Mobile Device Alliance Creates Standard For Autonomous Driving Systems

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【Summary】The MIPI Alliance, which creates standards for mobile devices, has created a new specification dedicated to fast paced automotive networks. Such technology could help speed up the development of autonomous driving systems.

Mia Bevacqua    Sep 23, 2018 6:30 AM PT
Mobile Device Alliance Creates Standard For Autonomous Driving Systems

More and more, cars are becoming rolling smartphones. So, it makes sense the MIPI (Mobile Industry Processor Interface) Alliance, which creates standards for mobile devices, is becoming increasingly focused on automotive applications. By the end of next year, the organization plans to have a new specification aimed at high-speed ADS (autonomous driving systems) networks.  

Referred to as A-PHY, the upcoming standard defines the protocol physical layer (i.e., the system hardware) needed to move data at 12-24 Gbps (gigabits per second). Plans to develop an even higher speed 48 Gbps technology are also underway.

The initial MIPI A-PHY v1.0 document is expected to be available to developers late 2019. According to MIPI, the specification will "optimize wiring, cost and weight requirements, as high-speed data, control data and optional power share the same physical wiring."

MIPI hopes to have the technology in production cars by 2024. Then, the specification can be applied to fast-paced ADS vehicle networks that use technology like radar and lidar sensors.

"Cameras and radar are really driving the data rates now," said Peter Lefkin, Managing Director of the MIPI Alliance. "Requirements are going up quickly. A lot of cameras today have 2 Mpixel resolutions, in the fairly near future, they will be going to 8 Mpixels."

The MIPI A-PHY standard could also help the automotive industry shift towards Ethernet. However, it will take some tweaking to overcome the long signal lengths needed.

"Gbit Ethernet is coming next year for cars, but in phones, MIPI is already providing 10 Gbits/second," said Rick Wietfeldt, MIPI Alliance board member and former chair, MIPI Technical Steering Group. "Mobile is leaps and bounds ahead in speed, but they're looking at lengths of 15 cm, while automotive needs 15 meters."

MIPI's Automotive Working Group (AWG) is overseeing the development of the A-PHY standard. Many automotive manufacturers, such as Bosch, are members.

Sources: SAE and MIPI

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