High-performance multi-gigabit networking for automotive.

switch router

In-vehicle Ethernet processing

Gigabit Ethernet has become the leading choice for routing data around today’s cars as they become increasingly complex automotive computing platforms. To meet the needs for flexible, high-speed data transport and automotive safety, we have designed the Imagination Ethernet Packet Processor Switch and Router products with a range of powerful features and options.

Imagination’s Ethernet Packet Processor (EPP) IP is a family of scalable multi-port IEEE 802.3 Multi-Gigabit Ethernet Switch and Router solutions. Silicon proven, the IP is specifically designed to meet the demanding communications requirements for high-performance managed and unmanaged multi-port switches and routers and is ideally suited for the automotive sector and other network processing markets.

Functional safety is an essential requirement for many automotive applications that demand a high level of reliability and Imagination is investing in the broadest functional safety solutions in the industry. The EPP is designed with functional safety in mind and will make it easier for SoC manufacturers to achieve the Automotive Safety Integrity Levels (ASIL) that are classified by the ISO 26262 standard for automotive safety.

Flexible, configurable

The multi-port EPP IP family provides highly configurable and highly flexible solutions that can support multiple different configurations of router and switch products. They use a hardware and software framework, combined with hardware accelerators and a high-speed flexible DMA fabric to provide a complete and highly optimised, yet flexible solution.

Intelligent crossover routing

The router and switch capabilities provide intelligent routing for internal and external automotive protocols including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, 5G, CAN bus, MOST bus, Flexray and others.

They also support IEEE standards for Time Sensitive Networking (TSN), Audio-Video Bridging (AVB) and many more.

Router processor offload

Featuring hardware acceleration with integral processing capability on-board, the EPP products are sophisticated enough to take significant load off the host processor, meaning that you have more flexibility and choice for your CPU.

Advanced design

The EPP IP solution family utilises advanced design techniques to deliver optimum power and performance, while maintaining consistent connectivity, and complemented by a rich set of features.

  • Scalable architecture 200+ Gbps
  • Multi-port, multi-gigabit functionality
  • Developed for use in automotive and industrial applications
  • Safety package
  • Audio Video Bridging (AVB) and Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) support
  • Complex functions like QoS, Traffic management and buffer management in hardware
  • Fast path / Slow path architecture
  • Embedded DMA engine for Host Interface with 4/8/16 channels
  • Validation Platform
  • Silicon-proven solution that minimises risk and reduces time-to-market
  • Multiple products can be created from one IP core
  • Easy integration into an SoC

Architectural advantages

The EPP is a highly programmable family of Ethernet processors. The architecture has various hardware blocks such as a QoS engine to achieve scalable and guaranteed performance. The Router IP has Functions like packet classification, deep packet inspection and modification are programmable using multiple micro-processors. The architecture has hardware assists for scheduling and reordering packets to the programmable engines. Highly programmable parallel, pattern matching engines are part of the architecture for deep packet inspection. 

The blocks are connected using a proprietary bus for optimal throughput and highest performance with smallest area. The architecture provides separate busses for data transfers and control packet communication. It provides flexible performance that scales with internal memory and packet classification performance. The architecture is suited to high performance, low power, low area gateway SoCs.

In concert with a host processor and a sub-system with peripherals such as a system controller, UART etc, the EPP can be a complete SoC for Gateway applications.

Enabling you to deliver world-beating products

Talk to us to find out how our Ethernet Packet Processor can boost your product innovation and deliver outstanding user experiences for your customers.