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Molex Product News


Molex Announces HSAutoLinkTM which Fully Supports 1394 Trade Association Copper Automotive Specification

Lisle, IL, December 8, 2008 — Molex announced that its HSAutoLink™ cable connection system fully supports the new 1394 Trade Association Automotive specification for copper cabling media, which was introduced July 25. The new specification optimizes the use of the 1394 (FireWire™) Standard in infotainment, Telematic devices, safety camera, and other in-vehicle applications.

The new specification extends the IDB-1394 Automotive Standard to include operation over cost-effective, automotive-grade, high-performance copper cabling media, such as that provided by the Molex HSAutoLink shielded twisted pair cable connection system. HSAutoLink is already well established in vehicle media applications and the new specification extends its range into other critical vehicle applications. IDB-1394—an international automotive data networking standard for transmitting video, audio, multimedia and telematic data over an in-vehicle network—enables entertainment systems that can play DVDs, display digital TV programming, and offer access to the vehicle navigation system.

HSAutoLink is the emerging high-speed data bus for vehicles. The data bus encompasses technologies used in other markets, such as Universal Serial Bus (USB), Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS), 1394, and Ethernet. Molex has packaged an economical and widely deployed 5 pin shielded connection system from the consumer market into a more rugged connector system to meet automakers’ mechanical requirements as well as the stringent requirements of USCAR, an umbrella organization of Chrysler LLC, Ford and General Motors formed to conduct cooperative, pre-competitive research. HSAutoLink provides the features and mechanisms needed for high-speed extensions with the ability to signal over single-hop distances of up to eight meters using as many as five in-line connectors.

Technical specifications and deployment details on the new Copper Automotive Specification are available from the 1394 Trade Association. The specification applies to embedded vehicle system networks and ICs, allowing the attachment of clusters of embedded 1394 devices. It also includes a comprehensive section on power management improvements. The 1394 Trade Association is a global organization located in Dallas, TX, dedicated to the advancement of the IEEE 1394 (FireWire) standard.

The new 1394 Copper Automotive Specification allows automakers to use copper media in a cost effective manner over distances that were initially felt to be unachievable in a single link—let alone those with multiple links. Automakers needed longer distance capability and this specification supplies it.

Molex’s development and verification work has made the HSAutoLink product line fully compliant with the Copper Automotive Specification. This significant breakthrough fully enables the feature-rich information and entertainment systems automakers are seeking to deploy in their vehicles . The shielded twisted pair 1394 copper cabling solution Molex has introduced delivers on automakers’ demands for 800 megabits/second transmission speeds on eight-meter cabling. Data can also be transmitted at 400 megabits/second.

The new Copper Automotive Specification highlights the value of using FireWire in vehicle wiring. We are now at the threshold of a new generation of in-vehicle systems. FireWire can be used for a variety of applications, including entertainment systems, seat and mirror positioning, heating/air conditioner settings, lane-change cameras, and rear-view cameras.

The new specification provides practical examples of attenuation budget with explicit indication of required electrical signal levels on the transmitter side.

The specification addresses noise evaluations at the system level and the component level. Its proof-of-concept played a very important role in the evaluation and understanding of the main features of each of the connector and cable technologies. Automakers that helped develop the new 1394 Copper Automotive Specification included Ford, Honda, Nissan, PSA, Renault and Daimler.

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