Infineon steers FlexRay transceiver to automotive data bus market

June 19, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
In suspension and chassis control applications as well as in power steering, engine and transmission control units, existing CAN data bus solutions increasingly hit the wall in terms of bandwidth and response time. Staying abreast of the these requirements, Infineon is expanding its portfolio automotive communications ICs with its first FlexRay transceiver.

The new TLE9221SX is compliant to the most current FlexRay Electrical Physical Layer Specification version 3.0.1. It enables very high data rates of up to 10Mbit/s for in-vehicle communication and features best-in-class ESD rating of +/-10kV., The TLE9221SX transceiver was developed As an interface between the communication controller unit and bus wires in many time-critical applications. 

As data exchange between Electronic Control Units (ECUs) steadily increases in modern cars, in-vehicle network architecture grows more complex. Multiple network interfaces that support different operating requirements are now common, with LIN bus networks handling low speed data exchange up to 20kbit/s and CAN bus networks handling medium speed up to 1Mbit/s. The FlexRay bus is now being adopted by car manufacturers for in-vehicle network architecture applications requiring very fast data rates and even real-time or failsafe data transmission. 

There is a "Noticeable trend towards extending the FlexRay bus from chassis control and body gateway applications to the powertrain domain", says Frank Schwertlein, General Manager, Standard Power of Infineon's Automotive division. For this reason, the company now offers a FlexRay transceiver with very high robustness, capable of handling data rates of up to 10Mbit/s, he said. 

Fully compliant to the latest FlexRay Electrical Physical Layer Specification version 3.0.1, the TLE9221SX is optimized for time-triggered networks with data transmission rates up to 10Mbit/s. It has very low electromagnetic emissions (EME) and therefore supports large networks and complex bus topologies. It is also optimized for high immunity against electromagnetic interferences (EMI) and as a result the device passed the electromagnetic compliance (EMC) tests at the Germany-based Ingenieurbüro für industrielle Elektrotechnik/Elektronik (IBEE), an internationally known independent test house for the automotive certification of transceiver products.

Besides, the TLE9221SX features best-in-class ESD robustness of +/-10kV according to IEC61000-4-2 and HBM (human body model). The 16-pin TLE9221SX can easily be integrated into existing designs, because it can be placed on a 20-pin FlexRay transceiver footprint.