New Space-saving Ethernet Chip For Cars

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Introducing the industry's first 100-Mbps single-pair Ethernet PHY with SGMII (PRNewsfoto/Texas Instruments)
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As cars become more sophisticated and connected, there is an increasing demand for improved vehicle communications networks that offer high-bandwidth and low costs. Such needs of the automotive market have made Ethernet as a technology of choice for automakers.

A Tiny, Robust Ethernet Solution For Cars

TI is helping automakers deliver high-speed Ethernet networks with a new 100BASE-T1 Ethernet physical layer (PHY) transceiver, the DP83TC811S-Q1. Due to its low power consumption and a small footprint, the solution is ideal for deployment in space-constrained automotive body electronics, infotainment and cluster, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) applications.

100BASE-T1, previously known as BroadR-Reach is a 100 Mbps automotive Ethernet standard aimed at increasing data throughput, meeting strong automotive emissions standards, and reducing cabling weight and cost in automotive networking.

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TI claims that the solution cuts the external component count and board space in half and consumes as little as half the power of competitive solutions.

The chip supports the full range of media independent interfaces (MII), which enables designers to implement Ethernet connectivity with various media access controllers (MACs) and processors such as TI’s Jacinto automotive processors.

Key features and benefits of the DP83TC811S-Q1 Ethernet PHY:

  • Smaller solution size and lower weight: The DP83TC811S-Q1 comes in a 6mm x 6mm wettable flank package, which TI says can reduce solution size by 50 percent. In addition, it requires fewer external components. Also, the device is compliant with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.3bw standard and OPEN Alliance qualification, enabling the use of unshielded single twisted-pair copper cable, which reduces overall cable weight and cost.
  • Lowest power consumption: The solution minimizes thermal dissipation and enables components to be placed closer together. The device also includes power-saving features such as standby, disable and wake-on local area network (LAN).
  • Robust and intelligent design: To help the system monitor and detect cable breaks, temperature and voltage variations, and electrostatic discharge (ESD) events, the DP83TC811S-Q1 features a diagnostic toolkit, including a patent-pending ESD monitor.
  • Simpler layout, flexible design and high performance: The solution features support for serial gigabit media independent interface (SGMII) thereby improves design flexibility by enabling connections to multiple switches and interfaces. SGMII uses only four pins instead of the 12 required for reduced gigabit media independent interface (RGMII), reducing board size and number of traces and in turn simplifying the design layout. The DP83TC811S-Q1 has a latency as low as 140 ns, allowing latency-critical systems like automotive Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) to respond and communicate more quickly.
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Tools and support to speed design:

Along with the chip, TI has announced the following evaluation boards and reference designs to speed design.

  • Designers can easily evaluate the device and its SGMII support with the DP83TC811SEVM evaluation module.
  • Designers who need only RGMII can use the DP83TC811EVM evaluation module.
  • TI also offers the Automotive Stand-Alone Gateway Reference Design and the Cost-Effective In-Vehicle Infotainment System Reference Design.

The DP83TC811S-Q1 is now available in a 36-pin wettable flank very thin quad flat no-lead package (VQFNP) through the TI store and authorized distributors, starting at US$2.25 in 1,000-unit quantities.

Click here to read the Press release.

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