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Valens Retools for Autos

May 23, 2017

Author: Loring Wirbel

Valens originally developed the HDBaseT technology that uses proprietary forms of PAM modulation for consumer and professional A/V networks. Now the Israeli DSP specialist has refocused on automotive networks using its technology over single twisted-pair cables. Following a November 2016 pact with Daimler AG to collaborate on a 6Gbps UTP network solution for in-vehicle transmission of audio, video, USB, data, and power transport, Valens won $60 million in new funding from a group led by Israel Growth Partners. Investors in this round include Delphi, Goldman Sachs, MediaTek, and Samsung Catalyst Fund.

The company is working with Argus Software Security and Check Point Software Technologies on the Cyber Security Working Group for automotive security. It also initiated a partnership with STMicroelectronics to apply that company’s design and manufacturing expertise to a future VA6000 chip, which will be based on the existing Colligo HDBaseT line for consumer networks. ST gained no second-source rights to this transceiver, though.

Valens founded the HDBaseT Alliance in 2010 with LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. NXP is among the 180 members in the expanded coalition. Valens has maintained a tight licensing policy of producing its own chip sets and using the alliance to define the standard for the high-speed transport architecture, thus remaining a sole source of transceiver chips. Despite Valens’ sole-source transceiver status, IEEE approved HDBaseT in its P1911 standards effort at the end of 2014 and accepted the standard in 1Q15.

HDBaseT is by no means destined to become the backbone network of choice in automotive applications, but Valens has chosen one of the few markets where Ethernet is not automatically assumed to be the default Layer 2 framing format. 

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