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Addressing the challenge of debugging automotive Ethernet networks

Addressing the challenge of debugging automotive Ethernet networks

From infotainment to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), today’s vehicles rely on the flow of large volumes of data, a flow which is beginning to be constrained by the capacity of established automotive bus architectures such as CAN bus. In response, the automotive industry has developed a version of the ubiquitous Ethernet networking standard for use in vehicles.

However, debugging these automotive Ethernet networks is not a trivial task, which is leading developers to seek out new test solutions. The 100BASE-T1 Ethernet interface, based on BroadR-Reach technology, has now been standardized by the IEEE 802.3bw working group. Implementing automotive networks with this new standard brings a host of development changes, including the 100 Mbit/s data rate that is significantly greater than traditional bus systems.

Featuring full-duplex Ethernet communications over an unshielded Ethernet twisted pair, 100BASE-T1 signals have PAM-3 modulation and differential signal levels of between –1V and +1V. The transmitted signals have to be pre-distorted by an equalizer so that they can be carried reliably and with minimal RF leakage over an unshielded cable. It is this extensive pre-distortion applied to a 100BASE-T1 Ethernet signal that makes it difficult for developers to judge the effectiveness with which a bus is carrying data by simply analyzing its electrical signals.

Figure 1a : A differential 100BASE-Tx signal, showing its three levels and the steep edges at the signal transitions. Source: Rohde & Schwarz

Figure 1b:  An automotive 100BASE-T1 signal, showing how pre-distortion masks the three levels of the PAM-3 signal. Source: Rohde & Schwarz

The automotive Ethernet test challenge

Standardized compliance tests for 100BASE-T1 interfaces involve measuring electrical characteristics using an oscilloscope and network analyzer. An Ethernet protocol analysis tool that records all of the Ethernet data traffic can be used to verify that an electronic control unit (ECU) correctly handles communications. Beyond this, however, it is difficult to perform detailed root-cause analysis because transmission errors are only recorded as telegram errors.

To perform more in-depth analysis it becomes necessary to combine a suitable trigger and decode bundle with the chosen oscilloscope. By enabling developers to directly correlate electrical signals with the transmitted telegram content, for example, Rohde & Schwarz’s trigger and decode bundle for 100BASE-T1 makes it possible to debug bus issues in automotive Ethernet applications as easily as it has been traditionally for CAN bus implementations.

Addressing the testing challenge

Because 100BASE-T1 communication is based on simultaneous transmission of bi-directional data, any signal measurement on the bus extracts superimposed data streams. To analyze the two data streams, they must be separated, using directional couplers such as those found on the R&S RT-ZF5 Ethernet probing fixture. Inserting the probe in the Ethernet line separates the data streams, allowing an oscilloscope to be used for non-intrusive recording of the 100BASE-T1 communications.

Figure 2: The R&S RT-ZF5 Ethernet probe fixture separates the full-duplex data streams of 100BASE-T1 communications. Source: Rohde & Schwarz

Figure 3: 100BASE-T1 decoding of full-duplex communications. The MAC frame is colored while the idle frames are gray. Source: Rohde & Schwarz

The signal streams that the probe extracts are still subject to the pre-distortion imposed by the equalizer in the 100BASE-T1 transmitter to protect their transport over the unshielded twisted pair. The next step is for the oscilloscope to equalize the signals to return them to their undistorted state, and then extract and display the transmitted data telegrams and idle frames. Correlation of the 100BASE-T1 signals with the content of the telegrams - coupled with extensive triggering capabilities that can, for instance, be used to display isolated telegrams based on their source or destination addresses –enables the powerful analysis and diagnostic capabilities increasingly needed for automotive Ethernet.

Figure 4: This screenshot shows the two levels of the differential 100BASE-T1 signal correlated with the decoded telegram content. Source: Rohde & Schwarz

100BASE-T1 decoding

100BASE-T1 decoding provides a way of revealing the timing relationship between bus communications and other signals. For example, the start time of an ECU can be determined by measuring the length of time between triggering an oscilloscope on the 12V supply and the arrival of the first valid telegram. A similar approach can be used to verify the stability of communications over the bus. In this case, the scope is configured to trigger on short-term interruptions of the supply voltage, so the developer can analyze the number of bus anomalies that those interruptions cause.

Electromagnetic interference can cause sporadic bus errors that are difficult to debug without further analysis. However, the ability to decode 100BASE-T1 communications means that developers can analyze bus communications across all of the OSI protocol layers, using the timing correlation of the measurements to identify coupling from interference sources.

