Connecting the dots for Ethernet and connectivity

The connected world was the topic for an informative discussion at Broadcom’s offices in California. Michael Hurlston, executive vice president, worldwide sales told the Eurasia press conference that the company has identified four market segments of ‘true IoT’, namely wearables, medical, home automation and the connected car.
Hurlston shared ABI Research data that predicts 45billion connected devices to be deployed by 2020. Of these, 2.5billion are expected to be in the connected vehicles.
The company’s BroadR-Reach  technology is at the centre of the OPEN Alliance (One-Pair EtherNet) SIG (Special Interest Group) which has reported a “significant increase” in the number of car models adopting its automotive Ethernet standard, based on the technology, with BMW, Jaguar and VW using standardised Ethernet to deploy advanced infotainment and driver assistance features, such as surround-view parking, lane-departure warning and collision avoidance systems.
The Ethernet standard delivers bandwidth of 100Mbit/s/port while “dramatically” reducing connectivity costs and cabling weight, says the Alliance. The automotive-qualified technology integrates specialised, separate systems into a centralised, secure platform, rather than various connectivity solutions in each of the domains of a vehicle. Multiple end points can simultaneously access and communicate information with a single protocol for data transfer, whether for infotainment or for safety features, within the vehicle.
“BroadR-Reach automotive Ethernet technology enables automakers to introduce luxury-model safety and infotainment features throughout the fleet, including mid-range and economy class vehicles,” said Dr. Ali Abaye, senior director of Automotive at Broadcom. The technology is incorporated in the company’s own devices, but also in those of automotive chip and modules from Freescale, NXP and Realtek.
There are nearly 300 automotive and technology companies in the SIG, which is a x36 increase in the last four years, according to Natalie A. Wienckowski, strategy lead, Core Hardware Team at General Motors and Chair for the OPEN Alliance SIG. “As the automotive industry accelerates adoption of Ethernet-based networks, the implementation support provided by OPEN is invaluable to its members,” she adds.
The role of standards-based technologies, such as BroadR-Reach automotive Ethernet reduces time to market, ensures availability and, says Ian Riches, director, Global Automotive Practice, Strategy Analytics, assures lifecycle, upgradability and interoperability across companies and models. He forecasts: “Now that a secure system backbone is in place, connected car development is kicking into high gear. We’re predicting up to one-half billion Ethernet ports to be deployed in cars by 2020.”

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