Ethernet, audio and video over a single cable

November 19, 2018 // By Julien Happich
With its Intelligent Network Interface Controller networking (INICnet) technology Microchip promises to slash interfacing and cabling costs while shortening development cycles for in-vehicle communication networks encompassing multiple vehicle domains.

INICnet has been announced at electronica as the industry’s most efficient automotive infotainment networking solution to support all data types, including audio, video, control and Ethernet, over a single cable. The synchronous, scalable standardized solution works with both Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) at 50 Mbps and coaxial cable at 150 Mbps, providing full flexibility through supporting a variety of digital audio formats with multiple sources and sinks.

INICnet technology also provides high-speed packet-data communications with support for file transfers, Over-The-Air (OTA) software updates and system diagnostics via standard Ethernet frames. The technology is said to support seamless integration of Internet Protocol (IP)-based system management and data communications, along with very efficient transport of stream data. It does not require the development and licensing of additional protocols or software stacks.

Integrated network management supports networks ranging from two to 50 nodes, as well as processor-less or slim modules where the node is remotely configured and managed. The solution’s Power over Data Line (PoDL) capability saves costs on power management for microphones and other slim modules. Nodes can be arranged in any order with the same result, and any node in the system can directly communicate with any other node in the system.

Together with its INICnet technology, Microchip offers a Unified Centralized Network Stack  (UNICENS) network management software, free-of-charge. Additional INICnet technology tools include a network analyzer, a network configuration tool, as well as evaluation boards with various feature sets, all through Microchip’s  K2L subsidiary .

The company says it already offers 150 products INICnet-ready in volume production quantities and it is sampling 50 UTP INIC ICs which will be in volume production in 2019.

Microchip Technology - www.microchip.com/inicnet


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