Proof-of-Concept of an Automotive Optical Surround View System
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Proof-of-Concept of an Automotive Optical Surround View System

César Esteban, Application and Support Manager of KDPOF, is demonstrating a Proof-of-Concept of an automotive optical surround view system: the four cameras on top of a demo car are transmitting video data at 100 Megabits per second to their corresponding media converters. The media converters are converting from copper to optical: one, two, three, and four, one for each camera. The blinking green LED on the media converter indicates that the data traffic is running through. The orange LED shows that the optical link is at 100 Mbps. The traffic is sent to this optical GEPOF (Gigabit Ethernet Plastic Optical Fiber) switch, which has five ports. The four left ports are in orange because these are from the cameras with 100 Mbps each. The green LED on the right is the GEPOF link with 1 Gigabit per second. It is linked to this fifth media converter that is aggregating the traffic of the four cameras. The four video sequences are transmitted to a PC, which functions as display unit. The four streams are displayed simultaneously. The hosted hub consists of the GEPOF switch and five media converters.

In-vehicle optical multi-gigabit communications requires new automotive standard (Image: Fotolia/Chombosan)

Currently, the automotive industry is seeking technologies to enable 10 Gbps communications. This derives from the growing need of data interchange between sensors and electronic control units in the car. Infotainment, ADAS and growing levels of autonomy are the key trends that explain the exponential growth of data rates: 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps and to 10 Gbps. Some OEMs are even talking about 25 and 50 Gbps for the upcoming years.

Why 10GBASE-SR is not suitable for automotive

Ideally, an existing standard would work for automotive applications. 10GBASE-SR is the current standard by IEEE to establish a communications channel in optical fiber at 10 Gbps. It was originally created to meet the demands of data centers where temperature, operating life, price, reliability and mechanical robustness are very controlled and modest. Unfortunately, it does not meet the stringent automotive requirements. 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, what is the yield?

Why 10GBASE-SR is not suitable for automotive (Image: KDPOF)

New Automotive Standard Mandatory

Due to all these reasons, and with, power consumption and especially cost being key in automotive applications, only a new communications scheme is able to provide larger margins and to adapt itself automatically to varying environmental conditions and manufacturing process variations. 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. 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, most reliable, and highly scalable solution to the automotive market. 

A team of individuals affiliated with more than 15 key carmakers, such as PSA, Toyota, and Volvo, Tier1s, and components suppliers, including KDPOF, is leading a Call for Interest (CFI). The team is specifying the needs and technologies to support the 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. The objective of the CFI is to get approval by the IEEE to start the standardization of an IEEE 802.3 Automotive Optical Multi-Gigabit Standard. We warmly welcome you to join the CFI initiative!

KDPOF has signed value-added technology and distribution agreement for China (Image: gettyimage)
KDPOF has signed value-added technology and distribution agreement for China (Image: gettyimage)

KDPOF will partner with ZLGMCU, a leading microcontroller and embedded solutions provider in China, through a value-added technology and distribution agreement. The Chinese partner will provide market access in the Greater China region to KDPOF. This strategic agreement will open the huge electrified powertrain market in Greater China to the optical communications technology. Chinese OEMs and Tier1s are in need of a technology that is able to withstand the electrical noise generated in the electrical converters and motors.

Jürgen Schachtschneider focusses on Automotive Business Development for Central Europe and Greater China
Jürgen Schachtschneider focusses on Automotive Business Development for Central Europe and Greater China
Jürgen Schachtschneider focusses on Automotive Business Development for Central Europe and Greater China

In order to improve our services and provide a short line of communication in Central Europe, Jürgen Schachtschneider and Markus Dittmann have recently joined the KDPOF team. Jürgen Schachtschneider focusses on Automotive Business Development for Central Europe and Greater China. He is an expert in the automotive electronics industry who has held positions as Vice President of NXP and Nexperia.

Markus Dittmann supports KDPOF as Fiber Optics Connectivity R&D engineer. He has previously been R&D Product Development Engineer/Project Coordinator with TE Connectivity and Harman/Becker. As a technical project manager, he is responsible for effective cooperation with suppliers and partners in development projects in which connection solutions play an important role in the overall system. In addition to his responsibility for development activities with manufacturers of optical connectors for automotive Ethernet cable sets, Markus Dittmann is also involved in management, design, production testing and standardization activities.

