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Cutting-Edge Automotive SerDes Technology and the Innovative SerDes Grabber Solution

Updated: May 28


Automotive SerDes (Serializer/Deserializer) technology is crucial for transmitting high-speed data between different components within a vehicle. This technology converts a multi-channel data signal into serial data for transmission over a single or a few pairs of wires (serialization) and then converts the serial data back into multi-channel data at the receiving end (deserialization). SerDes is especially important in modern vehicles, which have a growing number of sensors, cameras, and electronic control units (ECUs) that need to communicate quickly and reliably.


The increasing demand for connectivity, the proliferation of electronic components in vehicles, and the requirement for larger data capacity are driving the use of SerDes in the automotive industry. Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and self-driving capabilities necessitate high-speed data transfer and dependable connectivity between sensors, computers, and actuators in vehicles.



Leading Automotive SerDes Products

In the automotive SerDes market, the top three products are Texas Instruments' FPD-Link series, Analog Devices' (formerly Maxim Integrated) GMSL series, and Sony's GVIF. Here’s a detailed look at each:


I. Texas Instruments (TI)

Texas Instruments offers FPD-Link III and FPD-Link IV SerDes products for automotive applications, emphasizing reliability, high performance, and ease of use.


Key Highlights:

· High Speed: Supports up to 4Gbps per lane, suitable for high-resolution cameras and displays.

· Long Distance Transmission: Can transmit data up to 15 meters with minimal latency, essential for automotive applications.

· Integrated Features: Includes back-channel communication for bidirectional control and diagnostics, reducing the need for additional wiring.

· EMI Immunity: Features advanced shielding and noise reduction techniques to ensure reliable operation in noisy automotive environments.

· Power over Coax (PoC): Enables power delivery over the same cable used for data transmission, reducing complexity and weight.

· Scalability: Designed to support multiple cameras and displays, providing a scalable solution for ADAS and infotainment systems.


II. Maxim Integrated (now part of Analog Devices)

Maxim Integrated offers a range of GMSL2 and GMSL3 SerDes solutions designed for automotive applications, focusing on high performance, reliability, and ease of integration.


Key Highlights:

· High Bandwidth: Supports up to 6Gbps data rate, and GMSL3 supports up to 12Gbps data rate, suitable for high-resolution camera and display systems.

· Long Cable Support: Capable of driving video, audio, and control data over long cables (up to 15 meters) with low latency.

· Robustness: Designed to handle automotive environments with features like EMI resistance and error correction.

· Power Over Coax (PoC): Simplifies cabling by delivering power and data over a single coaxial cable.

· Flexibility and Integration: Supports multiple data lanes, allowing for the integration of several video streams in a single link. Works with various image sensors and display panels, providing a versatile solution for ADAS and infotainment systems.


III. Sony

Sony offers a range of SerDes solutions tailored for automotive imaging applications, leveraging its expertise in image sensor technology.


Key Highlights:

· High Data Rate: Supports high-speed data transmission, crucial for high-resolution camera systems used in ADAS.

· Robust Performance: Designed to operate reliably in harsh automotive conditions with features like high resistance to EMI.

· Seamless Integration: Optimized for use with Sony’s own automotive image sensors, providing a tightly integrated solution that ensures compatibility and performance.

· Advanced Features: Supports features like HDR (High Dynamic Range) and low-light performance, enhancing the overall imaging capabilities of the system.

· Multiple Data Streams: Capable of handling multiple data streams, allowing for sophisticated multi-camera setups.



Integration of Frame Grabbers with SerDes Technology

To achieve high-performance imaging and data transmission systems, SerDes technology is often paired with frame grabbers. Frame grabbers capture and digitize video frames from cameras equipped with SerDes for processing on a computer or other processing units. They are essential in applications requiring high-quality, real-time image capture and processing.


Modern high-resolution cameras, especially in applications like automotive ADAS or industrial inspection, often use SerDes technology to transmit data efficiently to the frame grabber. Frame grabbers receive high-speed serialized data from these cameras, then deserialize the data for further processing.


In automotive systems, SerDes enables long-distance data transfer from multiple cameras placed around the vehicle to the central processing unit or frame grabber with reduced cabling complexity. When designing imaging systems, engineers often use frame grabbers compatible with SerDes-equipped cameras to ensure seamless data capture and transmission.



Frame Grabbers and SerDes: A Symbiotic Relationship

Frame grabbers and SerDes technology work together to enhance the performance and efficiency of high-speed imaging and data processing systems. While SerDes enables efficient, long-distance data transmission with reduced cabling complexity, frame grabbers handle the crucial tasks of image capture, preprocessing, and transfer to host systems. Their integration is particularly beneficial in applications requiring real-time processing, high bandwidth, and reliable data transmission over extended distances.


Popular Frame Grabber Solutions

Deserializer MAX96792


· Compatibility: The ECFG S-series frame grabber is compatible with various deserializer chips and supports different deserializer chips used in combination. 

· Deserialization chips support: Currently, the S-series already support MAX9296, MAX96792, TI954, and TI9702. For chips not on the support list, users can order a customized daughterboard and integrate it through the SDK’s low-code interface.

· Known as a leading frame grabber supplier, has been at the forefront of AI vision appliances and systems since 2018, enabling tech companies to address development and production challenges in Edge AI vision products. They specialize in advanced hardware design, camera and machine vision systems development, image sensor tuning, and IoT device management, delivering highly customizable front-end intelligent vision and edge intelligent control unit products and solutions.

Deserializer MAX9296
Deserializer MAX9296

Overall, Automotive SerDes technology and frame grabbers are crucial for modern vehicle systems, enabling high-speed, reliable data transmission and processing necessary for ADAS, autonomous driving, and other advanced automotive applications. The integration of these technologies ensures efficient data handling, enhancing the overall performance and safety of modern vehicles. is the leading supplier of AI vision appliances and systems, aiming to support tech companies in overcoming the development and production challenges of Edge AI vision products with expertise in advanced hardware design and production, camera and machine vision systems development, image sensor and ISP tuning, and IoT device management. has successfully developed mass-production machine vision solutions for customers around the globe in autonomous driving, electrical vehicles, mobility robots, and surveillance markets. offers engineering services to enable customization and meet unique application requirements in rapid and cost-effective manner. Founded in 2018, has received several industry awards for its insight and innovations in AI vision product deployment.

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