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The big buzz in the automotive industry lately is autonomous driving vehicles. Companies like Mercedes, BMW, Google, and Tesla have already released, or are soon to release, self-driving features that give the car some ability to drive itself. Several other companies are also currently working on this technology. As a result, future cars will be equipped with sensor clusters, more computing power, Car2X communication technology (also known as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication), high-bandwidth Ethernet networks, and more than 15 high-definition (HD) displays.
Lack of space, reduction of power and weight (emissions), and cost savings is pushing automotive suppliers to integrate much more functionality on a chip rather than on a PCB. By leveraging new advanced semiconductor process technologies like 40nm G, 28nm FD-SOI, and 10nm and 7nm FinFET, in combination with dedicated design IP and packaging technology, a new class of automotive systems on chip (SoCs) or systems in package (SiPs) will dramatically change the architecture of future high-integration engine control units (ECUs). These changes will greatly enhance vehicle performance, efficiency, reliability, and safety of future vehicles.
Three of the most used protocol standards in automotive electronics are CAN, LIN, and Ethernet AVB.
Electronic control unit (ECU) is a generic term for any embedded system that controls one or more of the electrical system or subsystems in a vehicle. Today’s automobile might have as many as 70 or more ECUs for various subsystems. Typically, the biggest embedded system is the engine control unit. Other ECUs are used for transmission, airbags, antilock braking/ABS, cruise control, electric power steering, audio systems, battery and recharging systems for hybrid/electric cars, etc. Some of these subsystems can function independently, but communications among others is very important. The CAN standard was devised to fill this communication need. Controller Area Network (CAN) is a vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other in applications without a host computer.
LIN (Local Interconnect Network) is a serial network protocol used for communication between components in vehicles. LIN is much more cost effective than CAN, and was developed out of a need for a less expensive serial network, since it was not affordable to use CAN to connect every component in a car. Currently, the low-cost efficiency of LIN is used in combination with simple sensors to create small networks. These sub-systems can be connected by backbone network (i.e. CAN). Typical sub-systems include sensor, light sensor, light control, sun roof, cruise control, wiper, turning light, etc.
Ethernet is emerging as the network of choice for infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that include cameras, telematics, rear-seat entertainment systems, and mobile phones. Standard Ethernet protocols can’t assure deterministic and continuous audio/video content delivery for bandwidth-intensive and latency-sensitive applications without performance hits like buffering, jitter, lags, etc. Audio-video bridging (AVB) over Ethernet refers to the collection of extensions to the IEEE802.1 specifications that enables Ethernet networks to stream loss-sensitive audio/video data that are time-synchronized. For example, this allows the sound from the rear speakers of your car to be synchronized with the front speakers, thereby ensuring an enjoyable experience of the vehicle’s infotainment system.
Cadence recognized the exciting opportunity and challenges that this industry presents very early on and has been partnering with the automotive industry to offer a comprehensive portfolio of IP to enable these futuristic cars to be built today. Our Verification IP (VIP) is used by every major vendor that supplies chips to the automotive industry. (See graphic below) Cadence has offered Verification IP for CAN and LIN for over seven years and Ethernet AVB standards for four years. Our VIP is used to develop ADAS and infotainment systems (USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE radio, etc.). In addition, we are also the de-facto industry standard for memory models, and our models like SATA, LPDDR4, DDR3 are all used in these systems.
Cadence has the widest portfolio of VIP for the automotive industry. It has been an industry leader for Verification IP for the automotive industry for several years and is committed to continue partnering with the automotive industry, to enable them to build these cars of the future today.
Please visit our VIP page for more details.