The amount of electronic systems introduced in vehicles is continuously increasing: X-by-wire, complex electronic control systems and above all future applications such as automotive vision and safety warnings require in-car reliable communication backbones with the capability to handle large amount of data at high speeds. To cope with this issue and driven by the experience of aerospace systems, the Space Wire standard, recently proposed by the European Space Agency (ESA), can be introduced in the automotive field. The SpaceWire is a serial data link standard which provides safety and redundancy and guarantees to handle data-rates up to hundreds of Mbps. This paper presents the design of configurable SpaceWire router and interface hardware macrocells, the first in state of the art compliant with the newest standard extensions, Protocol Identification (PID) and Remote Memory Access Protocol (RMAP). The macrocells have been integrated and tested on antifuse technology in the framework of an ESA project. The achieved performances of a router with 8 links, 130 Mbps data-rate, 1.5 W power cost, meet the requirements of future automotive electronic systems. The proposed networking solution simplifies the connectivity, reducing also the relevant volume and mass budgets, provides network safety and redundancy and guarantees to handle very high bandwidth data flows not covered by current standards as CAN or FlexRay.
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