New test solutions for APIX3 automotive links

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Inova Semiconductors, originator of the APIX3 standard for real-time gigabit links for automotive applications, and Alfamation, a supplier of hardware and software test products and turn-key test and measurement solutions for automotive infotainment systems, have announced a close cooperation to speed up the integration of APIX3 technology into automotive applications.

In sophisticated infotainment and driver assistance systems, APIX technology is used to connect displays and cameras with head units. This way, uncompressed HD video, audio and control data can be transmitted between displays of different resolutions and head units. Moreover, APIX facilitates the implementation of two 100Mbps Ethernet links over the same cable which can further reduce cabling costs, weight and space requirements.

The third generation of APIX (APIX3) is targeted to address the enhanced requirements for infotainment and cockpit architectures in vehicles. Those architectures support multiple automotive UHD resolutions in car displays based on the most recent and future generations of high performance SoC.

The new APIX3 technology supports transmissions of up to 6Gbps over one shielded twisted pair (STP) cable and up to 12Gbps over a quad twisted pair (QTP) connection. This is four times the speed of the previous APIX2 generation. APIX3 also supports video with HD and Ultra HD displays.

To integrate this technology, automotive customers require the related test capabilities.

Targeted for applications where high fault coverage and high-speed processing are required, Alfamation’s Flexmedia XM APIX3TD1 and APIX3RD1 devices, specifically for APIX3 products, enable accurate and high-performance testing of transmitter and receiver devices, and get reliable video quality checks in a fraction of a second. They provide full-functional support for the Inova APIX3 INAP592T serializer and INAP592R deserializer, including dual or single link support up to 6Gb/s per link, HDCP support, bidirectional sideband communication support, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet communication.

The modules operate on a Gigabit POE Ethernet control interface, and are provided with Command Line Interface, Graphical User Interface (GUI) and software APIs e.g., C#/C++ SDK, NI LabVIEW and Supernova/NI TestStand step types. Applications include 24/7 manufacturing test as well as R&D, V&V and service of automotive infotainment head-units, instrument panel clusters and multi-camera driver assistance systems.

To test the high-speed digital multimedia link, the Flexmedia XM APIX3TD1, based on the Inova INAP592T chipset, offers a video stream generator that includes pixel perfect reference pattern generator, programmable frame size, synchs and porches, customizable video frame content from image files, still frame and circular buffer movie modes. It also features real-time adjustable overlays and 24bit video pixel depth; the module supports bidirectional sideband communication.

Based on the Inova INAP592R chipset, the device also offers a frame grabber and real-time video stream analyzer for dual independent video stream analysis, performing BER/PER/PSN analysis. It provides a region-of-interest (ROI) multiple and simultaneous analysis with video timing detection and burst capable video frame grabbing. As for the generator, the analyzer as well supports bidirectional sideband communication.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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