Leoni rolls out Ethernet cables for the car

September 07, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The Ethernet standard, well established in the IT industry over decades, is becoming endemic in automotive environments. The “Dacar” Ethernet cable family from Leoni AG (Nuremberg, Germany) offers a highly symmetric design. The result: disruption-free data communications even under the adverse conditions of a car body, the vendor promises.

With the introduction of the Ethernet standard in the automotive industry it is now possible to provide for the rising demand for data transfer within vehicles. The 100Base-T1 standard nowadays applies for common data communication. It enables bidirectional data transmission at 100 Megabits per second across a single, unshielded twisted pair cable. Leoni has geared its product family to this technology and will showcase new cables in its LEONI Dacar product line at the International Suppliers Fair IZB in Wolfsburg.

The company is using sheathed Ethernet cables to ensure high symmetry of the cable even when subjected to vibration, humidity or dirt. The Dacar cables fulfill the OPEN Alliance SIG component specifications for Ethernet cables. One of the keys to the cable design’s functionality lies in the use of optimized materials. The structure has to be as symmetrical as possible in terms of both time and space. Only then can external disruptive influences or the mutual impairment of cables running next to each other be reduced – and without such constructive shielding elements as metal-clad foils or braids.

In EMC-sensitive installation spaces, interference suppression by means of constant symmetry is not enough, which is why the use of Ethernet cables with braid or foil shields is advisable in such cases. Such products are fitted, for example, in surround-view camera systems and will also be displayed on Leoni’s IZB stand. The cores can furthermore be foamed to reduce the outer diameter of these cables; the primary factor for the design are such parameters as surface transfer impedance and shield attenuation.

By the way, the 100Base-T1 cable is not the final stage of Ethernet in the car: Leon is currently working on solutions for 1-Gigabit data transfer.