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Automobil Elektronik February 2014


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Automobil Elektronik February 2014

  1. 1. B 61060 · Februar 2014 · Einzelpreis 19,00 € · · Das Automotive-Magazin von all-electronics 1/2014 CES Report Autom otiveNewsandTrends atInternationalCES 2014 Page18 Synonym for Automotive Ethernet Interview with Wiren Perera, Vice President at Micrel Page 14 Reprint for Micrel
  2. 2. Cover Interview Automobil Elektronik Synonym for Automotive Ethernet The advent of automotive Ethernet has been accompanied by one single semiconductor company so far: Micrel. AUTOMOBIL-ELEKTRONIK talked to Wiren Perera, Vice President at Micrel, about the automotive Ethernet market drivers and trends from ADAS, infotainment, diagnostics and other applications, Ethernet semiconductor solutions and – of course – how it all began and why Ethernet will become the predominant in-car network in the future. Author: Alfred Vollmer Exclusive Interview with Wiren Perera, VP LAN Solutions Corporate Strategic Marketing at Micrel AUTOMOBIL-ELEKTRONIK: What are the main market drivers for Ethernet in automotive applications? Wiren Perera: If you consider an event like CES, where you rarely saw a car on the show floor some years ago, you‘ll find that a lot of the big booths there will show one if not two cars. So most of the interest, from a consumer aspect, has moved into the automobile and, fundamentally, what you‘re seeing is the transition of what we call the digital home, which is all of these capabilities utilizing In- ternet-based services and content delivery and multimedia servi- ces. Basically, everybody expects to do pretty much the same thing if you‘re in the car today. The second area, falls into a category described as advanced dri- ver assistance systems, or ADAS. Eventually, leading to driverless cars, they are things like navigation, rear view cameras, collision detection, traffic sign recognition, warning systems, etc. The third category is basically the same capabilities that you‘ve got used to with all of your consumer devices. Both the suppliers of the vehicles and the users want to run diagnostics and upgrade software. What are the consequences for automotive Ethernet? All of these three areas and usage models that are driving growth in automotive center around electronics, and all of that centers around networking and communications, and so this is pretty much the opportunity that we‘re trying to address. What will be the next step? The first point of entry for Ethernet technology was the dia- gnostics port used for two things. One is when you drive into a service station to be able to hook up to an Ethernet computer network system to run the diagnostics; the other is to upgrade software both for the vehicle and periphe- rals. In fact, the suppliers of those peripherals, just like you upgrade your computers, tablets and smartphones, want to make improvements, add services, offer diffe- The future for proprietary technologies like MOST, especially ones that are in the speeds that Ethernet easily meets or surpasses, is fairly limited. Wiren Perera, Micrel.
  3. 3. Cover Interview Automobil Elektronik rent applications. So that again is all network-centric and they want to bring in those capabilities into the automobile. But why should car manufacturers install Ethernet rather than other networks? Primarily, because all these applications need increasing band- width. Ethernet gives you higher speed but it also gives you a road- map. Today an Ethernet network in the car is centered on 100 Mbit/s, and the world of Ethernet is actually going to 40 Gbit/s and 100 Gbit/s, so there‘s plenty of room for growth. What are the challenges for Ethernet in automotive applications? Basically, make Ethernet work in the automotive environment. That‘s where the uniqueness of Micrel‘s products comes in. That‘s where we innovate, differentiate and bring value to our customers. Electronic components and subsystems that you use in an au- tomobile should have low emissions, because you‘ll interfere with other things. And, conversely, it has to be able to stand emissions coming from other things, especially in safety. Therefore, the EMI issue is of critical importance. Ethernet didn‘t meet those requirements before Micrel intro- duced a technology, that we call Quiet-WIRETM, which solves the EMI problem. That was the first step on the innovation path: making standard Ethernet meet automotive OEM EMI limits so that Ethernet can be adopted in the vehicles. Who initiated the use of Ethernet in automotive? Really, the desire to adopt Ethernet came from the automotive OEMs because of the multiple other benefits of Ethernet. First, the low cost of ownership. The solutions themselves are cost-effective due to the very high volumes of Ethernet component shipments