Renesas prepares Ethernet AVB infotainment platform

May 22, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With the infotainment domain emerging as the IT centre of modern cars, networking technologies are becoming a strategic issue. The challenger in this arena is Ethernet Audio Video Bridging (AVB), but so far the MOST technology dominates the field. Now chipmaker Renesas allies with Swedish technology developer Pelagicore AB to break the stalemate.

Pelagicore provides, among others, Open Source software to the automotive industry, with some focus on the infotainment domain. The collaboration will enable Renesas to combine its R-Car series automotive infotainment SoCs with Pelagicore's middleware and enable designers to create multimedia systems with Ethernet AVB capabilities.

The challenge for EAVB is to provide high-bandwidth networking for receivers, amplifiers and media players; besides the high bandwidth inherent to EAVB, the system demands low latency and very high Quality of Service. Besides audio signals which are per se very susceptible to quality flaws like jitter, the networks often carry data from navigation systems and multiple camera views of the surrounding environment directly to passengers and drivers. In case such video signals are fed into safety critical applications like anti-collision or pedestrian recognition systems, they also have to offer a very low latency.

Pelagicore has already developed an open-source implementation of EAVB that is based on Renesas' R-Car H2 hardware and demos an infotainment use case. The development is related to the AVB project started by Pelagicore in the GENIVI consortium aiming at providing an automotive Ethernet AVB Reference Software Stack to be made available to all GENIVI members as open source. The Renesas R-Car H2 SoC platform has been chosen for this project because of its special E-AVB support in the MAC, which provides the necessary level of performance and precision for in-vehicle audio and video applications. Pelagicore and Renesas consider this proof of concept as the first step of their cooperation and plan to work together to bring more innovation in the future for in-vehicle infotainment networks.

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