High-Speed Serial Links for High-Performance ADAS Solutions

Aug 20, 2020

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Xylon is a leading provider of intellectual property (IP) in the areas of embedded graphics, video and image processing, and networking. The Zagreb, Croatia-based company's mission is to help its customers develop high-performance designs with lower production costs through its optimized IP cores for Xilinx FPGAs. These IP cores are called logicBRICKS and they allow for configuration via a GUI and the implementation of targeted systems on a chip (SoCs) without hand coding. The cores come with detailed documentation, software support, and reference designs.

The Xylon team is made up of more than 50 highly skilled developers who are dedicated to producing quality designs quickly. Among the many solutions these engineers work on are development boards and automotive video data loggers that Xylon customers use to create autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) applications. For prototyping and proof-of-concept activities, designers need a high-speed serial link to connect cameras as well as radar and LiDAR sensors to these development boards. The company's logiRECORDER Automotive Video Data Logger provides raw multi-channel video and network data recording and analysis, plus playback of logged data in hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulations. The data loggers also require a high-speed serial link in order to connect to a vehicle's various network data busses and also for connectivity between vehicle cameras and the electronic control unit (ECU) for data recording.

Given its emphasis on quality, the Xylon team sought high-speed serial link technology that would provide fast, high-bandwidth in-vehicle video, audio, and communication data stream transfers, without latency or issues caused by electromagnetic interference (EMI). The company found its answer with Maxim Integrated, beginning a long-standing collaboration and tapping into Maxim's Gigabit Multimedia Serial Link (GMSL) technology for its automotive solutions. "A single cable delivers data reliably over long distances," noted Gordan Galic, the company's technical marketing director. "That's why we've been an early adopter of Maxim's GMSL technologies."

One of Xylon's 6-channel FPGA mezzanine cards (FMC) uses the MAX96706 14-bit, 1.6Gbps deserializer and pairs with the MAX96705 16-bit, 1.6Gbps serializer. Customers can connect up to 12 cameras via the MAX96706 to a Xilinx board for prototyping ADAS and autonomous driving applications. Its 2.3MP HDR automotive video camera uses next-generation GMSL technology for its data interface. The camera is available in a 1-cubic-inch, waterproof housing and provides 30fps of high dynamic range color video. Xylon's ACAP Multi-Camera Vision Kit for Xilinx Versal Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform (ACAP) devices includes a video input FMC add-on card that uses next-generation GMSL technology.

According to Galic, Xylon considers Maxim Integrated's GMSL technology to be quite advanced compared to alternative solutions. GMSL serializers and deserializers are designed to support ADAS and infotainment application requirements for high bandwidth, complex interconnects, and data integrity. Their advanced link integrity and diagnostic capabilities are attuned to link performance monitoring. With shielded twisted pair or coax cables up to 15 meters, GMSL SerDes ICs meet stringent automotive industry electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements. The ICs also feature a spread-spectrum capability that improves EMI performance of the link.

"Working with Maxim, we get early samples and access to great technical support. We have open communication channels for exchanging technical documents, and we think the technology is great," said Galic.

Xylon logiRECORDER Automotive Video Data Logger Uses Maxim Integrated GMSL TechnologyXylon's logiRECORDER Automotive Video Data Logger connects to various vehicle network data buses and inserts between any type of vehicle camera installations and electronic control units to record and play back terabytes of multi-channel, uncompressed video and network data with low latency.