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Ascent Technologies has spent a decade leading the way for multiplexing solutions in automotive systems. Our expertise in multiplexing has taken the form of concept development all the way through to production system verification and validation. As new technologies arise, such as Class-2 Communications and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Data Bus (IDB), Ascent Technologies has been involved as a key technology transfer partner to the automotive platform and supplier communities.


Based upon the Society of Automotive Engineers J1850 Communications standard, Ascent Technologies has developed communications sub-systems for General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford automotive components. We supported the initial Protocol Development for the General Motors variation, called Class 2, including developing software for the first full-vehicle demonstration of functional-based message J1850 multiplexing.

In the concept car developed to demonstrate the functional-based message approach, Ascent Technologies developed software for a total of seventeen separate controllers. In addition, Ascent Technologies worked to modify the electrical harness and integrated these controllers with the remaining vehicle electronics. Based on results of the demonstration, the multiplexing solution has been adopted by General Motors for its production vehicles, beginning with the 1996 Cadillac line.

The newest area in the Multiplexed Communications arena for Ascent Technologies is the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Data Bus (IDB) arena. Ascent Technologies is a proud member of the IDB Forum and has been involved with this technology since early 1998. As a consultant and prototype developer, Ascent has supported a major automotive supplier with demonstration software and technical review of IDB-C standards. Ascent Technologies is thrilled to be involved with this technology. We are looking to provide consulting, development, and training services to companies in this new and exciting field.

Development Support

Ascent Technologies has supported Tier 1 suppliers with prototype and production software services in the area of communications sub-systems. To date, subsystems for more than twenty different modules have been developed, tested, and verified at both the module and vehicle level by Ascent Technologies. These subsystems have been developed in both Assembly Language and High Level Languages. More than ten different microcontrollers have been successfully targeted to support these communication needs.


Ascent Technologies was instrumental in the verification of the first General Motors production vehicle which utilized Class 2 multiplexing communications. This vehicle was tested at our lab facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In addition, many of our clients have relied on Ascent Technologies' testing services to ensure that their modules are compliant with vehicle platform requirements and expectations. These verification services have included both physical and logical verification and have been applied to both J1850 and CAN based networks.


Ascent Technologies believes that understanding multiplex technologies is critical given the automotive markets drive to localize sensors and actuators to support distributing the control functions. Ascent offers engineer-led technical training courses in both J1850 and CAN technologies. Our courses provide insight into the physical, logical and contextual operation of the particular networks. In addition, the courses cover the strategy of the appropriate higher level protocols. Students learn the basics and gain an understanding of why the network is configured in a particular fashion.

Multiplexing Standard Committees

Ascent Technologies participates in SAE Multiplexing Standards committees and is the only non-GM Company to have been a member of the GM Corporate Multiplexing Standards committee. In addition, we are members of the IDB Forum, the industry group focusing on the expansion of this up and coming technology.


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Last modified: July 2016