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Broadcom improves connectivity of cars

The local tech company reduces connectivity costs and cabling weight with its automotive Ethernet product portfolio.

By Kylie MalstromPublished: December 12, 2011 06:55 AM

Irvine’s Broadcom Corp., a maker of semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, has created what it calls the world’s broadest automotive Ethernet portfolio for the automotive semiconductor market.

The BroadR-Reach Automotive Portfolio system seeks to deliver a high-performance bandwidth of more than 100 MB per second while reducing connectivity costs by up to 80 percent and cabling weight by as much as 30 percent.

"Network connectivity in automobiles represents a crucial opportunity for new product and business innovation [in] the automotive industry,” said Thilo Koslowski, automotive practice leader for Gartner, a tech-research company based in Connecticut. “By 2016, the majority of consumers in mature markets will consider in-vehicle Web access a key criterion in their automobile purchase. … The connected vehicle represents the start of a new era for the automotive industry, where the partnership principle of ‘controlled openness’ will lead to new customer experiences and successful business strategies."

Consumer demand for in-vehicle connectivity has continued to grow, and automotive manufacturers are under pressure to deliver competitive features while keeping costs down. Broadcom’s BroadR-Reach will allow multiple in-vehicle systems (including entertainment, information, on-board diagnostics and automated driver assistance) to access information over an unshielded single-twisted cable. Broadcom seeks to allow car manufacturers to eliminate the currently cumbersome shielded cabling in order to reduce connectivity costs and cabling weight.

"The increasing amount of gadgetry used in vehicles today rivals that of the consumer electronics segment,” said Dr. Ali Abae, senior director of product marketing for Broadcom. “Broadcom is on the forefront of engineering innovative technologies that enable people to connect virtually everything. … Automotive connectivity is a great fit and a natural next step for Ethernet technology, and we intend to lead the way in simplifying in-vehicle connectivity while dramatically reducing costs for automotive manufacturers."

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