NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced that the SAF5100, the first product from the RoadLINK™ range, is now available for automotive customer design-in. The SAF5100 is a flexible software-defined radio processor for car-to-car (C2C) and car-to-infrastructure (C2I) communication, helping to realize NXP’s vision for a complete C2X (C2C+C2I) solution. 

Scheduled for mass production in the second half of 2014, the SAF5100 is also the first product to become generally available from the MK4 reference design for connected vehicles, following its unveiling in July by NXP and Cohda Wireless, a leading specialist in wireless communication for automotive safety applications.

The product introduction follows successful C2X field trials worldwide with an earlier version of the SAF5100, such as the simTD trial in Germany; the ongoing Safety Pilot Model Deployment conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) in the US; and the SCORE@F trial in France.

“With proven success in major car-to-X communications trials, our chips have already set important benchmarks in terms of mobility performance and flexibility. By making the SAF5100 chip available for evaluation by major car manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers, we are now one step closer in realizing the vision of enabling a complete C2X infrastructure – with the goal of bringing the first C2C and C2I solutions to vehicles from 2015/2016 onwards,” said Torsten Lehmann, senior vice president and general manager, car entertainment solutions, NXP Semiconductors. “NXP is committed to connecting the car to reduce CO2emissions, reduce traffic congestion, avoid accidents, and ultimately save lives.”

The SAF5100 processor is fully programmable and can support unique algorithms to improve reception in wireless communication. The SAF5100 can support multiple wireless standards as well as different OEM antenna configurations like 802.11p antenna diversity, providing OEMs with the flexibility to support emerging standards across multiple regions via firmware updates. It also provides best-in-class wireless link performance via the 802.11p firmware from Cohda Wireless, which is a fully integrated part of the solution.

With a 12 mm by 12 mm LFBGA package, the SAF5100 has a very small PCB footprint which allows the 802.11p receiver to fit into confined spaces, and significantly reduces bill of materials (BOM) costs. The unique software-defined radio approach allows OEMs to deploy a global C2X solution based on a single hardware platform with end-of-line configurability by firmware download.

NXP’s ‘connected car’ technology allows cars to communicate wirelessly with each other and with traffic infrastructure, exchanging data including location, speed and direction. This allows for 360° driver awareness to improve road safety by reducing collisions, warning of potential hazards, and avoiding traffics jams.