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

From September 29 to October 1, 2021, KDPOF will display an update on optical gigabit networking in vehicles at the virtual SIAT – Symposium on International Automotive Technology 2021. Cars are not solely about driving anymore – electronic devices such as anti-collision cameras, DVD players, and navigation systems make the difference. Like infotainment systems, Automotive Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are becoming an integral part of the vehicle, with interfaces to many different clusters of electric/electronic systems. The bandwidth of fiber optics (as compared to traditional automotive cables) and its ease of use, low weight, low cost, coupled with its robustness against vibrations and external noise sources as well as electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) make it ideal for in-vehicle embedded multimedia networks. KDPOF automotive applications incorporate: battery management, safe communications backbones, smart antenna modules, infotainment, lower speed EMC-tight links, autonomous driving safety redundancy, and ADAS sensor interconnection.

We look forward to meeting you online at the event! For any inquiries, please feel free to contact us.

Efficient optical technology from KDPOF for safe backbone in vehicles

On August 13, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. IST (Indian Standard Time, 6:00 to 7:30 a.m. UTC), Óscar Ciordia, César Esteban, and Kenny Yoon will give the online seminar “The Use of Plastic Optical Fiber in the Automotive Industry”. The seminar is organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers India (SAE India).

Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) is becoming an integral part of the vehicle with interfaces to many different clusters of the electric/electronic systems in the automotive industry. POF is the medium of choice for automotive networks, primarily due to its versatility and is the best alternate solution to existing wiring technology. The key advantages of the optical solution are, among others, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) thanks to its inherent galvanic isolation, robustness, low weight, and low cost. In his seminar, César Esteban will cover the following topics: the need for automotive wire line connectivity to evolve to Ethernet, advantages of optical links, use cases for fiber optics, as well as POF value chain and proposal.

For more information, please see the seminar brochure from SAE India.

Registration is open.

Carlos Pardo is CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF

For BlastingTalks – Blasting News’ exclusive interviews with business and cultural leaders – Carlos Pardo has given an interview about KDPOF’s alternative to traditional fiber optics that allows for use in harsh environments and requires no technical expertise to install:

Carlos Pardo, CEO of KDPOF: Government support for entrepreneurs must be strong and sustained

The original interview is in Spanish: Carlos Pardo CEO de KDPOF – ‘el apoyo del Gobierno a los emprendedores debe ser firme y sostenido’. Following is an excerpt.

BlastingTalks: KDPOF’s technology enables an innovative and cost-effective high-speed optical network for harsh environments. What was the reason for setting up your company?

The historical reason arose when my partner was preparing a doctoral thesis on this technology, and we discussed the fact that there was room to establish a business for its exploitation. At the beginning, we were giving it a lot of thought, both commercially and technically; it took us a year to decide, and in the end we decided to start. That was 11 years ago.

What are the applications of the technology that KDPOF provides to its clients?

Right now, we are focused on three markets. The biggest one is automotive, which allows us to connect different parts of the vehicle with high-speed optical networks, which are becoming more and more numerous. Looking at the evolution of the vehicle, it’s now almost a big computer with huge capabilities, connected to the Internet, with cameras everywhere, that can drive itself, and so on. All of that brings with it tremendous data transfer requirements, and the optical networks that use our technology are optimal for that.

Another market is the home, to simplify backbone installation. Today, many of us are teleworking and the children are studying at home, and it is proving that the network in our homes is not up to the task. The access is very good because the fiber is deployed to the home, but the Wi-Fi does not meet the needs of applications such as teleworking. When plastic fiber is installed inside the home, the differences from the previous situation based on WiFi alone are enormous, such as being able to have 600 MB in any corner of the house. I still have access to WiFi, but as if I were next to the operator’s router.

The third market is the industrial market, which is made up of a variety of smaller, more horizontal markets, in very disparate applications, such as medical, rail, printing, etc.

KDPOF works with a wide range of low-cost, large-core plastic optical fibers. What other benefits do your customers get?

