY10533-porteista. Kytkinpiirit (SJA1110) tulevat NXP:ltä. Ne perustuvat Arm Cortex-M7 -prosessoreihin.

    512 kilotavun laiteohjelmistolla kytkin käynnistyy alle 100 millisekunnissa.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What’s the Difference Between CAN and SPE in the Automotive Industry?
    Jan. 6, 2023
    The CAN bus protocol is being phased out of the automotive industry in favor of single-pair Ethernet due to its increased data bandwidth, node efficiency, security, and more.|7211D2691390C9R&oly_enc_id=7211D2691390C9R

    What you’ll learn:

    How single-pair Ethernet is taking over for CAN bus.
    How SPE improves on CAN.

    It’s been 36 years since the CAN (controller area network) bus was released by the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers). Lying at the heart of vehicle communications for decades, it supports a wide variety of automotive innovations.

    The CAN bus is described as a vehicle bus standard that allows microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other’s applications without a host computer. It’s a message-based protocol, designed originally for multiplex electrical wiring within automobiles to save on copper, but it also can be used in many other applications.

    Automotive technology has come a long way since the first CAN buses were deployed, and the platform has since been tasked with more and more functions beyond what was envisioned in the 1980s.

    CAN remains a favorite of auto manufacturers even into its fourth decade. That said, the automotive industry has been undergoing a paradigm shift in response to cutting-edge technologies and fast-evolving consumer demands. CAN’s long-running reign is set to face new challenges.

    To that end, the automotive industry is looking toward single-pair Ethernet (SPE) to function as the automotive network’s backbone, an alternative that brings higher performance, increased security, and increased efficiency over CAN buses.

    According to a 2020 market report, the global connected-car market is expected to reach $225.16 billion by 2027, up from $63.03 billion in 2019. This shift toward increased connectivity will play a decisive and accelerating role in the move to SPE networks, even as CAN buses continue to provide an important communication medium (primarily for legacy components).

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Simplify Automotive Networks for Real-Time Driver Assistance
    March 8, 2023
    Sponsored by Texas Instruments: FPD-Link SerDes technology is equipped to readily handle the massive amounts of data transferred in ADAS systems.|7211D2691390C9R&oly_enc_id=7211D2691390C9R

    In the automotive industry, technologies that influenceadvanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are evolving rapidly. Applications range from basic vehicle functions such as lighting, braking, and cruise control to more complex uses like engine and transmission control, traffic warnings, proximity to other cars, and correct lane use.

    Because highly automated and connected cars will rely on more than one type of network architecture, designers are being challenged to employ multiple network technologies simultaneously. The goal is to communicate critical information in real-time and with precision to keep drivers informed about operational data and the status of the vehicle.

    In the automotive industry, technologies that influenceadvanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are evolving rapidly. Applications range from basic vehicle functions such as lighting, braking, and cruise control to more complex uses like engine and transmission control, traffic warnings, proximity to other cars, and correct lane use.

    Because highly automated and connected cars will rely on more than one type of network architecture, designers are being challenged to employ multiple network technologies simultaneously. The goal is to communicate critical information in real-time and with precision to keep drivers informed about operational data and the status of the vehicle.

    Communication Protocols in
    Modern ADAS Architectures

    The modern vehicle relies on high-speed automotive
    communication technologies that move data faster and
    farther to accelerate vehicle safety and autonomy.

