Automotive camera solution allows HD video over low-cost cables

July 19, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Automotive camera solution allows HD video over low-cost cables
Semiconductor manufacturer Renesas Electronics has introduced a solution for automotive cameras that enables automotive manufacturers to deliver high-definition video over low-cost cables and connectors that currently support standard-definition video.

HD video is increasingly important in car safety systems for object recognition functionality, says the company, and its new Automotive HD Link (AHL) technology can be paired with its other products - such as the R-Car Automotive SoCs, RH850 MCUs, automotive PMICs, and analog components - to cost-effectively implement numerous safety features in virtually any vehicle. The new RAA279971 AHL encoder and RAA279972 decoder use a modulated analog signal to transmit the video, enabling transmission rates 10 times less than required to transmit HD signals digitally.

The lower transmission rate means that traditional twisted pair cables and standard connectors can be used, as can existing analog video cables and connectors. On the other hand, says the company, digital links such as SerDes require heavily shielded cables and high-end connectors that cost significantly more than those for AHL, may require replacement after 5-7 years and are difficult to route due to bending radius limitations.

AHL is robust against noise and has a bi-directional control channel that operates independent of the video data and can initialize, program, and monitor the camera module. A key AHL performance and cost reducing feature is the ability to control the camera simultaneously over the same pair of wires (UTP) during video transmission.

Another safety benefit of AHL, says the company, is its performance in comparison to a digital link. In a rear view camera application, a digital link will degrade due to a failure in the cable harness or connector assembly, as weak signals can cause macroblocks to appear, hiding large portions of the viewing area. Using the same cable under the same conditions for comparison, the AHL link will present a slight change in video color or contrast, but all pixels will appear on the screen, and the image will precisely identify an object or person behind the vehicle.

"Advanced safety systems are no longer only available in luxury vehicles"” says Niall Lyne, Vice President


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