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Micrel and Marvell Produce World's First Ethernet PHYs for Automotive Use

September 25, 2012

Micrel and Marvell Produce World's First Ethernet PHYs for Automotive Use

By Rory Lidstone
TMCnet Contributing Writer

Developer of storage, communications and consumer silicon solutions, Marvell (News - Alert), and Micrel — provider of power, clock and timing, and LAN solutions — recently announced the world's first fully interoperable IEEE 802.3 standard-compliant Ethernet PHY designed specifically for in-vehicle networking. This new technology was first demonstrated at the Nikkei Electronics Symposium in Tokyo Japan earlier in September.

This new solution is a big breakthrough as it allows the automotive industry to leverage the existing ecosystem of Ethernet networking applications for next generation vehicle diagnostics, infotainment and connected car platforms.

"As onboard networking grows more complex and more critical to an automaker's ability to differentiate itself, the auto industry has developed an acute need for standards-based networking solutions that can withstand the unique conditions and regulatory requirements for today's cars," said Steve Dansey, vice president of Marvell's CSI (News - Alert) business unit.

Adding, "With hundreds of onboard sensors that must connect to a central computer, and with Internet-connected infotainment systems that tie into a vehicle's primary operating structure, it is critical that auto manufacturers can reuse IEEE (News - Alert) standards based silicon from high-volume markets to streamline development, production and cost-effective deployment."

Until now, the automotive industry hasn't been able to use common Ethernet protocols for onboard networking, while legacy silicon doesn't meet automotive emissions requirements. On top of that, the development of car-specific PHYs is costly. Micrel (News - Alert) and Marvell's family of standard PHYs, however, offer speeds up to 100 Mbps while consuming less power with fewer emissions. As such, automakers can fully utilize the benefits of Ethernet when developing the next generation of in-vehicle networking architecture.

In August, Micrel was awarded silver for its 2011 annual report by the League of American Communication's Professionals (LACP), taking away top honors in the semiconductor category.

More recently, Marvell partnered with ZeroDesktop to produce an inexpensive alternative to traditional PC-based computing. This ZeroDesktop Cloud OS is an instant virtual Web desktop, eliminating the need for investing in multiple PCs.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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