High-speed data communication linking vehicles to the outside environment is currently attracting great interest as a means for obtaining destination and road information, updating maps, and performing other functions required by navigation systems.
Applications of the technology are gradually increasing and include access to tourist information and online cloud services via the Internet, utilization of big data, and eCall systems. Now it is expected that communication modules supporting the LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard for high-speed, high-capacity data communication will be incorporated into automobiles and automotive electronics to enhance those services.
Besides conforming to radio legislation in each country, devices implementing LTE technology must undergo interoperability testing and certification for each telecommunications carrier to provide assurance of a stable connection with base stations.
In addition to evaluations required to obtain the above certification, many technical hurdles also need to be cleared before marketing an automotive LTE module, as such modules have to be able to provide high reliability in tougher vibration and temperature environments than modules for consumer devices.
To help address these market needs, Alps Electric offers the UMDZ series LTE data communication module, which claims to be the world's smallest module for automotive use, with dimensions of 28.9 × 29.8 × 4.22 mm, achieved by optimizing the product structure using RF and evaluation technologies accumulated over the years. The module will support three modes — 2G, 3G and LTE — and worldwide use in regions including Europe, North America, China and Japan.