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NXP delivers first RoadLINK Car-to-X communications chip; in sampling with major automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers


NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced that the SAF5100, the first product from the RoadLINK range, is now available for automotive customer design-in. The SAF5100 is a flexible software-defined radio processor for car-to-car (C2C) and car-to-infrastructure (C2I) communication, helping to realize NXP’s vision for a complete C2X (C2C+C2I) solution.

Scheduled for mass production in the second half of 2014, the SAF5100 is also the first product to become generally available from the MK4 reference design for connected vehicles, following its unveiling in July by NXP and Cohda Wireless, a leading specialist in wireless communication for automotive safety applications. (Earlier post.)

NXP SAF5100. Click to enlarge.

The product introduction follows successful C2X field trials worldwide with an earlier version of the SAF5100, such as the simTD trial in Germany; the ongoing Safety Pilot Model Deployment conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) in the US; and the SCORE@F trial in France.

The SAF5100 processor is fully programmable and can support unique algorithms to improve reception in wireless communication. The SAF5100 can support multiple wireless standards as well as different OEM antenna configurations such as 802.11p antenna diversity, providing OEMs with the flexibility to support emerging standards across multiple regions via firmware updates. It also provides best-in-class wireless link performance via the 802.11p firmware from Cohda Wireless, which is a fully integrated part of the solution.

With a 12-mm x 12-mm LFBGA package, the SAF5100 has a very small PCB footprint which allows the 802.11p receiver to fit into confined spaces, and significantly reduces bill of materials (BOM) costs. The unique software-defined radio approach allows OEMs to deploy a global C2X solution based on a single hardware platform with end-of-line configurability by firmware download.

NXP’s “connected car” technology allows cars to communicate wirelessly with each other and with traffic infrastructure, exchanging data including location, speed and direction. This allows for 360-degree driver awareness to improve road safety by reducing collisions, warning of potential hazards, and avoiding traffics jams.

In April, NXP and Cohda Wireless became the first automotive electronics suppliers to join leading car manufacturers in signing the landmark CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at implementing harmonized technology for wireless communication between cars, or between cars and infrastructure, in Europe.



This, and many others, will prepare the way for improved driver assistance and eventual replacement.

Future cars will automatically select the fastest, safest, more energy saving routes between any points A and B while human drivers will Text their friends and/or play games etc.

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