Automotive Electronics

Valens & Sony partner for automotive sensor breakthrough

HOD HASHARON, Israel, April 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Valens Semiconductor, announced that it has collaborated with Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation (Sony) to complete Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing of a multi-vendor A-PHY link, progressing towards a mature Sony A-PHY-integrated image sensor that is compatible with Valens’ VA7000 deserializer chip. The landmark Sony solution will be the first in the automotive industry to include an integrated high-speed connectivity solution. This will lead to a significantly less expensive, smaller form factor, lower power consumption camera for enhanced advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) applications.

MIPI A-PHY, a pioneering standard in the automotive industry, uniquely optimizes sensor integration support, ensuring high-speed in-vehicle connectivity. Since its release in 2020, it has attracted a growing ecosystem of companies designing products based on the technology. Today, several automotive OEMs and Tier 1s are evaluating VA7000 MIPI A-PHY-compliant chipsets for integration into their next-generation systems.

The two companies successfully completed Interoperability Testing (IOT) and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing. Moreover, Bulk Current Injection (BCI), RF Ingress, and Transients On Line (ToL) testing confirmed their success, even on a 15m/40ft cable aged to simulate the entire lifecycle of the vehicle. This validates the ability of the devices to operate without interference in a real-world automotive environment. Ensuring the safety and reliability of electronic systems in vehicles for ADAS and autonomous driving is essential for functionality.

Valens and Sony are collaborating to develop an 8 Megapixel A-PHY camera module for ADAS systems, which they will prepare in the coming months.

“We are rapidly moving towards bringing to market the first-ever sensor with integrated high-speed connectivity. These IoT and EMC tests are testament to the maturity of the A-PHY standard and our camera solution,” said Kenji Onishi, Deputy Senior General Manager of the Automotive business Division in Sony Semiconductor Solutions. “We believe that A-PHY is uniquely positioned to meet automotive OEM requirements for enhanced ADAS systems. The standard offers a unique combination of unprecedented performance alongside sensor integration. Moreover, this enables us to lead the market with a cutting-edge camera with a simplified design.”

“MIPI A-PHY technology optimizes the transmitter, making it small, inexpensive, and simple, offering key benefits in connectivity. This allows for direct integration of the connectivity inside the sensor – a benefit that no competing solution can provide,” said Eyran Lida, Chief Technology Officer at Valens Semiconductor. “The EMC testing proves the superior performance of A-PHY technology. It also demonstrates its ability to build a truly interoperable ecosystem.”

“MIPI A-PHY was designed from the beginning to reduce complexity on the sensor side. It delivers exceptional EMC performance throughout the lifecycle of the vehicle,” said Sanjiv Desai, MIPI Alliance chair. “This collaboration demonstrates both these goals, and we commend Valens and Sony for achieving this milestone. Moreover, the continued growth and development of the A-PHY ecosystem please us.”

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