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Ethernet gains ground in cars

Posted: 08 Feb 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ethernet  automotive  networking 

After establishing itself in diagnostic applications in cars, Ethernet will keep moving into other automotive applications, forecast Rainer Kallenbach, VP, automotive electronics, Bosch Automotive Electronics.

Vehicles currently under design structure the electronics landscape in "domains," such as body electronics, infotainment, vehicle motion management, occupant and pedestrian safety and energy management. Every domain is controlled by an electronic control unit (ECU) which functions as a central computer for the domain. At the top level, the domains exchange data across a number of different networks, with a Central Gateway controlling data flow.

The network technologies used for inter-domain communications are typically domain specific: The body electronics domain, for instance is connected to the Central Gateway by means of a CAN or High-speed CAN link, whereas in the energy management and in particular in the vehicle motion management domain, FlexRay might be the technology of choice.

In the infotainment domain prevails the MOST bus. Its latest version MOST150 offers ample space for growing bandwidth requirements. Which will be necessary, given the applications currently in the offing which will enter the cars over the next couple of years: In-vehicle infotainment with separate audio and video program for rear seat passengers, personal connectivity, vehicle internet integration or car-to-x connectivity.

In this environment of increasing bandwidth demand and the necessity to dovetail software functions of the car and the outside world, Ethernet as the predominant networking technology in commercial IT will gain ground also in cars. At the same time, communication processes will increasingly use the IP stack. Currently, the Diagnosis over IP (DoIP) standard is being worked, driven mainly by Audi, BMW and Daimler; a pre-version is implemented in the current BMW 7 series.

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