Spanish startup takes 1Gbit automotive Ethernet to plastic: Page 3 of 3

September 23, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Exhibiting at IEEE's Ethernet & IP @ Automotive Technology Day which took place in Paris this year, Spanish startup KDPOF (Knowledge Development for Plastic Optical Fiber) ran a demo of a 1Gbit/s automotive Ethernet backbone across 40 meters of Plastic Optical Fibre (POF).

Ciordia makes public a number of on-going pre-developments at high-profile car OEMs evaluating its technology, including BMW who would use it for optical links for its “smart antenna module” and Daimler who could use it for its battery management system. Jaguar-Land Rover, Porsche and Volvo are evaluating the technology, while Toyota and Denso have started prototype development.

So, with only 25 staff members, how will a small startup address double sourcing in a cautious automotive market?

"We are considering some IP licensing deals with one or two Japanese silicon vendors looking to manufacture POF transceivers. We have not decided the type of design support we may offer with our IP, we want to enable double-sourcing but still keep our market lead", confessed the Marketing and Communication Director.

Mostly passive optical components on O-GEAR's demo

Interestingly, on KDPOF's stand was prominently displayed the O-GEAR project logo, a Japanese research effort led by Utsunomiya University (Tochigi) in partnership with Toyota to standardize the use of large core multimode optical fibres in car architectures: O-GEAR stands for Optical Gigabit Ethernet for Automotive aRchitecture. The O-GEAR project has supported IEEE's 802.3 Ethernet standard with the specification of the physical layer for Gigabit Ethernet over Plastic Optical Fibres (GEPOF).

On a nearby booth, researchers from Utsunomiya University were exhibiting their own demo of an automotive GE-PON using a cheap passive optical network whose components (passive couplers, passive optical hubs) have long been commoditized by telcos in Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployments.

A GE-PON demo at the O-GEAR booth.

Here, four cameras around a Toyota toy car were streaming their data through a passive optical hub to a display, and to a Fibre Optic Transceiver (FOT) for further distribution onto the network via an Ethernet Gateway.

"There are doing interesting developments, and we do some work together", acknowledged Ciordia.

Being in a unique position to serve high-speed automotive Ethernet on POF, KDPOF's revenues expectations are rather high.

"Our goal is to grow our revenue from 2 or 3 million euros this year to 60 million by 2020. By then, the automotive sector could represent about 40% of our business" he concluded.

Visit KDPOF at

Visit O-GEAR at

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