Consider the measurement shown in Figure 5 where the MAC and idle frames of a 100BASE-T1 signal are correctly transmitted at the start of the recording. The data stream is then interrupted. In the lower signal, the frequency spectrum of the interfering signal (area marked in gray) is plotted, showing the cause - an interference peak at 2MHz. This combination of protocol-specific decoding with the range of analysis tools provided by the oscilloscope (e.g. frequency spectrum) simplifies debugging of complex issues such as intermittent interference.

Figure 5: Pinpointing a sporadic interruption in bus communications by combining protocol analysis and frequency analysis. Source: Rohde & Schwarz

Summary

Automotive communications are becoming more complex as data rates rise. The emergence of the 100BASE-T1 automotive Ethernet standard is easing the bandwidth issues of existing in-vehicle bus systems, at the cost of more complex debug challenges.

Rohde & Schwarz has developed a trigger and decode bundle option for debugging 100BASE-T1 signals, which includes a probing fixture for nonintrusive signal access. This tool enables developers to correlate electrical signal measurements with the decoded contents of transmitted telegrams. As a result, users can analyze protocol content during debugging and quickly identify the causes of any bus errors that occur.

Author: Dr Ernst Flemming is the product manager for oscilloscopes at Rohde & Schwarz in Munich.

2019070911 / 09.07.2019 / Test & measurement / editor /

SMTconnect will be postponed until
SMTconnect will be postponed until 28 – 30 July 2020
Due to the increasing spread of covid-19 in Europe, Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH has decided to postpone the SMTconnect from 5 – 7 May 2020 to 28 – 30 July 2020. The venue remains the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre. Visitor tickets already purchased are valid for the new date.
.....
Arduino LED filament clock
This is a home brew 56 Volt LED filament clock, I have tryed to replicate the nixie tube look. I have used a arduino with a RTC a ebay modified buck converter XL6009. The driver is MPSA42 and MPSA92 transistors. The washers in front are used for nav buttoms (adjust of time and show temperatur) I guess it could be called a little cyperpunk design.
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Arduino LED filament clock
CWIEME Berlin, 26.5.-28.5.2020
CWIEME Berlin, 26.5.-28.5.2020
CWIEME Berlin is celebrating 25 years of industry excellence in 2020 and We have invested heavily in a range of exciting new features for this year’s show, to support you in embracing the opportunities and challenges of the years ahead.
.....
intersec Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, 23.3.-25.3.2020
The next edition of Saudi Arabia's leading trade fair for Security, Safety & Fire Protection will be held in Riyadh
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intersec Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, 23.3.-25.3.2020
NEPCON Nagoya, Japan, 21.10.-23.10.2020
NEPCON Nagoya, Japan, 21.10.-23.10.2020
Nagoya edition of NEPCON JAPAN, Asia's leading trade show for electronics R&D and manufacturing technologies.
.....
NEPCON Japan, Tokio, 20.1.-22.1.2021
Asia's Leading Exhibition for Electronics R&D, Manufacturing and Packaging Technology
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NEPCON Japan, Tokio, 20.1.-22.1.2021
APEX EXPO 2020, San Diego, 4.2.-6.2.2020
APEX EXPO 2020, San Diego, 4.2.-6.2.2020
IPC APEX EXPO is the largest event for electronics manufacturing in North America attracting more than 9,000 professionals from 45 countries. From the industry’s leading technical conference and application-focused professional development courses, to the innovation-driven exhibit floor, year after year IPC APEX EXPO is packed with far-reaching ideas and insights.
.....
LED Expo Mumbai 2020, 7.5.-9.5.2020
LED Expo is India's only show covering the entire value chain of the LED industry. It has recognised the industry potential and has identified it as a futuristic technology which will take the lighting industry by storm. It has created a platform for its exhibitors and visitors to source and explore the latest in trend products and technologies from around the globe.
.....
LED Expo Mumbai 2020, 7.5.-9.5.2020
SMTconnect 2020, Nuremberg, 28.7.-30.7..2020
SMTconnect 2020, Nuremberg, 28.7.-30.7..2020
(new) SMTconnect is the only event in Europe that brings together people and technologies from the areas of development, production, services, and applications in connection with microelectronic assemblies and systems.
.....
Adafruit Partners with Panasonic
Manufacturer, Adafruit partners with Panasonic by integrating the Grid-EYE® Infrared Array Sensor into its Feather development boards to create a thermal camera.
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Adafruit Partners with Panasonic
ELEKTRO 2020, MOSCOW, Russia, 8.6.-11.6.2020
ELEKTRO 2020, MOSCOW, Russia, 8.6.-11.6.2020
Elektro – a key international networking platform integrating specialists of electrical engineering, electric power sector, construction, lighting and building automation.
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PCIM Europe, Nuremberg, 28.7.-30.7.2020
The PCIM Europe is the world's leading exhibition and conference for power electronics, intelligent motion, renewable energy, and energy management.
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PCIM Europe, Nuremberg, 28.7.-30.7.2020
embedded world 2020, Nuremberg, 25.2.-27.2.2020
embedded world 2020, Nuremberg, 25.2.-27.2.2020
From 25 - 27 February 2020 at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre the focus will be again on all things embedded systems: the embedded community comes together here in annual rotation at the embedded world Exhibition&Conference. As a leading international world fair with the focus exclusively on embedded technologies, it reflects the trends in the sector; more than 1,100 exhibitors are presenting state-of-the-art covering all aspects of embedded systems.
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Connecting Embedded Intelligence: How Devices are Becoming Increasingly Intelligent
Artificial intelligence will be one of the hot topics at embedded world 2020, both on exhibition stands and at the embedded world Conference. But what does "AI" mean in context with "embedded"?
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Connecting Embedded Intelligence: How Devices are Becoming Increasingly Intelligent
xx - SECUTECH 2020, Taipei, 22.4.-24.4.2020
xx - SECUTECH 2020, Taipei, 22.4.-24.4.2020

