In-Vehicle Optical Multi-Gigabit Communications: Page 3 of 3

August 26, 2019 //By César Esteban, KDPOF
In-Vehicle Optical Multi-Gigabit Communications
10GBASE-SR is the current standard by IEEE that establishes a communications channel in optical fiber at 10 Gbps. Although well-established for industrial use, it is not suitable for automotive applications. Reasons are the temperatures and live ranges, among others, the industry demands. Consequently, a new automotive standard is urgently required.

Low Power

In-vehicle applications require low power ports with less than 2 watts/port at 10 Gbps. This cannot be achieved by any 10GBASE-SR component available.

Low Cost

Automotive demands low link cost for 10 Gbps (< 2x of 1 Gbps link cost). Commercially existing components that comply with 10GBASE-SR are far beyond this cost target.

High Production Yield

In order to keep the cost low, components have to be manufactured in high-volume industrial processes. Thus, they can withstand large parametric variations as a result of manufacturing processes. This is not the case with currently available 10GBASE-SR components, as they are not produced in high-volume low-cost lines. Having a system able to automatically adapt and providing big margins is essential to deliver a production with high yield, low cost end of line test, and reduced cost in the component base technology.

Operations, Administration, Maintenance

A service channel is required for automotive’s unique functionalities. This Operations, Administration, Maintenance (OAM) service channel is not provided by 10GBASE-SR.

New Automotive Standard Progress

When automotive requirements are applied, the link budget offered by 10GBASE-SR is too low to be acceptable. Several suppliers of fiber optics components propose OEMs solutions like sleeves and ferrules, which are working concerning performance. But what is the cost, and what is the yield?

Due to all these reasons, and with power consumption and especially cost being key in automotive applications, only a new communications scheme can provide larger margins and adapt itself automatically to varying environmental conditions and manufacturing process variations.

The new standard should support production processes for its components that enable a high yield, low-cost market. By combining optimization in all areas of the new standard, the right balance in complexity and cost among all parts (CMOS IC, VCSEL, PD, ferrules, sleeves, cable, in-line connection technology, optics, and lenses, etc.) can be achieved in order to deliver the lowest cost solution to the automotive market.

Moreover, the new standard should be a scalable technology in order to enable even higher data rates such as 25, 50, and 100 Gbps in the future. The technology approach of 10GBASE-SR belongs to technology of more than 15 years. It is time to develop a future-ready solution for OEMs using more advanced techniques that will make an impact by providing the lowest cost, most reliable, and highly scalable solution.

Currently, a team of individuals affiliated with more than 15 key carmakers, such as PSA, Toyota, and Volvo, Tier1s, and components suppliers, including KDPOF, is working on defining this new standard. The team is specifying the needs and technologies to support a new standard for 10 Gbps in automotive that will complement the existing 10GBASE-SR. The working group is expected to kick off in the summer of 2019, with the first prototypes to be projected by the end of 2021.

About the author:

César Esteban is Senior Field Applications Engineering & Support Manager of KDPOF.

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