Freescale, Broadcom bring surround view to automotive mainstream

April 02, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), according to ABI research one of the fastest-growing segments in the automotive industry still are a feature of premium-class vehicles. In a joint effort, chipmakers Freescale and Broadcom intend to change this: The companies have partnered to create a fully-integrated, packaged microcontroller (MCU) and Ethernet physical layer transceiver (PHY) solution for use in 360 degree camera systems.

A small camera size is important to automotive OEMS, as manufacturers prefer peripheral cameras to be miniaturized and unobtrusive to maintain vehicle aesthetics. Smaller cameras can be more easily hidden within design features of the car, such as a front grill, bumper or wing mirror. Featuring a compact 8x8mm package, the Qorivva MPC5606E is designed to reduce the size of automotive camera modules by up to 50 percent, while helping speed time to market and reduce the overall bill-of-material.

An important feature of the Qorivva MPC5606E is the incorporation of Broadcom's BroadR-Reach automotive Ethernet PHY. The integrated Ethernet solution enables compact vision compression and rapid transmission of video data throughout the vehicle.

Ethernet has emerged as a mainstream automotive network technology, allowing multiple in-vehicle systems to simultaneously access information over a single unshielded twisted pair cable at speeds of up to 100 Mbps. By eliminating cumbersome, shielded cabling, automotive manufacturers can reduce connectivity costs - according to Broadcom by up to 80 percent and cabling weight up to 30 percent. These cost and weight reductions could pave the way for the incorporation of surround view camera systems beyond the luxury class into higher volume, mid-range and economy vehicles.

Freescale and Broadcom are both founding members of the OPEN Alliance Automotive Special Interest Group (SIG) (One-Pair Ethernet), an industry alliance of automotive and tech industry leaders dedicated to establishing Ethernet as the networking technology of choice in automotive infotainment and ADAS applications. Together with major car makers and global electronic suppliers, Freescale and Broadcom are committed to the promotion of BroadR-Reach® as the industry standard interface for automotive Ethernet.

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