Wednesday, March 7, 2007

1394 Trade Association Targets Copper Spec for Vehicle Multimedia Networks

The 1394 Trade Association, which supports "FireWire" connectivity technology, is forming a new task group to complete the IDB-1394 copper specification for use of copper in 1394-based vehicle entertainment networks.

The group is working on a design with 400 Mbps bandwidth capacity and the ability to move A/V through vehicle networks that reach 4.5 meters. The work will be consistent with the requirements of the auto manufacturers and their OEM suppliers.

The pending specification will cover the requirements for Shielded Twisted Pair, Twisted Quad, and coaxial. It also will provide the power budget criteria so auto manufacturers and their suppliers can implement cable lengths sufficient to deal with vehicle harness layout constraints and complexities.

The 1394 Trade Association said it has developed a POF specification for the vehicle network, and optical fiber has remained a preferred medium in some early applications. However, there are advantages and disadvantages with both copper and plastic optical fiber, so completing a copper specification will enable the automakers and their OEM suppliers to have as many options as possible for both the backbone and for individual controller modules within the network.

Major automakers from the U.S., Europe and Japan are currently implementing initial in-vehicle multimedia networks, with many manufacturers moving toward the use of IDB-1394-based technology.

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