Marvell jumps gun on Gigabit Ethernet for cars: Page 3 of 4

October 21, 2015 //By Junko Yoshida
Marvell jumps gun on Gigabit Ethernet for cars
Marvell has won the race to a Gigabit automotive Ethernet PHY transceiver chip that can be shown off to car OEMs and Tier Ones. Called 88Q2112, it is compliant with the draft IEEE 802.3bp 1000BASE-T1 standard.

high-speed multimedia network technology. The MOST bus, based on a ring topology, uses synchronous data communication to transport audio, video and voice signals.

With Gigabit Ethernet, “We can now support many more streams [than MOST] at a higher data rate in higher resolution,” said Tan.

Gigabit Ethernet solutions also offer automotive architects more flexible design options, said Tan. For example, they can move the place to show navigation information from the front display (seen in cars sold in North America) to rear seat (preferred in China), or any other places with high-resolution video display.

Ethernet simplifies car architecture
Because Ethernet enables “IP-based video that can be routed throughout the network,” its switched architecture can support “multiple configurations of modules” inside a car. 

In short, Ethernet simplifies architecture, said Tan, allowing architects to use just one Ethernet connectivity switch, thus replacing proprietary SoCs currently used for every device handling video coming in and going out. 

These are just three scenarios Marvell believes will drive initial tractions for its Gigabit Ethernet solution. Tan added that there will be many other new applications, he said.

One such example is autonomous vehicles. Take a look at a roof-top navigation unit installed on an autonomous car, said Tan. Google, for instance, used $80,000 Lidars with its early designs. “That [roof-top] unit costs as much as a vehicle,” Tan said.  Self-driving cars remain still expensive because each sensory subsystem – such as laser, lidar, ultrasound and vision – has its own computer system to analyze the data. The Holy Grail of autonomous cars is to design at a reasonable cost by developing a centralized autonomous system, said Tan. Gigabit Ethernet will play a critical role, he noted, for body electronics domain aggregation, next-generation ADAS and autonomous cars.

Marvell is sampling its 88Q2112, based on the draft IEEE 1000BASE-T1 spec, early November to car OEMs and Tier Ones. Marvell’s goal is to “let architects see the performance of


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