Markus Dittmann supports KDPOF as Fiber Optics Connectivity R&D engineer (Image: Markus Dittmann)
Markus Dittmann supports KDPOF as Fiber Optics Connectivity R&D engineer (Image: Markus Dittmann)
Nikkei Automotive Ethernet Tech Days: Optical Link Concept for Telematics Control Module

KDPOF will present their optical link concept with Gigabit Ethernet over POF for telematics control modules at the Nikkei Automotive Ethernet Tech Days on June 5 and 6, 2019 at the Dojima River Forum in Osaka, Japan. KDPOF, in partnership with ALPS, has developed a concept for an LTE-A telematics control module that uses Gigabit Ethernet over POF to connect to the central communications hub such as a head unit. Since POF provides inherently high Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), the links do not interfere with the smart antenna receivers. With the necessary speed going beyond 100 Mbps, a 1 Gbps Ethernet link is required. Moreover, substituting the current RF link with an Ethernet data link will not only aggregate LTE-A packets but other sources such as digital radio as well. 

“Several OEMs choose the IEEE Std 802.3bv™ for Gigabit Ethernet over POF (GEPOF), which is the ideal solution to connect Smart Antenna to the central communications hub while avoiding electromagnetic interference (EMI),” explained Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF. “The optical link enhances antenna performance, whereas in conventional systems, antenna reception sensitivity is reduced by the radiated emissions coming from the electrical communications links, such as UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) copper cables, coax, and the shielded alternatives.”

We look forward to meeting you in Japan. To set up a meeting, please contact Óscar Ciordia.

KDPOF presents an optical link concept with Gigabit Ethernet over POF for telematics control modules

KDPOF presents an optical link concept for telematics control modules. “Several OEMs choose the IEEE Std 802.3bv™ for Gigabit Ethernet over POF (GEPOF), which is the ideal solution to connect Smart Antenna to the central communications hub while avoiding electromagnetic interference (EMI),” explained Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF. “The optical link enhances antenna performance, whereas in conventional systems, antenna reception sensitivity is reduced by the radiated emissions coming from the electrical communications links, such as UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) copper cables, coax, and the shielded alternatives.” KDPOF, in partnership with ALPS, has developed a concept for an LTE-A telematics control module that uses Gigabit Ethernet over POF to connect to the central communications hub such as a head unit.

Optical Gigabit Connectivity Secures High Electromagnetic Compatibility

Since POF provides inherently high Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), the links do not interfere with the smart antenna receivers. With the necessary speed going beyond 100 Mbps, a 1 Gbps Ethernet link is required. Moreover, substituting the current RF link with an Ethernet data link will not only aggregate LTE-A packets but other sources such as digital radio as well. 

Optical Link Concept for Smart Antenna

New plastic, composite and crystal roofs or roofs with openings do not shield the antenna from electromagnetic noise generated inside the car compartment. Instead, a significant amount of energy is radiated by the coaxial cable that is coupled back into the Integrated Smart Antenna (ISA) electronics, which severely degrades its performance. The natural EMC problem-free POF is ideally suited for an Ethernet connection, avoiding back-coupling conditions like the above mentioned one. In addition, the EMC problem-free link permits simple re-positioning of the antenna module among vehicle configurations. Another advantage is the simple integration with current ISA chipsets thanks to the Ethernet (SGMII/RGMII) host bus of the Gigabit POF transceiver. Furthermore, thanks to the Gigabit capacity of the Ethernet link over POF, the data link will aggregate various data streams such as LTE-A, Wi-Fi, V2x, RDS, DAB radio, etc.

KDPOF will present their optical link concept with Gigabit Ethernet over POF for telematics control modules at the Nikkei Automotive Ethernet Tech Days on June 5 and 6, 2019 in Osaka, Japan.

Automotive Wire Harness Conference: Future-ready Optical Network
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At the recent 7th International Conference Automotive Wire Harness in Ludwigsburg, Germany, KDPOF presented the automotive Gigabit Ethernet POF (GEPOF) for future wire harness architectures. “For KDPOF, this conference has been one of our most productive events,” stated Óscar Ciordia, Marketing Director of KDPOF. “We’ve had a number of excellent meetings with great interest expressed by automotive suppliers and carmakers who wanted to learn about POF technology, benefits, and applications. Several interesting projects and potential partnerships await us.”

