Embedded control: broadband LAN delivers infotainment options

One of the themes at the Embedded Systems Conference (April 3-5, 2007) was the ubiquitous nature of broadband LAN technology. Machine builders and designers of vehicle control systems are gaining new options for small-space, high data throughput networking.


San Jose , CA —One of the themes at the Embedded Systems Conference (April 3-5, 2007) was the ubiquitous nature of broadband LAN technology. Machine builders and designers of vehicle control systems are gaining new options for small-space, high data throughput networking. SMSC showed off its intention to bring broadband networking inside an SUV near you with its INIC eLITE infotainment system solution.

The idea is to carry the signal information required by the various services now available in high-end passenger vehicles, such as high-definition video, audio, navigation, and so forth, throughout the cabin area on one twisted-pair digital network. The information is carried in packet form in a CANbus-like frame that circulates around a ring-topology network.

Audio information, for example, might originate in a CD changer mounted in the back, and be delivered to headphones for Dad in the front passenger’s seat. Mom, who’s driving, might listen through another set of headphones for traffic reports sourced at the radio mounted in the dashboard, while simultaneously getting navigation directions from the GPS unit, whose display hangs at the top of the windshield. Finally, little Josey is watching the “Wizard of Oz” sourced at the DVD player built into the center console, with video displayed on the LCD screen set in the back of the driver’s seat and audio delivered through a third set of headphones.

Instead of miles of spaghetti wiring bulging the vehicle’s interior panels, however, there’s one twisted pair daisy chained from node to node. This Inic eLite network carries the information as low-power broadband digital signals, while each output node (such as in this case, a headphone set) carries its own decoder and amplifier powered by simple 12 V dc system power.

To demonstrate how well the system works, SMSC set up a network in their booth over which they delivered two HDTV programs, two standard definition TV programs, a video camera, and other services simultaneously.

C.G. Masi, senior editor charlie.masi@reedbusiness.com

Control Engineering Weekly News

(Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free.)

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.