There are several types of networks in cars. The best known, and mostly used is probably CAN (Controller Area network); these networks are designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other in applications without a host computer. LIN (Local Interconnect Network) is a serial network protocol used for communication between components in vehicles. LIN is a lower cost version of CAN, allowing data to be transmitted over a single line. It is typically used for non-safety critical applications, such as (light) sensors, seat positioning motors or even cruise control. As it is connected to the car battery, the supply range is broadly defined (7V-18V). The PHY should be designed to drive a variable load, depending on the number of slaves on the LIN bus. Additionally, the robustness requirements are quite severe; for example, the IC should survive loss of ground or loss of battery, pass high ESD levels and have a well thought out EMC design.
Sofics' LIN transceiver PHY combines all these elements.

  • Sofics' LIN PHY with built-in on-chip robustness against a myriad of automotive disturbances

Basic Offer

The basic offer contains all circuitry to ensure safe handling of all disturbances at the bus:
  • Fully functional driver/receiver according to ISO 17987-4
    • Including slope control for EMC compatibility
  • Robust for ESD/EMC according to IEC 62228-2
  • ESD protection
Sofics LIN transciever PHY is currenlty designed in TSMC 0.25um BCD GEN II.
The design can be ported to other technologies.

Adaptable design

Though the LIN specifications are fixed, some options can be added.
For example, for functionality, options for mode control include:
  • Remote/local wake-up
  • INH-pin
  • TX dominant time-out
  • Basic mode control selection pins
    • Sleep/stand-by/active mode
    • Slope control options
    • High speed v/s low emission (beyond ISO 17987-4)
    • Compatible with LIN Fast mode (typically for programming)

Additional options

If requested, the offering can be extended with custom developments:
  • Vcc regulator
  • Bandgap reference circuit
  • Temperature sensor
  • (Low accuracy) oscillatorRemote/local wake-up

Digital Logic (Controller) is not included.