Delivering reliable and high-performance wireless connectivity is becoming more difficult in the increasingly congested automobile environment. Nonetheless, data that sensor-laden cars create needs to be uploaded securely and reliably to the cloud and data centers to enable AI and machine learning for self-driving and ADAS automotive features.
To facilitate these efforts, Marvell recently introduced a wireless SoC said to be the first to offer 802.11ax 2×2 plus 2×2 concurrent dual Wi-Fi operation for connected vehicles. Devices that support 2×2 Wi-Fi have two antennas instead of one, offering better signal penetration and stronger coverage.
The 802.11ax system, also known as high-efficiency wireless, has been developed to upload data using technologies like multiple-user, multiple-input, multiple-output (MU-MIMO) and orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA), innovations that are part of this emerging standard.
Marvell's 88Q9098 combo solution (see figure) integrates two complete Wi-Fi subsystems into a single system-on-chip (SoC), and enables two independent 2×2 data streams to run concurrently and at full throughput. One use case that demands such capability is when one Wi-Fi radio is dedicated to mobile-phone projection, while the other is streaming video to and from mobile/accessory devices in the car.
Marvell’s 88Q9098 packs two complete Wi-Fi subsystems into a single SoC. (Source: Marvell)
The combo chip enables reuse of a single solution across infotainment and telematics applications, delivering multimedia streaming, secure over-the-air updates, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, and hot-spot functionality.
Purpose-built for the car, this SoC offers a complete set of automotive features. They include 802.11p to support vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V), Bluetooth Low Energy Long Range to allow new connectivity to the phone and key fob from up to 500 meters, and customizable firmware to enable OEMs to enhance and differentiate their solutions.
The 88Q9098 also meets the stringent quality, reliability, and temperature standards required for automotive AEC-Q100 grade 2 operation (from −40 up to +105°C) with external power amplifiers.
The 88Q9098x family of footprint-compatible wireless solutions include:
- 2×2 + 2×2 concurrent dual Wi-Fi with Bluetooth 5 (88Q9098A)
- 2×2 Wi-Fi + 2×2 802.11p concurrent operation with Bluetooth 5 (88Q9098P)
- 2×2 + 2×2 concurrent dual Wi-Fi or 2×2 Wi-Fi + 2×2 802.11p concurrent operation with Bluetooth 5 (88Q9098S)
Among its applications are in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), the telecommunications control unit (TCU), remote diagnostics, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), connected gateways (C-GW) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications.