With ADXpress, the Automotive Data Express, Inova Semiconductors is presenting a new, high-performance architecture that enables data transmission in vehicles of the future in a completely new dimension. With ADXpress, all raw sensor data can be transmitted via sensor-specific, virtual data paths with deterministic latency to one or more evaluation units. The sensors can be connected to an ADXpress node via PCI Express, Ethernet or SPI, whereby the data transfers are currently carried out electrically with 30 Gbps, or with optical media, with 4 x 24 Gbps. The data rate is essentially only limited by the Physical Layer medium and the capability of the technology node.
“With ADXpress, one can rightly speak of a new dimension of connectivity in vehicles, as the familiar point-to-point or point-to-repeater concepts can be replaced by much more integrable and flexible topologies. This also opens up new possibilities in all aspects of sensor data fusion for ADAS and AD. The number of displays that can be controlled and their maximum resolutions will continue to increase significantly,” says Roland Neumann, CTO of Inova Semiconductors.
The ADXpress technology bundles different data paths on a serial 30 Gbps data link – as already used in APIX, the Automotive Pixel Link from Inova Semiconductors. Unlike APIX, however, ADXpress is a universal mass data transport system that electrically transmits any type of data – whether pixel, Ethernet or sensor data from camera, lidar and radar. With ADXpress, this opens up completely new possibilities in terms of network architecture and topologies: among other things, this allows new approaches to the implementation of today’s video interfaces, for example via PCI Express.
Virtual data paths with ADXpress
ADXpress technology is based on virtual data paths, which are realised by transmitting data cells of constant size. All cells take the same path through the network. Unlike IP (Internet Protocol), where a packet can reach its destination via a different path than previous and subsequent packets, with ADXpress latency and jitter are constant on a virtual path. Virtual data paths based on data cells have the great advantage that multiplexing, repeating and duplicating can take place on the layer processing the data cells independently of the service. Particularly with multiplexing, it is possible to control or steer the bandwidth allocation and the latency of the individual data paths. The clever thing about this is that the 128 virtual data paths of the ADXpress only “consume” bandwidth when user data is actually being transmitted.
Packaging in the hardware
Generic “application adaptation units” for burst and stream data implemented in hardware enable “software-free” packaging and de-packaging of continuous (radar, lidar, video) or burst-oriented data (PCI Express, Ethernet, SPI) into a uniform cell format with ADXpress. This allows burst and stream data to be combined with particularly low latency. This, in turn, enables simultaneous bundling of a large number of interfaces across multiple functional units due to the bidirectional structure of ADXpress – in any direction and with any input and output points. These features enable universal network topologies that can be adapted to any conceivable interface.
More information about the ADXpress concept will be available at electronica 2022 in Munich at the Inova Semiconductors stand in Hall B4, Stand 301.