Ethernet or MOST for the car? - MOST Forum examines automotive optical data communications

April 19, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With a history of twelve years in production, its proponents believe that the prospects for MOST bus technology for automotive infotainment environments are better than ever. At the MOST Forum which will take place on April 23, in Esslingen (Germany), industrial and academic participants will discuss future developments.

The focus of presentations and discussions will be on the tension between MOST and Ethernet and the future propects for the MOST system in an increasingly connected car.
Currently, the third generation of the MOST bus, MOST 150, is being installed in increasing volumes in vehicles such as the Audi A3 and soon, in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class; many other models in Europe and Asia are already scheduled to increase the installed base of MOST-equipped vehicles. Despite the possibility that in the long run Ethernet could displace MOST, the MOST group is more enthusiastic than ever and points out that the current MOST version, by definition, already includes a virtual Ethernet channel.

Against the background of this discussion, Harald Schoepp, head of infotainment engineering for automotive tier one Johnson Controls and long-standing member of the MOST Steering committee, will give the keynote speech titled "MOST - Simply technology". The audience can expect a discussion on  MOST technology from the perspective of most stakeholders, ranging from semiconductor vendors to carmakers and infotainment equipment vendors, to drivers. Presentations will focus on future MOST aspects and architecture enhancement options. Several presentations from Sumitomo and TE Connectivity will discuss in detail the perspectives of a future MOST version with a bandwidth of 5 Gbit/sec. MOST engineering company Relnetyx, recently acquired by competitor Ruetz System Solutions, will share its considerations regarding the reliability of VCSEL-devices for 5Gbit/sec data transmission in an automotive environment. The Polymer Optical Fiber Application Center will show an Optical Data Bus with POF and Passive star couplers.

Other presentations include the integration of a MOST infotainment system in the typically heterogeneous networking environments seen in today's cars. And the perspectives of Ethernet vs MOST will be illuminated by a presentation by Daimler and the FZI as well as by an update on the MOST roadmap, presented by MOST Consortium member Microchip Technology.

The symposium is accompanied by an exhibition where carmakers such