    Ethernet is one of the most common high-speed
    interfaces found in homes and offices, and is becoming a
    predominant communication protocol for vehicles. Some
    vehicles use Ethernet to transport a variety of high-speed
    data; automotive applications such as radar and lidar
    modules use single-pair Ethernet technology. Single-pair
    Ethernet uses the Ethernet standard, but data transmits
    over a single, twisted pair of wires, enabling reduced
    cable weight and cost within the vehicle.
    Ethernet is a packetized system, where packets
    between nodes on various parts of the network
    transfer information. Also like a CAN bus, Ethernet is
    bidirectional, and the speed possible on any individual
    link decreases as the number of nodes on the system
    increases. For single-pair Ethernet, the speed on any
    individual link is limited to one specific speed (10 Mbps,
    100 Mbps, 1 Gbps) and no dynamic speed changes
    on the link may occur. Still, single-pair Ethernet can
    transport data over a link up to 1,000 times faster than
    a CAN bus. Changing to single-pair Ethernet would
    optimize the data transmission speed over a CAN bus,
    but since Ethernet’s cost per node is higher, it probably
    will not replace – but rather will augment – a CAN bus.

    Some cars today use single-pair Ethernet for data-
    intensive requirements such as backup cameras
    and radar. For example, the DP83TC812S-Q1 and
    DP83TG720S-Q1 from Texas Instruments (TI) are single-
    pair Ethernet physical layers (PHYs), screened to
    Automotive Electronics Council-Q100 grades 1 and
    2, and include a loopback test mode for facilitating
    system diagnostics compliant to Institute of Electrical
    and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.3bw and 802.3bp
    automotive standards. To transport video over an
    Ethernet network, even if there is only one video channel
    being transported, the video must be compressed at
    its source and then decompressed at the destination
    to avoid exceeding Ethernet bandwidth limitations unlike
    FPD-Link™ technology, which allows for uncompressed
    transport of video data. For an application such as
    a backup camera, there needs to be a relatively high-
    power processor in the camera to compress the image
    sufficiently to get it into the Ethernet network.
    The need for a high-power processor in turn means
    that the camera will be physically larger and more
    expensive. The camera will have a higher power
    dissipation than an approach that does not require
    much image processing. Another disadvantage of this
    solution is that video compression and decompression
    add latency to the link. If several cameras or other
    video sources are sharing the same Ethernet network,
    there is a trade-off between the amount of compression
    (and corresponding video quality) and the number of
    supported video channels. It is possible to mitigate this
    limitation by setting up multiple networks within the car in
    a hierarchical configuration. There might be one network
    that deals only with engine control and diagnostics, a
    second network that handles backseat entertainment
    and the audio system, and another network that handles
    driver assistance functions such as vision enhancement
    cameras. In the end, single-pair Ethernet provides higher
    capacity than the CAN bus for transmitting data like
    radar and lidar, at the expense of greater complexity,
    but still struggles to handle the highest-bandwidth
    applications such as video.
    FPD-Link technology
    FPD-Link is a proprietary automotive SerDes technology
    developed for real-time, uncompressed transmission
    of high-bandwidth data. Specifically, FPD-Link was
    developed to transport video data within the car,

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Control Unit Uses TSN to Take Vehicle Networking to Next Level

    As automakers take the next steps toward the software-defined vehicle, which can be upgraded with new services and features remotely over time, they require high-speed in-vehicle networks to match.

    TTTech launched a high-end electronic control unit (ECU) with time-sensitive networking (TSN) and other advanced networking features that acts as a secure central gateway to wire together different domains in the car and relay data from around the car to the cloud. In the future, it can also act as a central computer in a hybrid or zonal architecture.

    Based on NXP’s high-end S32G network processor, the N4 Network Controller supports a wide range of Ethernet, CAN-FD, CAN, and LIN bus interfaces. It adds several gigabytes of flash memory, enabling over-the-air software updates over time. TTTech said the unit comes with everything to keep the vehicle secure from hackers according to ISO 21434, while also allowing for functional-safety features up to the ASIL B rating under the ISO 26262 standard.

    The combination of the dual Arm Cortex-A53 and the Cortex-M7 CPU clusters supports both high-performance and functional safety in a single ECU. At the same time, different operating systems, such as AUTOSAR Classic and Linux, can run in parallel.|7211D2691390C9R&oly_enc_id=7211D2691390C9R&id=21265339&slide=2


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