Fibre-optic cars

Agilent Technologies has announced what it claims is the world’s first optical transmitter and receiver to offer an extended operating temperature range of -40C to + 95C – 10 degrees higher than the nearest competitor.

The devices, for use in automobile multimedia networks, also provide an optical link budget of 14.5 dB, surpassing the 13 dB limit of competing products, thereby increasing the distance and reliability of the communication link.

Both devices are compliant with the MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) specification, the automotive industry’s multimedia, fibre-optic networking standard for hooking up multimedia devices in a car.

The AFBR-1010 fibre-optic transmitter and AFBR-2010 receiver operate at speeds of up to 50 MBd. They are both supplied in four-pin moulded packages ready for assembly into MOST-compliant, plastic fibre-optic connector receptacles.

The transmitter uses a 650 nm LED source with integrated optics for efficient coupling into 1-mm polymer optical fibre, while the receiver contains a large-area PIN diode to receive this light. Input and output data is TTL compatible with MOST network interface controller ICs.

In the absence of data activity, the receiver switches to a very low power-consumption mode. In this mode, the PIN diode senses new data activity and switches the receiver back to full operation. Both the transmitter and receiver feature high tolerance to voltage transients, since both the LED driver and receiver IC are fabricated using a BiCMOS process.

Samples of the AFBR-1010 fibre-optic transmitter and AFBR-2010 receiver are available now through Agilent’s direct sales channel. Pricing will be set in March 2005 when production quantities are available.