Automotive audio bus boosts digital audio quality, uses UTP wiring

October 22, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
In what will be regarded as a challenge to incumbent technologies such as MOST, and to the trend for “everything-Ethernet” - in this case, Ethernet AVB - Analog Devices’ AD2410 transceiver uses the new Automotive Audio Bus (A²B) to deliver 50 Mbps bandwidth while reducing audio system cost, weight, and design complexity.

This device embodies a digital audio bus technology capable of distributing audio and control data together with clock and power over a single, unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) wire. The AD2410 transceiver is the first in a family of devices that enables ADI's new Automotive Audio Bus (A²B), which significantly reduces the weight of existing cable harnesses, while delivering high-fidelity audio. The AD2410 transceiver also eliminates the need for expensive microcontrollers with large memories that are required in existing digital bus architectures.

The AD2410 is a low-cost audio transceiver that provides 50 Mbps of data bandwidth and support for up to 32 discrete upstream and downstream audio channels. All standard audio sampling rates are supported as is daisy-chaining of multiple AD2410 slave devices to a single master. Unlike existing digital bus architectures, system delay is fully deterministic at all slave nodes, making the AD2410 particularly well suited for applications including active noise cancellation, in-car communications, and microphone beam forming.

In addition to decreasing cabling complexity, the AD2410 reduces audio system eBOM costs by providing a phantom power capability to all slave nodes, which eliminates the need for a local power source. The AD2410 meets all relevant automotive ESD, EMI, and EMC requirements. It operates over the extended automotive temperature range (-40C to +105C) and is fully AEC-Q100 qualified. The AD2410 also includes diagnostic capabilities enabling the identification of system-related failures. The AD2410 is fully configurable using ADI’s SigmaStudio graphical development tool.

“As an early implementer of ADI’s A²B, Panasonic Automotive found the technology to significantly reduce cabling complexity and associated cost and weight of next-generation infotainment systems, key areas of focus for Panasonic’s OEM customers,” said Jonathan Lane, Group Manager, Audio & Acoustics, part of Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America (PASA) Advanced Development Engineering. “We believe A²B to be well suited to address applications such as microphone arrays and active noise cancellation.... that we expect to be an integral component of