Ethernet Automotive vs. PON network Automotive?

January 24, 2024
Latest company news about Ethernet Automotive vs. PON network Automotive?

On December 15th,2023, under the guidance of the People's Government of Pingshan District, Shenzhen, the Shenzhen Automotive Research Institute of Beijing Institute of Technology, in conjunction with the Communist Party of China's Shenzhen New Energy and Intelligent Connected Vehicle Industry Chain Committee and other units, held the "2023 Greater Bay Area Automotive Innovation Conference" in Pingshan, Shenzhen. The "Vehicle Optical Communication Working Group" meeting was held, and Fiber Optic Online had the opportunity to participate and learn about the progress of vehicle optical communication.


In July of this year, Fiber Optic Online organized a small face-to-face communication between enterprises related to the optical communication industry chain and the Shenzhen Automotive Research Institute of Beijing Institute of Technology. At that time, everyone had a preliminary discussion on the feasibility of using Ethernet in vehicles and the possible network architecture of automotive intelligent networks. And today's meeting has the demand for intelligent networks from the perspective of users from BYD and NIO automobiles; At the same time, the Automotive Research Institute of Beijing Institute of Technology, the School of Communication Engineering of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, as well as enterprises from the optical communication industry chain such as ZTE, FiberHome, Xuchuang Technology, and Changfei Fiber(YOFC), were invited to share their views on the automotive electronic communication industry.

Distributed architecture moving towards centralized: It's time to introduce optical communication! Listening to the entire conference, it has become a consensus in the industry that cars are becoming super intelligent mobile terminals. Therefore, in vehicle communication networks are moving from distributed architecture to centralized electronic and electrical architecture, which poses new demands for in vehicle network communication: a new generation of high bandwidth, low latency, and high reliability network communication architecture technology.

A guest from NIO Automotive stated that in the current automotive intelligent network, computing power is becoming increasingly concentrated. The biggest pain point in the wired aspect is the high bandwidth, long distance, and low latency of the camera, which requires a transmission rate of 10Gbps; Long distance transmission of sensor signals and display signals; Wireless power stations, mobile phones, vehicle road coordination modules, and 4G/5G signal improvement all require light to solve. How to solve the problem of optoelectronic cable (optoelectronic hybrid cable) with RF signals in the antenna scenario? How to achieve high and low speed digital signal transmission in the scenario of computing power and display? How to solve protocol conversion and signal replication (without compression) in sensor and computing scenarios?

About in car network communication

At present, the "1Gbps based Ethernet backbone network+SerDes" approach is widely adopted, and the industry is developing the IEEE 802.3cz (released in early 2023) standard, which introduces fiber optic as the transmission medium, with a transmission bandwidth of up to 50Gbps. Moreover, fiber optic itself has advantages such as high bandwidth, high resistance to electromagnetic interference, low loss, and lightweight. It is time to introduce quartz fiber optic to solve the lightweight problem of automotive wiring harnesses.

Ethernet automotive vs. all optical PON network automotive?

For solutions based on integrated central computing architecture for in vehicle optical communication, the industry is currently considering solutions such as fiber optic Ethernet or all optical PON networks. Firstly, both solutions can achieve the advantages of high bandwidth and low electromagnetic interference. Secondly, the advantage of fiber optic Ethernet lies in its complete ecosystem based on Ethernet, using Ethernet switches as the foundation for better integration, and following the IEEE 802.3cz protocol. The network switches use optical interfaces and highly integrated optoelectronic components based on VCSEL+PHY+PD+BGA packaging. But the problem lies in the use of P2P architecture, which fails to efficiently utilize optical transmission.


The advantage of all optical PON networks lies in the use of passive splitters as the basis for implementing P2MP network architecture, fully utilizing the characteristics of optical transmission; But the key lies in the lack of in vehicle optical transmission PON protocol, and the in vehicle PON supply chain needs to be rebuilt, such as passive splitter PLC chips with high isolation and low return loss, and optoelectronic devices based on high temperature resistance, high responsiveness, and high-speed LD, optical receiver, TIA and other vehicle grade optoelectronic devices. Whether using Ethernet or all optical PON networks, in the current optical communication industry, companies such as Oner, Optics, Youxun, Hisense, Sanan, and Zonghui Optics have conducted experimental networks with corresponding automotive manufacturers.


Regardless of which optical communication onboard solution is adopted, enterprises engaged in the optical communication industry need to collaborate with vehicle manufacturers to solve the following problems and concerns, or to open up a new era of optical communication onboard:

1) Vehicle grade optoelectronic devices: resistant to high temperature and vibration, specific scene requirements. For example, the on-board temperature range usually requires -40~105 degrees Celsius, with a reliability of ≤ 10 FIT; If the optical fiber needs to be resistant to high and low temperatures of -55~150 degrees Celsius, bending resistance, torsion resistance, and other requirements. Simultaneously, the connection and coupling between optical components and optical fibers are required under random vibration in the vehicle.

2) Communication protocol standards for in vehicle optical networks: such as protocol standards for in vehicle PON, standards for optoelectronic chips and devices. The optical communication industry personnel present stated that each car factory has its own self-developed standards and is sensitive to costs, which is itself a contradiction. It may be helpful to learn from the industry collaboration standards of the optical communication industry, promote industry linkage, and quickly promote the mass production of related products to achieve low-cost solutions.

3) Vehicle level optical system testing equipment and toolchain. Test standard equipment, suitable for on-board testing equipment, testing tools, and so on.

4) Industrial linkage. This meeting is a very good attempt, but closely linking automotive companies with the optical communication industry may require efforts from multiple parties. In the future, Fiber Optic Online will also pay more attention to the dynamics of the automotive smart connectivity network, mobilize more interaction and communication between the two industries, and promote the optical network to move towards a new situation in the automotive industry.


It is worth mentioning that as a leader in the field of optical modules, Xuchuang Technology has announced for the first time to the public how its optoelectronics can assist in automotive intelligence since its acquisition of Junge Electronics. Based on its core technological advantages in optics, electronics, packaging, and advanced technology, Xuchuang Technology has embarked on a new journey of automotive interconnection in scenarios such as in vehicle optoelectronic interconnection, intelligent driving, and intelligent cockpit.


Regarding the timing of getting on the optical network

Guests from Beijing Post believe that L3 is not only a watershed for the level of autonomous driving, but also a "watershed" for the transformation of in vehicle communication networks. It will move from a traditional bus based approach to a new type of in vehicle communication network. Meanwhile, looking ahead, the future in vehicle network communication system will move towards TSN wired backbone network+star flash wireless edge, and software defined communication service guarantee will become an important feature of communication architecture transformation.