NXP Semiconductors; 5G_dreamstime_-Jackymkleung_194674995

Dev Platform Unifies Automotive Wireless Connectivity into Single Domain Controller

Oct. 18, 2022
NXP’s OrangeBox simplifies access to integrated connectivity technologies through one software platform to reduce costs and streamline development.

The Overview

NXP Semiconductors’ OrangeBox automotive-grade development platform integrates a wide variety of wireless technologies, from broadcast radio, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth to secure car access with ultra-wideband (UWB) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), as well as 802.11p-based V2X. The OrangeBox is a single, security-enhanced, modular platform that offers a unified interface between the vehicle’s gateway and its wired and wireless technologies. By doing so, it provides a means for next-generation cars to securely communicate with the world around them.

Who Needs It & Why?

More connected than ever, today’s cars use an array of wireless technologies to provide drivers and passengers with everything from infotainment to advanced safety features. But with these technologies distributed throughout the vehicle’s architecture, multiple development challenges are exacerbated as more and more connectivity features are added, expanding the cyberattack surface.

OrangeBox unifies these current and emerging external wireless interfaces into a single, security-enhanced connectivity domain controller, which then connects to the secure vehicle gateway through NXP’s high-speed Ethernet silicon. This consolidated, turnkey approach reduces development effort and optimizes the movement of data across multiple communication interfaces. It also enables consistent, state-of-the-art security protection to be applied to all traffic entering the car and eases the deployment of V2X and cloud applications, such as over-the-air updates for software-defined vehicles.

Designed as a modular platform, OrangeBox provides OEMs and Tier-1 automotive suppliers with the flexibility to adapt to various regional requirements for cellular connectivity and V2X, as well as enable in-field updates necessary to keep up with changing technologies. This helps accelerate time-to-market, reduces complexity, and provides a complete system reference design ready for application deployment.

Under the Hood

The OrangeBox development platform integrates leading NXP technologies, including an advanced applications processor, a software-defined broadcast radio tuner, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth. It also features secure car access with BLE and UWB, as well as 802.11p-based V2X, both secured by the company’s certified EdgeLock discrete secure elements. Support for 4G LTE or 5G cellular and GPS connectivity is in the mix, too.

The platform makes it simpler for automakers to consistently apply state-of-the-art cloud-managed security technologies, such as next-generation firewalls, to data traffic entering or leaving the vehicle. The central processor of the OrangeBox is an i.MX 8XLite applications processor running a unified Linux-based software platform to manage the automotive wireless connectivity. It includes a Gigabit Ethernet connection to the central vehicle gateway, allowing other automotive systems to leverage the benefits of integrated wireless connectivity more easily.

The OrangeBox automotive development platform is expected to be available to customers in 1H 2023.

About the Author

David Maliniak | Executive Editor, Microwaves & RF

I am Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF, an all-digital publication that broadly covers all aspects of wireless communications. More particularly, we're keeping a close eye on technologies in the consumer-oriented 5G, 6G, IoT, M2M, and V2X markets, in which much of the wireless market's growth will occur in this decade and beyond. I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, developers, and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

You can send press releases for new products for possible coverage on the website. I am also interested in receiving contributed articles for publishing on our website. Use our contributor's packet, in which you'll find an article template and lots more useful information on how to properly prepare content for us, and send to me along with a signed release form. 

About me:

In his long career in the B2B electronics-industry media, David Maliniak has held editorial roles as both generalist and specialist. As Components Editor and, later, as Editor in Chief of EE Product News, David gained breadth of experience in covering the industry at large. In serving as EDA/Test and Measurement Technology Editor at Electronic Design, he developed deep insight into those complex areas of technology. Most recently, David worked in technical marketing communications at Teledyne LeCroy, leaving to rejoin the EOEM B2B publishing world in January 2020. David earned a B.A. in journalism at New York University.

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