On March 5, Spirent was the first company to deliver a combined test system for Automotive Ethernet and NBASE-T interfaces to an automotive customer. Besides providing Ethernet conformance testing for AUTOSAR, OPEN Alliance TC8/11, and Avnu, the test system also supports new protocols related to Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN).
“We are surprised how quickly bandwidth is increasing in the area of connected vehicles”, says Thomas Schulze, Director Business Development Automotive at Spirent. “There is an urgent need for such high bandwidth, especially for the 2,5 Gbit/s standard as new 4k HD cameras require a transmission rate of up to 2 Gbit/s. These cameras, operating without compression, are a crucial component of autonomous driving.”
For this reason, Spirent’s Automotive test solutions are based on a flexible design and currently support interfaces up to 100 Gbit/s. “Conversations at this year’s Automotive Ethernet Congress in Munich revealed, that Automotive vendors are working diligently on figuring out how to make use of 10 Gbit/s bandwidth in connected vehicles. An electronics supplier even announced their intention to use 10 Gbit/s interfaces in a new car launching in 2019!”, adds Thomas Schulze.
Spirent C50 Automotive appliance is equipped with space for 4 different test interface cards, with up to 16 ports and 32 channels in total (16 transmission channels each for sending and receiving). The company’s Automotive portfolio currently covers following interface cards:
- 4 Port BroadR-Reach
- 4 Port 10/100/1000Base-T
- 4 Port SFP based (for 100/1000Base-T1 and 10/100/1000Base-T/SR/LR copper or fiberglass)
- 4 Port SFP+ based (for 1G and 10G)
- 4 Port NBASE-T card (for 100/1G/2,5G/5G and 10GBase-T)
The integrated, high-precision sync card enables users to synchronise all interface cards, as well as, if required, to synchronise multiple basic systems. It allows measuring with an accuracy of 10ns up to 192 physical Ethernet channels. Furthermore, external devices with a 1pps signal can be synchronised with the basic device. According to the OPEN Alliance standard, this is one of several features necessary for testing the receive channel of a BroadR-Reach chip set.
Applying powerful FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) on interface cards, which are designed and produced by Spirent, enables the simulation of data rates that match the workload of Ethernet a 100%. Additionally, it is possible to analyse received data in real-time. The test system supports 16 channels with 100/1000Base-T1 and 8 channels with NBASE-T interfaces. As a result, overlapping tests such as 5 x 1 Gbit/s or 2 x 2,5 Gbit/s incoming data streams and 1 x 10 Gbit/s outgoing data streams of an ECU switch, may be conducted.
Spirent hardware may be combined with two different software packages:
- Spirent TestCenter for simulating and analysing Automotive Ethernet and Time-Sensitive Networking data
- Test automation platform Spirent TTworkbench for testing protocol conformance to standards including AUTOSAR, OPEN Alliance TC8/TC11, or Avnu.
Both software packages enable users to integrate their own test specifications, such as DoIP as one major car manufacturer has done. The protocol packages for Time-Sensitive Networking already support advanced protocols like “pre-emption” or “time aware shaper”. In addition, tests can be integrated into existing test environments or HiL test systems through different APIs such as Python or Java.