F1’s electronic snag

The FIA has decided to give Riedel more time to iron out their issues regarding the cockpit warning system the drivers use in Formula One. Apparently the systems have not been working correctly and were not used in Bahrain although the progress made was enough to give them more time to deliver a fully operational product.

Riedel is a communications company that specializes in audio and video matrix switching and signal management. My day job has certainly collided with F1 here as I am familiar with their work and products. Interestingly, before we start pummeling them over the issues they are having, the company is leading with new technology in the matrix-to-matrix switching over LAN using a new format in our industry called AVB or Audio Video Bridging.

For those of you who aren’t propeller-heads like I am, think of it as an alternative to HDMI or Display Port. It is a new standard that a group are working on for open source adoption which include HD video, audio and control signal over Category cable. In my industry, many manufacturers are starting to emerge with AVB products. Riedel being one of them.

I know, from my tour behind the scenes in Austin, that Tata Communications work with FOM to broadcast F1 to the world but I have to wonder, and how I would love to peek behind the curtain, if Riedel isn’t being used in their LAN, WAN and global fiber network using AVB. That would be a terrific white paper for me to read.

Interestingly AUTOSPORT says that the teams would have to re-wire their cars if a new supplier was chosen and that makes me wonder what technology Riedel is using that was proprietary or bespoke for this particular application. In our world, it would be better to have standardization at the user level in case something like this would happen so you don’t have to re-wire the cars. Surely McLaren have an option for this? They are some sharp folks in Woking working with soldering guns.

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