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The coming age of automotive Ethernet

John Day

John Day

Posted Oct 30, 2013

Broadcom recently announced a line of wireless chips for automotive infotainment applications (

It said the chips will allow drivers and passengers to easily sync and stream content from mobile devices to the car’s infotainment system and rear-seat displays. They will also enable high-speed connectivity beyond the vehicle, serving content via LTE or from a Hot Spot connection.

Rahul Patel, Broadcom’s VP of Wireless Connectivity, says that car connectivity is “the new battleground for product differentiation and the next frontier for Broadcom.”

High-speed Ethernet is especially important for Broadcom and for car connectivity. Broadcom’s BroadR-Reach Ethernet solutions allow multiple in-vehicle systems to access information simultaneously over a single unshielded twisted pair cable at speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Broadcom estimates that by eliminating shielded cabling automakers can reduce connectivity costs up to 80 percent and reduce cabling weight up to 30 percent.

“…developers have been clamoring for a faster, scalable, flexible, cost-effective networking protocol,” says Dr. Ali Abaye, Broadcom’s Senior Director of Automotive. “Most importantly, they want a solution that can offer fail-safe protections against malfunctions and malicious cyber-attacks from would-be hackers.”

He says that Ethernet’s security features have an advantage in automotive applications since the devices and configurations of in-car networks are known and predictable; identifying and protecting against threats “can be a finely tuned process.”

What’s more, according to Dr. Abaye, automotive Ethernet’s switching network enables “a rich set of management controls that precisely direct and limit data traffic.”

Ultimately, he says, Ethernet has the potential to transform the car into a data center or digital living room on wheels; one that integrates isolated systems into a centralized, secure platform. “Momentum is building to establish 100 Mbps Ethernet as the open, de facto standard for in-vehicle networking.”

Read more at And add your thoughts on high-speed automotive networking.

Broadcom, BroaedR-Reach, automotive infotainment, LTE, Ethernet solutions, in-vehicle systems

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News ( to provide news and feature coverage of the automotive electronics industry. Earlier he wrote for Auto Electronics magazine, Auto E-lectronics, EE Times, and other business and engineering publications. Visit John Day

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