“Serial interfaces are extensively used for communication between sub-assemblies in electronic systems, including applications where personal safety issues arise such as in automotive applications. These applications require manufacturers to test for the system response to communication failures or other interruptions/failures to ensure the system responds in a safe way. These new PXI Fault Insertion modules give manufacturers the ability to simulate faults on commonly used differential serial interfaces,” explained Shaun Fuller, Pickering’s Switching Product Manager.
The modules include the Differential PXI Fault Insertion Switch (model 40-200) which is designed for lower data rate serial interfaces such as CAN and FlexRay, and the High Bandwidth Differential PXI Fault Insertion Switch (model 40-201) which is designed for higher data rate serial interfaces such as AFDX and 1000BaseT Ethernet. Each module allows the introduction of fault connections that include data paths open, data paths shorted together, and data paths shorted to externally applied faults such as power supplies and ground. The software driver defaults to a protective mode where conflicting faults are prevented to avoid accidentally shorting unintended paths, such as power to ground. A separate mode allows complete freedom in setting fault patterns.
These PXI fault insertion modules will find application in testing the response of safety-critical communication systems used in automotive and aerospace environments. Each module is available with a choice of channel counts, allowing users to choose the most appropriate solution for the intended application.
Both modules are supported by Pickering’s eBIRST switching system test tool. These tools simplify switching system fault-finding by quickly testing the system and identifying the faulty relays. Once identified, the tools then display a graphical representation of the switching system’s PCB assembly, highlighting the relays that need to be replaced.
Connections are available on an easy to use 78-way D connector and are supported by Pickering’s range of general purpose (non-differential) cable and connector options. In addition, Pickering Interfaces can design and supply differential interface adaptors to application specific connectors.