Automotive manufacturers BMW and DaimlerChrysler, and semiconductor manufacturers Motorola and Philips Semiconductors have formed an industry consortium to drive forward the development and implementation of an automotive communication system named FlexRay.
The FlexRay protocol provides flexibility and determinism by combining a scalable static and dynamic message transmission, incorporating the advantages of synchronous and asynchronous protocols.
The protocol also supports fault-tolerant clock synchronisation via a global time base, collision-free bus access, guaranteed message latency, message oriented addressing via identifiers and scalable system fault-tolerance via the support of either single or dual channels.
A physical layer incorporating an independent Bus Guardian provides further support for error containment. The FlexRay system is targeted to support data rates of up to 10Mbps.
Development tools for design, measurement and simulation of the communication systems are also under development.
BMW and DaimlerChrysler intend to use FlexRay within the next few years.
Further information on FlexRay is available at http://www.flexray-group.com