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NXP and TTTech partner on automotive Ethernet switch chip; infotainment, advanced driver assistance and OBD over single twisted-pair cable

NXP Semiconductors N.V. and TTTech signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop jointly automotive Ethernet switch solutions supporting OPEN Alliance BroadR-Reach Ethernet PHY (physical layer transceiver) technology. The switch chip will be specifically designed for the automotive market, but will also be suitable for various demanding industrial real-time applications.

The jointly developed switch chip will enable applications with unshielded twisted-pair cabling with BroadR-Reach PHY technology. BroadR-Reach Ethernet automotive technology allows multiple in-vehicle systems (such as infotainment, automated driver assistance and on board-diagnostics) simultaneously to access information over a single unshielded twisted-pair cable. By eliminating cumbersome, shielded cabling, automotive manufacturers can significantly reduce connectivity costs and cabling weight.

The new chip is the first Ethernet switch chip with three incorporated traffic classes including standard Ethernet traffic for diagnostics and ECU flashing; asynchronous rate-constrained traffic for audio/video streaming and sensor fusion; and synchronous traffic for hard real-time control and fail-operational systems. Hence, this new automotive switch chip will enable unified Ethernet networks and the convergence of critical and non-critical application data streams on one single network.


The BroadR-Reach goal. Click to enlarge.

NXP, with its strategic focus on the connected car, has been working with industry partners to establish BroadR-Reach as an open, de facto standard for in-vehicle Ethernet. As the first automotive semiconductor vendor to license Broadcom’s BroadR-Reach technology to develop an Ethernet PHY, NXP is taking the next step towards an integrated Ethernet switch chip in close cooperation with TTTech.

Under the agreement, TTTech will provide the switch IP, while NXP implements the IP into Ethernet switch solutions with integrated PHY. The products will be ready for stringent automotive EMC (electromagnetic compatibility), quality and reliability standards and automotive volume production.

TTTech has developed an automotive Ethernet switch IP solution based on its Ethernet experience in several vertical markets with high electronic robustness requirements including the aerospace, space and energy segments. TTTech’s solutions support the trend towards the demand for increasing bandwidth requirements; higher focus on reliability in networked control systems; and high availability in fail-operational applications, such as driver assistance systems.

Several standards including standard Ethernet (IEEE 802.3), Time-Triggered Ethernet (SAE AS6802) as well as AVB 1.0 and the evolving TSN (Time Sensitive Network) are supported in TTTech’s chip IP.


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