into other markets. The same applies to the surrounding components and so you have a very low bill of materials cost. Furthermore, OEMs want semiconductors from multiple sour- ces. The beauty of standard Ethernet is that inherently you have multiple suppliers, which means our customers have a choice and, of course, multiple suppliers result eventually in lower cost due to competition. The key to that is interoperability. We proved that Micrel solutions interoperate with solutions for example from Marvel because we both provide a standard Ethernet solution. Another big benefit is the ecosystem in terms of testing and ma- nufacturing Ethernet systems, which is already in place. If you bu- cket everything into total cost of ownership, there‘s a huge, huge benefit in adopting standards based Ethernet. Could you please quantify that? When we compare ourselves against a proprietary, Ethernet-like technology, our estimate is that we save multiple dollars per link. Now, multiply that by several links that you need and you’ll obvi- ously have a huge benefit. That‘s at the bill of materials level. Tier-1 suppliers, favor the use of standard Ethernet versus so- me proprietary method that would achieve the same capabilities, because they supply the subsystems to the OEMs and need to ha- ve all the test equipment and the ecosystem in place. This is an intangible but significant. Furthermore, to improve fuel efficiency and consumer costs you have to reduce weight. That’s why the OEMs want Ethernet to meet the automotive requirements but on unshielded cable, be- cause shielded cable is a no-no in the automotive world for that Wiren Perera during the interview with Alfred Vollmer, editor of AUTOMOBIL-ELEKTRONIK: „By 2018/19 all cars are supposed to have Ethernet. So that will drive initial growth but the real massive growth of Ethernet will come through these camera networks and infotainment networks.“ We have made automotive Ethernet over unshielded cable a reality. Wiren Perera, Micrel. AllPhotos:AlfredVollmer
  4. 4. Cover Interview Automobil Elektronik very reason. We have made automotive Ethernet over unshielded cable a reality. Which other benefits does Ethernet provide in automotive environ- ments? We’ve actually come up with a power management scheme, which we refer to as Auto POE where PoE means Power over Ethernet. Every system needs power requiring another set of cables. So, very simply put, we‘ve found a way to use that same set of cables to po- wer the whole network and the system. Therefore you basically halve the number of cables. In addition, with Auto PoE as done by Micrel, we essentially use the same power management compo- nents used to power those subsystems so you literally get power for free. You have no additional component bill of materials costs and you have no additional cable costs. Also, using standard Ethernet you basically get what I call holis- tic solutions. Aside from PoE, another Ethernet standard is AVB - audio video bridging. This essentially provides quality of service and synchronization of content; for example multiple speakers and video with audio. In which way does your solution pave the way towards Energy-Effici- ent Ethernet? Energy-Efficient Ethernet (EEE) is yet another IEEE standard. Our automotive products support EEE which provides a 50%–75% power savings in idle mode. On top of this we’ve implemented ultra-low power schemes on our products enabling further energy and fuel efficiency. How many Watts can you supply over Ethernet to a remote sensor, like the camera in the back of the car? The standard Power over Ethernet today goes all the way to 30 watts, but we don’t think that’s necessary in the car. We think that something in the 6 watt range will be more than sufficient for any end device. More than likely it will be a lot less than that. Idle po- wer is as important as active power. We use the specified mecha- nisms within Energy-Efficient Ethernet. But then we’ll go beyond that. We have special cases where we really power things down and take them down to a whole different level. What is the maximum number of Ethernet nodes that you know of in cars currently on the road? Today there are probably three to four Ethernet nodes per car. A diagnostics port that is also used for software upgrading. This gate- way node may then be connected to the head unit, and then the head unit may be connected to a rear seat entertainment unit. What about Ethernet in ADAS applications? A camera network typically consists of four to five cameras, which would be on top of what I talked about. In a star network all these cameras are individually wired via Ethernet to a central processing unit, maybe in the head unit, which is where the image gets conso- lidated and processed. In a ring network you use less cable because you don’t have to span long distances for the individual links. So