Aquantia is announcing some rather big news with one of the hottest companies in tech these days. Aquantia has made a name for itself by delivering gigabit network controllers for use in enthusiast motherboards and gaming notebooks, along with multi-gigabit solutions for network switches. However, its newest partnership with NVIDIA will see its Multi-Gig solutions used in the DRIVE autonomous vehicle platforms.
Using Aquantia Ethernet controllers, NVIDIA's DRIVE platforms can communicate with other vehicle systems at up 10Gbps using traditional automotive Ethernet cables. There’s the AQC100 (PHY), AQVC100 (MAC), and AQVC107 (combo of both chips integrated into a single package). Currently, these first-generation controllers are capable of operating at 2.5Gbps (single twisted pair cable), 5Gbps (dual pair), or 10Gbps (quad pair) depending on the requirements of its customers.
These chips will have been qualified for use in NVIDIA's DRIVE PX Pegasus platform. Pegasus feature two powerful Xavier SoCs and is capable of delivering Level 5 autonomy (under the SAE International Standard J3016 classification) for self-driving vehicles.
DRIVE PX Pegasus has to process data from 360-degree cameras, LIDAR, GPS, vehicle wheel speed sensors, and various other inputs, so the high-speed communications afforded by Aquantia are paramount to make self-driving magic happen. "The NVIDIA DRIVE platform uses redundant and diverse functions to achieve the highest level of safety, for which Multi-Gig connectivity is an absolute necessity," said Faraj Aalaei, Chairman and CEO of Aquantia Corp.
"Aquantia was the first to drive the standards that introduced Multi-Gig connectivity into other markets, and we have maintained a leadership position while transitioning those markets to higher speeds."
"To achieve a safe self-driving experience, we require secure, reliable, redundant Multi-Gig networks to move vast amounts of data," added Gary Hicok, NVIDIA's senior vice president of hardware development.
Aquantia's Multi-Gig Ethernet controllers will be available for automotive partners during the first quarter of 2018.