Saturday, April 13, 2024

Reference Design For Gateway Automotive 

This comprehensive design offers robust connectivity options, high-speed data processing, and optimized power management, making it ideal for applications like ADAS domain controllers and domain gateways. 

Automotive gateways play a crucial role in modern vehicles, acting as central hubs that manage and route the flow of data between various electronic control units (ECUs) and external networks. These gateways are essential for supporting the increasing complexity of automotive systems, enabling seamless communication across different domains such as powertrain, infotainment, safety, and driver assistance. By efficiently handling data transfer and ensuring secure connectivity, automotive gateways facilitate advanced features like over-the-air updates, real-time diagnostics, and autonomous driving capabilities. Their importance extends to improving vehicle performance, enhancing safety features, and providing a more connected and interactive driving experience.

The TIDEP-01022 reference design by Texas Instruments is an automotive gateway reference design (GCARD), offering an 8-layer PCB layout for use as a centralized, domain, or zonal controller. Based on the Jacinto 7 DRA821 processors, this design provides a starting point for OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to develop a fully functional DRA821 solution for automotive applications. The DRA821 processors are high-performance SoCs that integrate both traditional automotive connectivity (LIN and CAN) and high-speed interfaces like PCIe, USB, and a 4-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, along with various safety and security features.

This reference design utilizes a single PMIC (TPS6594x) power architecture with onboard OSPI, eMMC, and LPDDR4 memory, as well as debugging capabilities. The board includes hardware connectors supporting a wide range of communication protocols, such as five Ethernet ports, 10 CAN-FD ports, four LIN ports, and a PCIe connector. Additionally, headers are provided for easy access to serial protocols like SPI, UART, GPIOs, and I²C. The high levels of integration in DRA821 processors help reduce system costs and make the device suitable for various gateway use cases. The reference design is optimized for automotive gateways in emerging architectures, including domain, central, and zonal gateway architectures. The DRA821 processor family is designed specifically for gateway systems with cloud connectivity.

The key features of this reference design are its integrated Ethernet switch and external Ethernet switch with automotive connectors, providing robust connectivity options. It also offers connectivity to PCIe, OSPI, eMMC, and a multi-CAN/LIN array with wakeup functionality, ensuring versatile interfacing capabilities. The design is equipped with 3200 MT/s LPDDR4 memory for high-speed data processing, and it features an early CAN response for efficient communication. Power management is optimized through the use of the TPS6594x, and the design includes a gateway application stack (AutoSAR) for automotive software architecture. This design is suitable for automotive applications such as ADAS domain controllers and domain gateways, providing a comprehensive solution for efficient data handling and communication in modern vehicles.

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TI has tested this reference design. It comes with a Bill of Material (BOM), schematics, test reports, PCB layout, Gerber files, and more. The company’s website has additional data about the reference design. To read more about this reference design, click here.

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