Camera bridge, PHY chips advance in-car communication

Camera bridge, PHY chips advance in-car communication
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In the course of the digitalisation of vehicles, semiconductor manufacturer Marvell has developed the industry's first multi-gigabit camera bridge chip. The product launch is accompanied by the introduction of two components for the physical layer (PHY) in automotive Ethernet.
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

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According to Marvell’s assessment, the key technology for the scalability of in-car data communication is an Ethernet backbone that connects all domain electronic control units (ECUs) as well as cameras and sensors to central compute devices in the vehicle. Marvell’s new 88QB5224 chip is designed to offer for best-in-class video distribution in connected vehicles. The device is the latest addition to Marvell’s Brightlane automotive portfolio, which is delivering a host of innovative and secure solutions for the vehicles of the future.

The 88QB5224 multi-gig Ethernet camera bridge bridges 4 lanes of MIPI CSI-2 with an automotive ethernet PHY. It provides standardization for in-vehicle video distribution in multiple areas including IEEE 802.3ch compliant 10GBASE-T1 PHY, IEEE 802.1AE MACsec for security, time synchronization, energy efficient Ethernet for power savings, power over data line, and time sensitive network. The Ethernet-based camera bridge enables development of interoperable software that delivers key services through a multilayer communication stack. It also provides a mature ecosystem of service delivery through software-based architecture. Marvell is first to launch a 10G Ethernet camera bridge for distributing uncompressed video, and the first to aggregate four cameras through a single device.

“As the resolution for automotive cameras continue to increase, so too does the need of high bandwidth distribution interfaces. Ethernet-based cameras that drive video over the in-vehicle Ethernet network is the next revolution for next generation vehicles. Video bridges enable video communications from cameras and sensors to the compute devices over a network, which results in flexibility, scalability and redundancy,” said Michael Wu, senior vice president of Global Marketing and Sales, OmniVision. “Marvell’s 10Gbps automotive Ethernet PHYs have optimal bandwidth to support uncompressed video which is a fundamental requirement for automotive cameras.”

The 88QB5224 is accompanied by two new 802.1AE Ethernet PHY devices with data security facilities at MAC level. The 88Q2233M is designed to handle dual 1000BT1 data streams while its companion, the 88Q120xM handles the 100BT1 protocol. Also these two products are industry firsts, the manufacturer claims.

MACsec technology secures data exchange on a hop-by-hop basis and prevents Layer 2 security threats such as intrusion, man-in-the-middle, and replay attacks. Automotive networks rely heavily on partial networking in which some segments are hibernated and woken up on demand. Marvell’s latest PHYs support the Open Alliance TC10 for sleep mode and wake-up, tailored for automotive use cases. TC10 control signals are sent over the data line and minimize the need for special cables for remote control of the PHY states. Rapid electrification of vehicles has resulted in reduced power budget for each component.

Both new devices, the dual 1000BT1 88Q2233M and the100BT1 88Q120xM are featuring the MACsec technology. “Ethernet adoption is growing at a rapid pace, with future vehicle designs requiring multiple gigabit PHYs”, says Will Chu, senior vice president and general manager of the Automotive Business Unit, Marvell. “Our new solutions seamlessly solve the issue of space constraint by integrating two 1000Base-T1 in a single package. The products also reduce the total BOM cost as many of the external components are common for the two 1000Base-T1 PHYs.”

As automotive networks are required to work in noisy environments, devices must be able to work together without interference. All components on the network should meet the electromagnetic interference/electromagnetic compatibility (EMI/EMC) requirements in accordance with the Open Alliance TC1 and TC12. As Marvell’s third-generation automotive ethernet PHYs, 88Q2233M and 88Q120xM are built on proven automotive architectures with best-in-class EMI/EMC performance, the vendor claims.

Key Features:

  • 88Q2233M: Dual 1000BASE-T1, IEEE 802.3bp-compliant Ethernet PHY supports operation over unshielded twisted pair (UTP)
  • 88Q120xM: 100BASE-T1, IEEE 802.3bw-compliant Ethernet PHY supports operation over unshielded twisted pair (UTP)
  • Supports IEEE 802.1AE MACsec: Support MACsec that provides layer 2 security and prevents security threats such as intrusion, man-in-the-middle, and replay attacks
  • Supports OPEN Alliance TC10 Sleep Mode: Support TC10 fast wake-sleep mechanism to enable partial networking
  • 802.1AS, 802.1AS-Rev PTP: Support precision timing protocol that enables extremely precise time synchronization of networks
  • Integrated Voltage Regulators: Support single 3.3V supply mode and saves overall BOM cost
  • ASPICE Level 2 software: Enables faster time-to-market with reuse of a flexible API and robust solution

The devices are currently sampling along with related development boards.

88QB5224 product page

88Q2233M

88Q120xM

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