Tektronix released two new software packages designed to simplify automotive Ethernet testing, debug, and protocol decode for use with its 5 and 6 Series mixed signal oscilloscopes (MSO). Using the new Signal Separation software, automotive engineers can reportedly perform automotive Ethernet testing 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.

Tektronix’ 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. The software supports full life-cycle automotive Ethernet testing from design through service. Users can use the solution 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.”

“We believe automotive Ethernet will play a significant role in tomorrow’s automobiles,” said Yutaka Uematsu, PhD, unit Leader, Senior Researcher, Electronic Systems Research Dept. at the Center for Technology Innovation & Production Engineering, Hitachi Research & Development Group. “We have enjoyed working with Tektronix to deliver this new solution for automotive Ethernet testing.”

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 eye diagrams. The Tektronix 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 solution 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 Signal Separation solutions have been tested and validated by leading automotive OEMs and Tier 1 companies.

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

Tektronix 5 Series MSO and 6 Series MSO oscilloscopes offer up to 8 GHz analog bandwidth, 25 GS/s sample rates, and a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC).