TE Connectivity has shown that a data transmission rate of 100Mb/s can be achieved with standard automotive connectors.
There are signs that car manufacturers will opt for Ethernet data bus technology in the future. Its advantages include tremendous topology flexibility and high data transmission speed. Furthermore, Ethernet is a strong contender for the seamless integration of vehicles into the IT and consumer worlds. Along with new functions and applications, this will create significant opportunities for cost reduction.
Initial applications are already in the field. Up to now, this has sometimes involved connectors and termination systems specifically adapted for use in the automotive environment. In extensive tests and simulations, TE Connectivity has been able to show that a data transmission rate of 100 Mb/s can also be achieved with standard automotive connectors based on the miniaturized NanoMQS termination system in combination with unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cables. This only requires using a defined number of terminals at the device output for signal transfer. This arrangement complies with the specifications of the OPEN Alliance Special Interest Group. Shielded cables are only necessary in environments with difficult electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) conditions. According to the standard of the IEEE 802.3bp working group, a transmission rate of 1Gb/s is also feasible with standard automotive connectors if specific design and process parameters are met.
With this innovation, TE Connectivity makes components originally developed for DC applications suitable for the transmission of data bus signals as well. Based on this insight, TE Connectivity is developing a modular connector platform for 1 to n channels. The prototypes of the platform will be presented to market this year. With this approach, the same basic connector shell and termination system can be used for applications with a transmission rate of 100Mb/s and (with suitable configuration) for functions that need a transmission rate of 1Gb/s. This approach also preserves the proven termination ecosystem in the automotive world at the physical network level, with all of its advantages, such as high functional reliability and a favorable price/performance ratio. Aside from component delivery, the platform concept includes specification of the connectors and cables as well as a recommendation for suitable cable harness layout and production of connection terminations on control units.
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