Using fibers that are plastic and very thick allows several things, such as very simple manipulation that can be done by anyone; they are fibers that don’t need any knowledge to manipulate them. This simplifies the installation process a lot and also gives a great robustness to the links. Traditional fibers may be affected by vibrations or a connector that’s in bad condition. These factors don’t affect plastic fiber, since the core is very thick and the material is flexible. This is what we are successful with: when people see how simple to install and robust it is, they lose their fear of optical communications.

The world has suffered a major health crisis that has affected all economic sectors; how did it affect your company? How did you live through the months of confinement?

The R&D part didn’t change much because people worked from home, and those who had to go to the laboratory came since there were only one or two people at any given time. What has changed the most is the outside world: the automotive market stopped manufacturing integrated circuits and cars during the pandemic. That caused the world’s semiconductor manufacturers to allocate production capacity to large companies like Apple or Huawei. Now, the semiconductor industry is in crisis because it doesn’t have the capacity to manufacture all the pent-up demand in both the automotive and commercial industries. There is a deficit in chip production, and that has affected us quite a lot. Now, in addition, we’re facing a shortage crisis with the deployment of 5G technology and it is something that has aggravated the pandemic even more because many more computers are needed than before, for example.

How would you like to see your company evolve, and what challenges do you see in the short and medium term?

Right now, we’re getting more car manufacturers to adopt our technology; this is a great achievement in the medium and long term. From an R&D point of view, we’re developing the technology of the future, a technology that enables speeds of up to 50-100 Gb/s. To be a world leader, we would like to have more support from companies such as Telefónica; to have them adopt our technology for the home network as a complement to their WiFi. In the long term, I would like KDPOF not to be sold to a foreign company and for the knowledge and industry creation to disappear, but to be supported by Spanish or, failing that, European capital, so that the positive externalities of all this effort would remain in our country or in Europe. That would be my wish in the long term.

KDPOF is looking forward to participating in the upcoming virtual ISCAS 2020 from October 10 to 21 with several contributions: a presentation on multi-gigabit Ethernet for the automotive industry, an overview lecture on high-speed data communications over POF, and an important role in the final industry panel session. The IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS) is the flagship conference of the IEEE Circuits and Systems (CAS) Society and the world’s premiere networking forum for researchers in the highly active fields of theory, design, and implementation of circuits and systems.

Presentation: Towards the Multi-Gigabit Ethernet for the Automotive Industry

On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, from 17:15 to 18:55, session Chairmen Enrique Prefasi Sen, Analog and Mixed Signal Senior Designer of KDPOF, and Alberto Rodríguez-Pérez, Analog and Mixed Signal Manager of KDPOF, will present the paper “Towards the Multi-Gigabit Ethernet for the Automotive Industry”. The paper, within the special session “Multi-gigabit Wireline & Optical Communication Circuits & Systems Session”, will show the status of Ethernet-based communication solutions, focused on optical links for the automotive industry. First, the presenters will display the implementation of a product compatible with the 1000BASE-RHC according to the IEEE Std 802.3bv, which is the first one able to transmit 1 Gbps over POF for automotive. Second, the KDPOF experts will describe a new architecture to achieve up to 25 Gbps for automotive. The proposed multi-gigabit system leverages existing technologies such as VCSELs, multi-mode fibers, and photodiodes already developed for the data center industry.

Lecture: High-Speed Data Communications over Plastic Optical Fibers

Alberto Rodríguez-Pérez will give an overview lecture on Saturday, October 17, 2020, from 16:00 to 16:45 in virtual room 2. In his lecture, Alberto will show an overview of the use of Plastic Optical Fiber as a medium for optical data communications and the techniques needed to get high speed data bitrates over POF. It is an interesting alternative optical communication channel to the Glass Optical Fibers (GOF) for applications that are not required to cover long distances, such as home or automotive networking. However, the reduced low bandwidth of the POF channel imposes big limitations in the maximum data bitrate that can be transmitted through this medium. Consequently, advanced data communication techniques such as channel equalization, data error correction, or data signal modulation need to be applied to achieve data bitrates above 1 Gbps.

Industry Panel

KDPOF is also substantially involved in the final Industrial Panel Discussion on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, from 16:45 to 17:45. Alberto Rodríguez-Pérez will chair the panel and Rubén Pérez de Aranda, CTO of KDPOF, will participate as panelist.