you can easily have ten plus Ethernet nodes in a vehicle. How many Ethernet nodes per car do you see in the mid and long term? If we have three today, I would say in the mid-term it will probably be around eight to ten, and probably somewhere between ten and 20 in the longer term: in diagnostics, infotainment, camera net- works and ADAS. Then the question will arise whether to replace all the other lower level networks that are used for control applica- tions in the car. I suspect that once the automotive market becomes comfortable with Ethernet and its adoption and the costs also go down to a level that becomes acceptable, it will start replacing the other networks as well. Today it is primarily replacing things like MOST technologies and the higher speed parts of the network. Does this mean that technologies like MOST will die? Over the long term, yes, for all of those reasons that I outlined. MOST doesn’t have the speed upgradeability that we bring. The cost of ownership benefits that we bring from Ethernet are not the- re in MOST. Multi-sourcing is not there. So I would say yes, the future for proprietary technologies like MOST, especially ones that are in the speeds that Ethernet easily meets or surpasses, is fairly limited. Having talked to OEMs and Tier-1s which timeline do you see for the Ethernet introduction in cars? I think you’ll see the initial waves of Ethernet between now and maybe the next, say, three years, but I think after the 2016/2017 timeframe you’ll find that most of the designs for camera networks and infotainment and so on will be Ethernet. Which growth rates do you see for Micrel in the automotive Ethernet business? The Ethernet business in the car is growing with a 10% to 20% CAGR and there’s a hockey stick coming post 2016 when adoption goes up. Initially it’s for diagnostics and by 2018/19 all cars are supposed to have Ethernet. So that will drive initial growth but the real massive growth of Ethernet will come through these camera networks and infotainment networks. What made Micrel enter the automotive Ethernet market? This is probably the first market that I’ve dealt with where our customers actually asked us to enter. We’ve never actually had to sell the concept; it was sold to us. We’ve been shipping Ethernet in cars since 2008, and we’re the market leader. When it comes to automotive Ethernet, we probably have close to 100% market share. For such a system-critical device the OEMs will not accept a single- source in the long term… This is why we’ve collaborated on interoperability. The market will grow if there are multiple suppliers. Where – in terms of region and product segment – are the main Ethernet design-in activities? It depends on the application. In diagnostics our leading customers When it comes to automotive Ethernet, we probably have close to 100% market share. Wiren Perera, Micrel.
  5. 5. Cover Interview Automobil Elektronik now use 100% Ethernet, so it’s not just the high-end models. That will be a trend across all of the car manufacturers as we look out over the next five to ten years as they adopt Ethernet for diag- nostics. With the follow-on customers the transition from high- end to low-end cars will be even more rapid. The leaders worldwide are already migrating to Ethernet-based camera systems and Ethernet-based infotainment systems. It’s happening for the mid to high end cars for those manufacturers, and then it will just percolate down. What will be the implementation strategy of Ethernet? Just one sing- le Ethernet bus or multiple? You touched on a very important point, which is what we call Ethernet network ubiquity. We mostly replace the CAN bus for di- agnostics. In infotainment, we’re probably going to replace the MOST bus and, in camera networks, there are various different ty- pes of proprietary technologies that are used today, some analogue and some digital. So Ethernet is the only technology that can be used across all of these. There’s another massive benefit that you get out of this: You don’t need bridging. Very often you will have a ca- mera network on a certain technology. You then have to bridge it to get it into the gateway where things are aggregated. With Ethernet you don’t need that and you get another cost reduction. Certainly for diagnostics, for camera networks and for info- tainment you can see one single bus will serve all the different functionalities. And then I think comes the interesting question of whether Ethernet will then replace the networks used for con- trol and things like that, and that will be mainly a question of comfort with the technology and cost going down. n The interview was conducted by Alfred Vollmer, editor of AUTOMOBIL-ELEKTRONIK. infoDIREKT 300AEL0114 The leaders worldwide are already migrating to Ethernet- based camera systems and Ethernet-based infotainment systems. Wiren Perera, Micrel.