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Ethernet profile for car bus enters standardisation

12 Jun 2014  | Nick Flaherty

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An automotive version of the audio visual bridging (AVB) deterministic Ethernet readies for selection, heating up the battle for the infotainment bus in automobiles.

The AVnu Alliance promotes the AVB version of IEEE 802.1 Ethernet and members are voting on an automotive profile that is expected at the beginning of July. This will compete with automotive Ethernet developments by the GENIVI alliance and the OPEN alliance, and with the MOST150 bus that has added in the ability to carry Ethernet packets as a result of the interest in using Ethernet to carry data.

Once an automotive standard for deterministic Ethernet is adopted, this will be used as the base for an industrial standard.

French equipment maker Parrot has also joined the AVB group. Parrot offers carmakers a range of infotainment solutions using Ethernet: head units, rear-seat entertainment systems, digital TV and radio reception units, media centres, and others, said Eric Riyahi, EVP of Parrot. "We count on AVB for improved performance, with the growing number of high speed network-enabled devices in the vehicle and future scalability."

It has been working on Ethernet in vehicles for the past three years and earlier this year unveiled the SOCA concept of an Ethernet-based infotainment architecture, as well as an AVB-enabled reverse camera system.

Like Parrot, many interested companies are members of several groups. AVnu Alliance's liaison relationship with GENIVI enables coordination of work between the AVnu Alliance and GENIVI, specifically to share relevant procedures and practices such as AVnus API and requirements documents to ensure alignment and eliminate replicated work between the two, said Yong Kim, chair of the AVnu Alliance Automotive Segment and senior director, CTO Office for Broadcom. As the two progress towards testing requirements, they will continue to coordinate. Broadcom has also been a key member of the OPEN Alliance.

BMW similarly is a new member of AVnu and is also part of GENIVI. The 65 AVnu Alliance members now represent all facets of automotive technology such as OEMs, silicon manufacturers, Tier 1 technology suppliers, and middleware providers.

"Introducing Ethernet-based communication is a key to a reliable and powerful in-car networking, on which innovations can be built," said Alexander Maier, Director of E/E Architectures and Semiconductor Standards at the BMW Group. "BMW is excited about the opportunities the membership in the AVnu Alliance brings in respect to standardised quality-of-service Ethernet, which will allow us to further enhance the safety and infotainment functionalities in our vehicles."

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