Snapshot: Bandwidth is driving the adoption of automotive Ethernet

By Sarah Bartash

The following is a snapshot of the white paper “Mastering automotive ethernet communication design”. If you like what you read, you can find out more about this topic here.

Due to changing consumer requirements and industry regulations, automotive network design is increasingly complex. To keep costs down while ensuring safety, performance and an exceptional driving experience, automotive manufacturers benefit from the ability to test and verify communication systems early in the design process.

Using Capital™ software provides an AUTOSAR*-compliant, model-based electrical and electronic (E/E) design solution that enables effective collaboration, traceability and a seamless workflow throughout the design process. There are many reasons why an automotive industry leader would choose to design network communications systems that leverage an Ethernet, and there are challenges that come with that choice. Capital enables systems-driven design that meets these challenges head-on to deliver consistency across the automotive system.

What is AUTOSAR*?

AUTOSAR is a global partnership of more than 300 leading companies in the automotive and software industry that has established a standardized software framework and open system architecture for intelligent mobility. The organization brings together 31 international automotive original equipment manufacturers, including the top 20 revenue producers. Together with other Tier 1 players and suppliers, these AUTOSAR partners are collaborating to shape the future of intelligent mobility, and working to define an automotive open system architecture standard to support the needs of future applications.

AUTOSAR ensures there are standardized interfaces in the application layer to enable software components to communicate via specific ports using a virtual function bus. The framework supports the development of safety-related systems. Learn more in our Glossary: What is AUTOSAR?

Many automotive mega-trends are impacting the evolution of communication architectures, which must now concentrate software hosting to achieve efficiency. These include electrification, autonomous driving, cloud connectivity and complexity.

What’s driving the adoption of Ethernet in automotive network design? In a word, bandwidth. Adding data streams from the cloud, cameras, sensors and other technologies requires a lot of bandwidth. Therefore, Ethernet can be a good choice since it is an established protocol that developers understand, and there are many resources available to help them leverage it in their products. Finally, the networking stack is a critical element of a gateway function, bridging between Wi-Fi and Ethernet-attached devices. Ethernet has a common network stack and is suitable for handling gateway traffic between protocols.

But although it is established, not everything is the same. Automotive Ethernet differs from standard Ethernet in that it requires fewer cables, is more cost-efficient and provides a high degree of immunity.

Figure 1. IEEE automotive Ethernet protocols.

The 1000BASE-T1 Ethernet is faster than 100 BASE-T1 but slightly more expensive (figure 1). The 10BASE-T1S addresses this variable, bringing cost and power-consumption down while enabling high immunity and multidrop delivery. Although multidrop buses offer simplicity and extensibility – they don’t need to be connected to a switch – they’re often unsuitable for high-frequency or high-bandwidth applications.

Using Capital for Communication Network Design

Building systems using Ethernet is no simple task, but Siemens Capital helps to optimize communication design in the following ways:

  • Provides insights into design efficiency with a single, automated tool
  • Simplifies collaboration throughout the design lifecycle
  • Supports all modern protocols, and enables hybrid architectures
  • Enables early design verification, including timing analysis to ensure deliverability


Blog Post→ 4 challenges of designing communications systems with automotive Ethernet

Read the White Paper→ Automotive Ethernet Communication Design

Watch the Webinar→ Master the design challenges of automotive Ethernet communication

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at