As connected vehicles increasingly rely on Ethernet for network connectivity, smart technology is helping developers to streamline infotainment system development and adapt to manufacturers’ evolving requirements. To this end, Microchip Technology Inc. announced the first hardware-based audio endpoint solution for AVB – the LAN9360, a single chip Ethernet controller with embedded protocols.
Microchip’s LAN9360 audio endpoint controller interconnects vehicles’ infotainment devices including speakers, amplifiers, microphones, navigation systems, radio tuners, and smart headrests with Ethernet AVB. The LAN9360 bridges audio between Ethernet AVB and Inter-IC Sound (I2S), Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) and Pulse Density Modulation (PDM) local audio interfaces.
It completely supports audio transmission over Ethernet AVB, including generalized Precision Time Protocol gPTP, timestamping, transport protocols, and content protection with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). It also supports secure boot and secure remote updates over Ethernet.
Unlike other Ethernet-bridging networking solutions requiring System-on-Chip (SoC) microcontrollers (MCUs) and third-party software stacks, the LAN9360 endpoint device requires no software integration, enabling designers to configure the device simply and quickly to manufacturers’ unique audio and networking requirements.
Microchip’s LAN9360 audio endpoint controller has been validated to industry standards for Ethernet interoperability for AVB protocols. The device is validated to the IEEE 802.1BA-2011, IEEE 802.1AS, IEEE1722 and IEEE1733 specifications for Ethernet networks and is certified to the standards for AVB interoperability and reliability established by the Avnu Alliance consortium.
“In looking for an AVB solution for our Automotive Remote Tuners products, the LAN9360 allowed us to develop on a trusted platform quickly, without changing our current software,” said Pierrick Labeau, R&D manager, FIAMM Horn & Antennas – Elettra 1938 Group.
“This endpoint controller is a single smart chip for Ethernet interoperability in infotainment systems,” said Matthias Kaestner, vice president, Automotive. “In today’s rapid-pace design environment, this out-of-the-box device gives engineers a quick start to development and allows them to avoid months of engineering work and technical risks involved in coding or engaging third-party integrators.”
The LAN9360 expands Microchip’s comprehensive Ethernet product portfolio and total system solution for automotive developers. Other Microchip Ethernet devices for automotive applications include the LAN8770 100BASE-T1 PHY, a cost-effective, single-port physical layer transceiver compliant with the IEEE 802.3bw-2015 specification. The device provides 100 Mbps transmit and receive capability over a single Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cable.
Additionally, the Trust Anchor (TA100), a secure element from Microchip’s portfolio of CryptoAutomotive security ICs for automotive security applications, provides support for code authentication, secure boot and audio content protection with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).
A development board and Microchip’s MPLAB Network Creator are available for configuring the LAN9360 using an intuitive graphical user interface. MPLAB Network Creator, a free graphical configuration environment, allows developers to generate configuration files quickly and intuitively for the LAN9360 AVB audio endpoint and perform full firmware or configuration updates to the LAN9360 devices remotely over Ethernet.
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