Automotive Gigabit Ethernet PHY with MACsec Security

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With the onset of connected cars, the secure solution with integrated media access control security (MACsec) technology will facilitate in securing in-vehicle networking

Marvell has claimed to introduce the industry’s first automotive gigabit Ethernet PHY solution with integrated media access control security (MACsec) technology for secure point to point communication

As per a report by Forbes, nearly a billion connected cars are projected to be on the road by 2030. This calls for placing a high importance on security in tomorrow’s vehicles. 

This is where MACsec technology helps in fortifying in-vehicle networking by securing data exchange on a hop-by-hop basis and preventing Layer 2 security threats such as intrusion, man-in-the-middle and replay attacks. Marvell’s new Open Alliance TC10 compliant, dual speed 100/1000 BASE-T1 88Q222xM Ethernet PHY enables energy-efficient, secure in-vehicle networks and assists in achieving functional safety compliance at the system level.

Automotive networks rely heavily on partial networking in which certain segments alternate between ON and OFF based upon demand. Marvell’s new gigabit PHY supports the Open Alliance TC10 for sleep mode and wake-up (that is suitable for automotive use cases). 

TC10 control signals are sent over the data line and minimize the need for special cables for remote control of the PHY states. Rapid electrification of vehicles has resulted in reduced power budget for each component. As a low power gigabit Ethernet PHY and with support of TC10, Marvell’s 88Q222xM aids tier1s and OEMs to design energy-efficient in-vehicle network architectures.

As automotive networks are required to work in noisy environments, devices must be able to work together without interference. All components on the network should meet the electromagnetic interference/electromagnetic compatibility (EMI/EMC) requirements under the Open Alliance TC12. As Marvell’s third-generation gigabit PHY, 88Q222xM is built on proven automotive architectures that deliver best-in-class EMI/EMC performance.

Key Features

  • 1000BASE-T1, IEEE 802.3bp-compliant; 100BASE-T1, IEEE 802.3bw-compliant: Pin compatible dual-speed Ethernet PHY supports operation over unshielded twisted pair (UTP).
  • Supports IEEE 802.1AE MACsec: MACsec provides layer 2 security and prevents security threats such as intrusion, man-in-the-middle, and replay attacks.
  • Supports OPEN Alliance TC10 Sleep Mode: 88Q222xM supports TC10 fast wake-sleep mechanism to enable partial networking.
  • Integrated Voltage Regulators: Supports single 3.3V supply mode and saves overall BOM cost
  • AEC Q100 Grade 1 Qualified: 88Q222xM is qualified to be used in harsh automotive environment with ambient temperature ranging from -40 degrees Celsius to 125 degrees Celsius
  • 802.1AS, 802.1AS-Rev PTP: 88Q222xM supports precision timing protocol that enables extremely precise time synchronization of networks
  • ASPICE Level 2 software: Enables faster time-to-market with reuse of a flexible API and robust solution

“Marvell is committed to developing innovative solutions for the automotive market and offers the industry’s largest portfolio of secure Ethernet switches and PHYs,” said Amir Bar-Niv, vice president of Marketing of the Automotive Business Unit at Marvell. “We are extremely proud to introduce the industry’s first automotive gigabit Ethernet PHY that integrates Layer 2 security through MACsec while also delivering best-in-class lower power performance that meets the most stringent power budget. Marvell’s 88Q222x solution is based on the Automotive QMS Process and comes with functional safety collateral assisting tier-1s and OEMs in fulfilling ISO 26262 at a system level.”

“With ever-increasing data and intelligence in the connected cars, the need for comprehensive cybersecurity solutions is essential,” said Dr Lars Völker, technical fellow at Technica Engineering. “MACsec IEEE 802.1AE effectively implements a layer of security for increasing bandwidth needs, while keeping the system deterministic and the complexity at a minimum, allowing OEMs to build fast-starting systems without the dependencies of the communication stack. Marvell’s 88Q222xM Ethernet PHY product family with MACsec security allows us to build leading evaluation platforms and test tools for automotive OEMs who are evaluating MACsec on different speed grades.”

“The rapid evolution of consumer devices is driving more and more features into today’s cars, at an ever-increasing pace, resulting in a need for increased network bandwidth, lower latency and higher connectivity between vehicle ECUs. The current mix of vehicle networks simply cannot scale to these requirements and therefore we are seeing a megatrend towards homogenous Ethernet-based in-vehicle networks,” said Ian Riches, vice president of Automotive Practice, & Director Strategy Analytics Ltd. “These will also help implement the energy efficiency and cybersecurity features that will be needed. It is therefore exciting to see the integration of Open Alliance TC10 and MACsec in Marvell’s new third-generation PHY, as it provides a path to speed the implementation of tomorrow’s in-vehicle networks.”

Marvell’s 88Q222xM comes in a small 40pin QFN, 6.0×6.0 mm, 0.5 mm pitch package with wettable flanks. The 88Q2220M and 88Q2221M are currently sampling along with their development boards.


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