Battle for real time networking protocols
Version 3.5 of German tool developer Symtavision’s SymTA/S system-level tool suite now includes a variety of timing analyses for both embedded networks and electronic control units (ECUs).
“We have extended our tool for an additional analysis with time triggered Ethernet (TTE) having introduced AVB and standard Ethernet in 3.4,” said Ralph Klein, product manager at Symptavision. “The biggest reason for that is that we are mainly located in the automotive domain and TTE was mainly in the avionics market but now it’s being introduced into the automotive market and the OEMs are very interested in comparing different standards such as TTE, AVB and standard Ethernet. This is focussed mainly on the SAE AS6802 standard which is not full time triggered – it has some basic features of TTE and we are starting this way to cover the main issues. This is the first step but not the last step towards TTE analysis, it will depend on the market requirements.”
At the same time, Symtavision has announced TraceAnalyzer 3.5 for visualizing and analyzing timing data from both measurements and simulations alongside SymTA/S.
The new analysis complements the existing AVB and Standard Ethernet analyses in preparation of the future AVB Gen2 standard. The CAN analysis in SymTA/S 3.5 has been further improved with the introduction of a Message Buffer extension covering COM-layer communications to facilitate more detailed analysis including the examination of scheduling anomalies that might occur with specific hardware/software layouts. ECU sender/receiver overview tables are now provided for Frames, enabling a better understanding of system wide end-to-end communications.
“We can analyze entire systems, from the sensor over the ECU over CAN or FlexRay and over a gateway onto Ethernet and this is not possible with other tools that focus on single systems that do not combine everything together,” said Klein. “Our customers can analyse the end to end scenarios and see what kind of delays will occur and what kind of buffer delays will occur as focusing on a single point is not enough.”
For embedded network developers, SymTA/S 3.5 features a new time-triggered Ethernet analysis capability based on the SAE AS6802 standard, enabling different Ethernet scheduling algorithms/rules to be explored for the definition of future networking strategies
“It seems that AVB will be the future standard in automotive but before they decide they want to evaluate other technologies,” said Klein. “SAE AS6802 could be seen as a first step to AVB Gen 2. The main issue is that things are not as predictable as customers want it to be and Gen 2 helps to be more predictable in the delays. The main reason for going to AVB is you have the ability to prioritise some packets and this helps to satisfy requests for the functional safety part.
For ECU developers, SymTA/S 3.5 features improved AUTOSAR XML round-trip model exchange with interfaces to the automotive industry’s most popular and commonly used tools. SymTA/S 3.5 also features new analysis capabilities for data consistency of multicore systems and support for polling activation. Additionally, SymTA/S 3.5 features new white-box and grey-box gateway analysis capabilities with faster, more efficient template-based approaches to gateway design helping to improve time-to-market.
Floating license server access has been accelerated for slow networks, and the batch mode for analysis automation has now the ability to start executing a passed script.
“The launch of SymTA/S 3.5 and TraceAnalyzer 3.5 extends the capabilities of our timing analysis and architecture exploration tools in key areas where we see the biggest interest in the market,” said Dr Marek Jersak, CEO of Symtavision. “We extended our lead in embedded networking with our Ethernet, gateway and CAN extensions, as well as in multi-core ECUs through data-consistency, AUTOSAR XML round-trip and polling activation extensions. These capabilities have been developed in close cooperation with key customers and will further accelerate our growth in automotive and the broader embedded market.”
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