Automotive Ethernet test software solves critical signal analysis and debug challenges

Automotive Ethernet test software solves critical signal analysis and debug challenges

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

Using the new Signal Separation software, automotive engineers can now handle automotive Ethernet test without disrupting the ECU system or cutting the Ethernet cable to install a directional coupler, while the PAM3 analysis package provides in-depth insight into signal characteristics at the system level.

As the move toward automotive Ethernet or IEEE 802.3bw (formerly BroadR-Reach) technology in vehicles accelerates, comprehensive design validation is vital to ensure interoperability and reliable operation across multiple ECUs. Current Automotive Ethernet testing solutions require engineers install a directional coupler to separate the full duplex signal. This adds insertion and return loss and makes it difficult to determine if an error is a result of the system or the additional hardware.

The Signal Separation software separates the full duplex signal by looking at voltage and current waveforms from both master and slave test points and provides separated signals using a proprietary algorithm. This method displays true ECU signals without the need for a directional coupler and provides full protocol debug of master and slave ECUs simultaneously. It supports full life-cycle automotive Ethernet test from design through service and can be used for in-car testing, as well as signal integrity testing during cranking or other scenarios.

“Vehicles are quickly becoming data centers on wheels, with proven IT technologies finding their way into automotive networks,” said Sudipto Bose, general manager, Automotive and Time Domain Solutions at Tektronix. “Because safety and reliability are so critical, testing has become more complicated and time consuming. As these new software offerings demonstrate, we are aggressively developing innovative full life-cycle solutions to simplify and accelerate system testing and product development for automotive engineers – while reducing test times and costs.”

The three levels of PAM3 in Automotive Ethernet introduce additional complexity in signaling and place new demands on test methodology, in part because the three amplitudes produce two eyes diagrams. The PAM3 analysis package provides a comprehensive set of measurements with software clock recovery that offer greater insight into signal characteristics, speeding up validation and characterization of PAM3 designs with different cable lengths, noise conditions or ECU configurations. The software also enables eye opening measurements, eye mask testing, jitter separation and Bit Error Rate (BER) plotting in a real ECU environment. 

The PAM3 Analysis along with the Signal Separation softeware have been tested and validated by leading automotive OEMs and T1 companies including Hitachi.

In addition to signal and protocol analysis, the modules also include Automotive Ethernet Physical layer compliance testing as per Open Alliance TC8 specification with full automotive Ethernet test automation and detailed pass/fail reporting.  

Tektronix 5 Series MSO and 6 Series MSO oscilloscopes offer up to 8 GHz analogue bandwidth, 25 GS/s sample rates and a 12-bit analogue to digital converter (ADC) to capture waveforms with the high signal fidelity and resolution needed to view small waveform details in Automotive Ethernet signals.

The Signal Separation (Option 5/6-AUTOEN-SS) and PAM-3 Automotive Ethernet Signal modules are available now worldwide for the 5 and 6 Series mixed signal oscilloscopes.


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