As in-vehicle multimedia has become more sophisticated and driving support systems have developed, it has become necessary to process a huge amount of data in real time even inside vehicles. In-vehicle optical networks are drawing more and more attention because they realize both high-speed data transfer and EMC (electromagnetic compatibility). Networks expected to be converted to optical networks can be divided according to the content of data they handle into safety networks (cameras, mm-wave radar, LiDAR, etc.), control networks (engines, brakes, etc.), and information networks (car navigation, video, audio, etc.).
Optical networks using plastic optical fibers have been used in the information networks of some European cars, and these are equipped with Hamamatsu FOT*1 (photo IC for optical links).
*1: Fiber Optical Transceiver
FOT is a device used for conversion of optical signals and electrical signals in optical networks.
Since 2002, Hamamatsu FOT is used in the MOST*2 network (25/150 Mbps), an information network standard for vehicles in the EU.
There are plans in the future to use optical networks for ADAS*3 networks, including for automatic braking. We are working to develop FOT for optical networks that are 1 Gbps or even 10 Gbps and faster.
*2: Media Oriented Systems Transport
*3: Advanced Driver Assistance System
This photo IC is capable of data communications at a data rate of 150 Mbps through a plastic optical fiber.
All of these recommended products have been certified by MOST Test House*4. Output waveforms of the transmitter and receiver are as shown below.
*4: A certification body designated by MOST Cooperation
VICS (Vehicle Information and Communication System) is a system that uses FM multiplex broadcasting and beacons to deliver road traffic information, including traffic congestion and traffic regulations, to car navigation systems in real time. Hamamatsu's transmitter/receiver module has been adopted in optical beacon antenna that uses infrared light. It aids in route searches and avoiding traffic congestion using car navigation systems.
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