Demand for Automotive Circuit Protection Solutions Driven by IoT

By: Jim Colby, manager of semiconductor business development at Littelfuse, Inc.

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As an Ethernet-based protocol, BroadR-Reach uses two communication lines instead of four, enabling 100 Mbps communication. It can be used to combine a significant number of slow lines (e.g., CAN bus), thus removing the need to run those lines around the vehicle. Or it can be used as a high-speed link that can move various types of data around the vehicle. Therefore, one BroadR-Reach bus can replace many slow buses—reducing the physical amount of cable that is installed in the vehicle. The reduction in cable leads to cost savings, a reduction in overall vehicle weight and simplified cable routing.

• AHD Enables Fast, Versatile Video Transmission
AHD 1.0 Tx/Rx is currently being developed to handle analog signals from various types of high-definition cameras located around the automobile for safety and surveillance. It transmits 720p at 25fps/30fps with minimal data loss, while simultaneously supporting CVBS and COMET signals.

Despite the use of analog signals, the cameras must have the ability to transmit high-definition video throughout the vehicle’s network. AHD is designed to relay multiple high-definition video signals that could otherwise be managed by a complex HDMI connection. By supporting a variety of video transport protocols, AHD proves to be a versatile solution that allows for backward compatibility for legacy modules that will not phase out in the immediate future. The AHD line can transmit new high-speed data as well as lower speed protocols on the same wire and using the same chipset.

Figure 2: AHD camera compatibility in an automobile
Figure 2: AHD camera compatibility in an automobile

Circuit Protection Solution Strength

With the rise in IoT devices and new communication protocols, unique demands are now being imposed on engineers who build automotive modules and applications. To create robust, reliable designs, engineers need to consider ESD protection solutions early in the design process to address the increased sensitivity of today’s vehicle chipsets. Engineers should also review and understand the system-level ESD testing required for these modules. The following ESD protection solutions will help design engineers produce automotive modules that adhere to the safety and test standards of the latest communication protocols:

Table 1: Automotive circuit protection solutions for advanced communication protocols
Table 1: Automotive circuit protection solutions for advanced communication protocols
Figure 3: SP3022 Series transient voltage suppression (TVS) diode from Littelfuse used in AHD video application
Figure 3: SP3022 Series transient voltage suppression (TVS) diode from Littelfuse used in AHD video application

Conclusion

In the age of IoT, new protocols are being developed to facilitate automobile-based communications and promote safety. V2X is intended to help vehicles to communicate with the road and each other to optimize traffic flow and prevent collisions. BroadR-Reach and AHD are being researched and produced to increase the efficiency and speed of high-speed data transmission—including high-definition video signals. Highly sensitive chipsets and requirements for faster data require unprecedented ESD protection for vehicle modules that will employ these new protocols. Low-capacitance, low-clamping ESD protection devices in a compact footprint will help make advanced vehicle operation safe, reliable and efficient.

About the Author

Jim Colby is a manager of semiconductor business development at Littelfuse, Inc. His responsibilities include identifying and developing strategic growth markets as well as introducing new products into those markets. He received his BSEE from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) and his MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management (Schaumburg). He has been with Littelfuse for over 15 years and has worked in the electronics industry for more than 23 years.


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