Foto credits: matthias-baumgartner.de

Demo showing robustness of Automotive Gigabit Ethernet over POF
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Demo showing robustness of automotive gigabit over POF

At the recent Automotive Ethernet Congress in Munich, Germany, KDPOF presented the innovative Automotive Gigabit Ethernet Plastic Optical Fiber (GEPOF). “We are delighted by the great interested we received for our POF technology that secures new 48-volt electrical architectures via the inherent galvanic isolation,” stated Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF. Optical connections with POF provide the optimal network to achieve galvanic isolation, providing 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps Ethernet compatible solutions with enough margin to withstand the harsh automotive environment. Applications such as Battery Management Systems (BMS) and Integrated Smart Antenna (ISA) modules profit from the inherent Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) of POF.

Future-ready: KDPOF automotive Gigabit Ethernet provides electromagnetic compatibility, robustness, and smooth integration

KDPOF – leading supplier for gigabit transceivers over POF (Plastic Optical Fiber) – will present automotive Gigabit Ethernet POF (GEPOF) for future wire harness architectures at stand 18 at the 7th International Conference Automotive Wire Harness on March 26 and 27, 2019 in Ludwigsburg, Germany. “With its inherent galvanic isolation and robustness, the optical Ethernet technology ideally suits current and future in-vehicle network infrastructure,” stated Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF. “POF lives up to the challenges of electromagnetic compatibility and safety requirements created by the new 48-volt electrical architecture.” A well-supplied and competitive market worldwide ensures seamless integration into the wire harness of the vehicle. The inherent Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) makes POF perfectly suitable for applications such as Battery Management Systems (BMS) and Integrated Smart Antenna (ISA) modules. Autonomous driving relies on POF for a redundant system in addition to copper cabling in order to increase safety and avoid the autonomous car locking up if one of the systems is disturbed in some way.

KDPOF Automotive Gigabit Ethernet Provides Electromagnetic Compatibility, Robustness, and Smooth Integration

POF cables are very reliable: they can withstand harsh environments, vibrations, and misalignments. In addition, POF allows fast dynamic bending, tight bending, and dark liquid immersion in addition to delivering low noise and robustness regarding in-coupling of electromagnetic fields. As a plastic, wide diameter fiber, POF is cheap to manufacture and install: installation is just easy plug and play; winding and clamping is similar to copper cables. With the first automotive Gigabit Ethernet POF transceiver KD1053, KDPOF provides high connectivity with a flexible digital host interface, low latency, low jitter, and low linking time. The transceiver complies with the standard amendment IEEE Std 802.3bv™ and thus fully meets the requirements of carmakers.

KDPOF's optical data network enhances safety for autonomous driving

KDPOF provide their optical network technology in order to enhance safety for autonomous driving. “For safety-related functions such as the data network backbone, autonomous driving requires redundant systems in order to increase safety and avoid the autonomous car locking up if one of the systems is disabled in some way,” explained Rubén Pérez de Aranda, CTO and Co-founder of KDPOF. Reliability analysis shows that a technology redundancy like optical and copper cabling provides the highest reliability. Consequently, more and more OEMs are now considering Plastic Optical Fiber.

EMC Lessons Learned on Gigabit Ethernet Implementation for ADAS & AV

The lessons learned in the iterative design process give KDPOF the knowledge to bring into the market a mass-produced automotive Gigabit Ethernet PHY integrated in an ECU and meeting the most stringent EMC specifications. “This grows more important as in-car network speeds increase to accommodate the demands of driverless systems,” he added. “Higher speeds are achieved by wider use of the electromagnetic spectrum.”

Rubén Pérez de Aranda is CTO and Co-Founder of KDPOF
Rubén Pérez de Aranda is CTO and Co-Founder of KDPOF

This situation makes the underlying communication system implementation less immune to radiated and conducted noise. It also forces OEMs to impose more and more stringent emissions limits on the electronic components, limits that are often already tighter than the demands imposed by international standards. POF is ideal for the new architectures since it provides natural galvanic isolation between communicating modules and a radiation-free harness.

With the first automotive Gigabit Ethernet POF (GEPOF) transceiver KD1053, KDPOF provides high connectivity with a flexible digital host interface, low latency, low jitter, and low linking time. The transceiver complies with the standard amendment IEEE Std 802.3bv™ and thus fully meets the requirements of carmakers.