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Mixed Signal Circuit DesignEthernet in Automobiles


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1000Base-T1, Ethernet in Automobiles


With the ongoing trend of the automotive industry employing new features, the amount of data being transferred within a vehicle is increasing rapidly. Transferring this amount of data between the modules within the vehicle and also between the vehicles as nodes in a higher level network requires a higher bandwidth data communication standard.

In the last decades, protocols such as LIN (Local Interconnect Network), CAN (Controller Area Network), MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) and FlexRay have been the accepted standards within the automotive communication designs. However the speed of these protocols limits some of the current and the new upcoming features and applications on the vehicles such as cameras all around the car for automatic lane adjusting and collision prevention, smart car seats, vehicle to vehicle communication, auto drowsiness detections from various built insensors, built in night vision and radar detection, self-driving cars, etc.

Special demands of automotive industry for a new networking standard is expensive, challenging and requires a lot of extensive testing and validation. Ethernet protocol has been used as the standard networking technology within our homes and offices and proved to be an acceptable standard to be used in automotive industry, requiring modifications in the Ethernet protocol. Therefore, extensive effort has been done to develop variants of Ethernet to meet the special requirements of automotive networking. Broadcom has been the leader in this field and developed the first Ethernet standard implemented in BMW’s X5 in 2013. The variant of Ethernet designed for automotive is called BroadR_Reach reaching data rate of 100 Mbit/s (maximum data rate reached by older standards in automotive standards is 4 Mbit/s). The standardization for a higher data rate, 1 Gbit/s (called 1000Base-T1) is under progress under the taskforce IEEE802.3bp. However, the automotive industry would not stop at 1 Gbit/s and would target to increase this data rate further and further.

As the standards in this area are being set, the challenge of implementing the physical layer design for the automotive environments remains for the microelectronics research and industry. In this project the goals being followed are:

  • Understanding the automotive requirements for networking

  • Understanding and characterizing different external and internal noise sources within the automotive environment and networking technology!

  • Fully understand and model of the 1000Base-T1 Ethernet channel

  • Build a 1000Base-T1 Ethernet PHY architecture that is immune to the noise and interferences or actively cancels the impact of it with a robust and low power solution

  • Prove the concept by implementing the electrical physical layer featuring a bi-directional transmission interface that will meet IEEE 802.3 standards.

Project Head: Prof. Dr.–Ing. F. Gerfers

Project Members: M.Sc. H. Ghafarian



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