Automotive Data Communication

Automotive SerDes Applications

Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving have become megatrends and will require more and faster SerDes links to safely connect camera, radar, and LiDAR sensors to the sensor fusion processor. The more widespread adoption of virtual instrument clusters and larger infotainment displays in consumer vehicles also drives the need for higher data rates. At the same time, these applications require lightweight and low-power hardware as well as low production costs.

Optimized next generation SerDes connections:

  • Point-to-point link with simple daisy-chain extension
  • Strongly asymmetric data rates for low power
  • Slim end-node design for sensors and displays

Automotive SerDes Alliance (ASA)

The Automotive SerDes Alliance (ASA) was created to standardize SerDes connectivity for automotive applications. ASA is a non-profit industry alliance of automotive industry and technology providers collaborating that provides the necessary specifications and infrastructure for the automotive industry.

Organization to establish a new standard

  • Founded by OEMs and suppliers in 2019
  • Fraunhofer IIS: co-founder and vice chair & editor of technical committees for
    • Physical layer (PHY)
    • Data link layer and protocol encapsulation
  • Current ASA members represent the whole industry
    • OEMs
    • Tier-1s
    • Semiconductor manufacturers
    • Cable and connector manufacturers
  • Rapidly growing number of members (50+ companies)

Customized services and solutions

With our broad expertise and long experience of working on this project, we are able to support our customers in developing successful products.

Our range of services and solutions:

  • Modification of key features to fit customers’ needs
  • Design of testability/manufacturability
  • Support for other semiconductor technologies
  • Standalone chip or SoC-integrable macro
  • Series test specification and ramp-up support
  • Application notes for PCB Design
  • Integration with additional Fraunhofer IIS or third-party IP

Expertise and references

Physical layer for Inova Automotive Pixel Link (APIX®)

Automotive Pixel Link APIX® is a high-speed bus system that transmits large volumes of data via a 2-cable connection. Video and peripheral data for displays and camera applications can be transmitted at rates of up to 6 Gbit/s. APIX® was developed jointly with the semiconductor manufacturer Inova Semiconductors GmbH and is currently deployed in 100+ million nodes on the road.

  • Longterm cooperation with Inova Semiconductors (since 2001)
  • In 2018 more than 100 Mio. APIX®-nodes on the road
  • PHY-developments for 3 product generations
    • APIX® 1-3 for 1 Gbit/s, 3 Gbit/s und 6 Gbit/s for Inova Semiconductors
    • IP implementations for
      • Analog Devices: APIX® 2
      • Fujitsu: APIX® 2, Socionext: APIX® 3
    • Technologies: 180nm down to 55nm

Fraunhofer IIS – Technology Development

Our wireline communication experts identified early on a need to provide higher data rates with low-cost copper cables to the automotive industry and therefore launched an internal R&D project.

This development resulted in the publication of the world’s first 10 Gbps PHY for an automotive single-twisted pair cable in 2014. The Fraunhofer IIS 10+G-PHY technology also represented the paradigm shift that led to PAM4 in Automotive SerDes.    


Key achievements

  • One-way or bidirectional transmission
  • 10-15 m cable length
  • very low bit error rate
  • low electromagnetic emissions
  • low power dissipation < 1W
  • low latency:  < 10 µs