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IEEE approves 802.3bw Ethernet; 100 Mb/s over single twisted-pair driven by needs of automotive industry

IEEE announced the approval of IEEE 802.3bw, IEEE Standard for Ethernet Amendment: Physical Layer Specifications and Management Parameters for 100 Mb/s Operation over a Single Balanced Twisted Pair Cable (100BASE-T1). The standard is driven primarily by the needs of the global automotive industry and illustrates Ethernet’s expansion into new application areas.

Mainstream adoption of emerging in-car applications such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and infotainment has created the need for cost-effective, high-bandwidth connectivity. The first of several Ethernet standards especially tuned to the needs of the in-car automotive market, IEEE 802.3bw-2015 100BASE-T1 will provide 100 Mb/s Ethernet over a single twisted-pair. It is intended to enable the consolidation of these new, as well as legacy, in-car applications on a homogenous network architecture.

The new amendment to the Ethernet standard defines the 100BASE-T1 Physical Layer (PHY) specifications and management parameters for point-to-point full duplex 100 Mb/s operation over single twisted-pair balanced cabling. This specification provides fully functional and electrical specifications for the type 100BASE-T1 PHY. This specification also specifies the baseband medium used with 100BASE-T1.

The introduction of new bandwidth-intensive applications must deal with the constant pressure the automotive industry faces to minimize the total weight of the vehicle. The definition of a 100 Mb/s Ethernet standard that operates over a single twisted pair will address both of these issues.

—Thomas Hogenmueller, senior manager with Bosch, who chaired the initial phase of the IEEE P802.3bw 100BASE-T1 project

Vehicle electronics systems image courtesy of Audi AG. Click to enlarge.

The standard is the first step in a global market migration to a modern, elegant and powerful, standards-based communications architecture. This will simplify the cumbersome, heavy and complicated wiring harnesses in use today, while providing high data rates.

—Steve Carlson of High Speed Design, Inc., who chaired the final phase of the IEEE P802.3bw 100BASE-T1 project

The need to reduce wiring is shared by other applications, such as industrial automation and avionics, and the IEEE 802.3bw-2015 100BASE-T1 standard effort grew out of global market interest from all application areas for an IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard.

This is another example of the diversification of Ethernet into new application areas, providing the opportunity for them to leverage the vast wealth of Ethernet technology. The 100BASE-T1 standard was based upon, and is interoperable with, the existing OPEN Alliance BroadR-Reach automotive specification. 100BASE-T1, however, is only the first in a family of Ethernet standards to address these application areas, with other projects underway in IEEE 802.3 to develop 1 Gb/s operation and power delivery over a single twisted pair cable, as well as traffic prioritization.

—David Law, chair of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group and distinguished technologist with Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Juan Valdez

This is a great step toward fully automated cars. Ethernet is everywhere but the current standard is 8 wires, which is much more complicated than a single pair of wires. Home automation, industrial control and other industries will probably pick this standard up quickly as well.

This show how consensus standards can really help an industry. Kudos to IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group!

As Aha

100Mbps ethernet is 4 wires not 8


this is stupid since wifi ac is over a gigabit per second now

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