As part of a team of automotive companies, Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF – leading supplier for gigabit transceivers over POF (Plastic Optical Fiber) – is driving a new standard for multi-gigabit in automotive. It will enhance the existing 10GBASE-SR, which is the current standard by IEEE, to establish a communications channel in optical fiber at 10 Gb/s. “Infotainment, ADAS and growing levels of autonomy are the key trends for the exponential growth of data rates: 100 Mbps to 1 Gb/s, 2.5 Gb/s, 5 Gb/s and 10 Gb/s, with some OEMs even targeting 25 and 50 Gb/s for the upcoming years,” explained Carlos Pardo. “An existing standard such as 10GBASE-SR would ideally work for automotive applications. Unfortunately, it does not meet stringent automotive requirements.” 

Multi-Gigabit Communications Demand New Automotive Standard

The team of individuals affiliated with more than 15 key carmakers, such as PSA, Toyota, and Volvo; Tier1s; and components suppliers, including KDPOF, is specifying the needs and technologies to support a new multi-gigabit standard. The group led a Call for Interest (CFI) with the approval of the IEEE to start the standardization of an IEEE 802.3 Automotive Optical Multi-Gigabit Standard with strong support from the industry. The working group headed by Carlos Pardo (KDPOF) will kick off in the summer of 2019, with the first prototypes to be projected by the end of 2021. The study group will evaluate the creation of an IEEE Ethernet standard for the automotive industry, with speeds starting at 2.5 Gb/s and up to 50 Gb/s.

Targeting IEEE 802.3 Automotive Optical Multi-Gigabit Standard

The current IEEE standard 10GBASE-SR was originally created to meet the demands of data centers where temperature, operational life, price, reliability and mechanical robustness are very controlled and modest. With the harsh automotive environment, in addition to power consumption and especially cost being key in automotive applications, only a new communications scheme can provide enhanced robustness and adapt itself automatically to varying environmental conditions and manufacturing processes. Moreover, the technology should be scalable in order to enable even higher data rates such as 25, 50, and 100 Gbps in the future. By combining optimization in all areas of the new standard, the right balance of 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, most reliable, and highly scalable solution to the automotive market.