To USB or Not to USB


USB in Automotive Applications

Thanks to the huge consumer demand for increased safety, autonomous driving and improved luxury in vehicles the automotive SoC market is expected to grow at 6.7% CAGR between 2014 to 2019  (source IC Market Drivers, IC Insights Jan 2016).


The fastest growing segment is the Automated Driver Assistance System, ADAS, which is estimated to have a 25% CAGR `2014-2021 (source Trends and Opportunities In driver assistance and automated driving, HIS Automotive Sep 2015)


Synopsys already enables automotive SoC’s by providing a comprehensive portfolio of DesignWare IP tailored to the needs of the automotive industry. The DesignWare IP accelerates qualification of automotive SoC’s by providing ASIL B/D Ready IP with AEC-Q100 Testing and TS 16949 Quality Management targeting ADAS, infotainment and MCU applications.


Synopsys’ automotive grade IP helps in the main three areas of functional safety, reliability and quality.

  • Functional Safety: Accelerate ISO 26262 functional safety assessments to help ensure designers reach target ASIL levels
  • Reliability: Reduce risk and development time for AEC-Q100 qualification of SoCs
  • Quality: Meet quality levels required for automotive applications


As you can see above, the DesignWare USB IP solution is one of the many IP’s supporting automotive applications. For the popular ADAS designs, USB is used for things like initial programming, debug, firmware update but more importantly as the main input/output for more complex sensors. MIPI I3C will also be used for this function but in the cases where higher bandwidth and more complex interaction is required, USB 3.1 Gen1 (USB 3.0) is the interface of choice.

In addition to USB being used in ADAS, USB is of course also a key interface for Infotainment SoC’s. The infotainment SoC needs to support connection to a selection of input & outputs such as the navigation system and user capabilities. Its common now to have the user plug in a USB Stick or USB enables smartphone delivering both media and charging. Today this is mostly audio but in the not too distant future we will see this same connection supporting all sorts of input/output such as additional live traffic and video across the new USB Type-C with DisplayPort alt mode.

I expect to see the use of USB in automotive applications to increase as it’s simply the most prolific and ubiquitous interface providing the designers and end uses with the greatest flexibility for use and expansion.

Did you find this interesting, then Subscribe (read on, I’m not finished.)

To subscribe, click on this link:

I’ve personally been using USB for an automotive application for years. I have a USB Scope to help diagnose issue with the engine in my race cars.

USB Scope

Have a look at these pictures and see if you can guess what the snap shot is of and diagnose the issue with my race car?



Well for those of you how are mechanically minded I expect you quickly guessed that this is a picture of the top of one of the engines pistons.


It’s not supposed to have that HUGE crack and chunk missing. Lets just say that when this piston broke the engine didn’t run so well and created a smoke screen that any James Bond like spy would have been proud of.

Here is a picture of my Subaru race car in the shop, AKA my garage, for a lot of tender loving maintenance. I have many, many hours of work in front of me to get the car track ready again 🙁


Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Print
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • RSS