CANCELLED - Stepping into its 23rd edition, Secutech is one of Asia’s longest running security shows. Over the years, Secutech has shifted its focus from showing single products to showcasing solutions for growing vertical markets. With its wide geographic reach and a good reputation for quality, Secutech is a perfect place to meet and facilitate business partnerships with a large number of international visitors from Asia Pacific countries. 

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AMPER 2020, Brno, CZ, 17.3.-20.3.2020
28th International Trade Fair of Electrotechnics, Energetics, Automation, Communication, Lighting, and Security Technologies
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AMPER 2020, Brno, CZ, 17.3.-20.3.2020
SPS Automation Middle East, Dubai, 20.8.-21.8.2020
SPS Automation Middle East, Dubai, 20.8.-21.8.2020
The International Exhibition and Conference for Innovative Solutions in the Automation Industry in the Middle East will return on 20 - 21 September 2020 at Dubai World Trade Centre.
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SPS 2020, Nuremberg, 24.11.-26.11.2020
.....
SPS 2020, Nuremberg, 24.11.-26.11.2020
Company of the week

KEMET
Interesting video


Arduino LED filament clock


How Intel Makes Chips: Concept to Customer


How Do You Minimize Bubbles in a Two Part Epoxy System?


Adafruit Partners with Panasonic


Computer-On-Modules are world-leading platforms for embedded system designs
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EM Microelectronic


Murata Power Solutions Inc
Calendary
PCIM Europe, Nuremberg, 28.7.-30.7.2020
SMTconnect 2020, Nuremberg, 28.7.-30.7..2020
SPS Automation Middle East, Dubai, 20.8.-21.8.2020
Intersec Buenos Aires, 26.8.-28.8.2020
Automechanika Frankfurt, DE, 8.9.-12.9.2020
BATTERY JAPAN, Osaka, 9.9.-11.9.2020
Interlight Russia, Moscow, 14.9.-17.9.2020
IMTS2020, 14.9.-19.9.2020, Chicago, IL
Prolight + Sound NAMM, Moscow, 17.9.-19.9.2020
NEPCON Nagoya, Japan, 21.10.-23.10.2020
Prolight + Sound Shanghai, 28.10.-30.10.2020
SPS 2020, Nuremberg, 24.11.-26.11.2020
NEPCON Japan, Tokio, 20.1.-22.1.2021
ISE 2021, Barcelona, Spain, 2.2.-5.2.2021
DistribuTECH, 9.2.-11.2.2021, San Diego, CA
BATTERY JAPAN, Tokyo, 3.3.-5.3.2021
BATTERY JAPAN, Osaka, 29.9.-1.10.2021
DistribuTECH, 25.1.-27.1.2022, Dallas, TX
DistribuTECH, 7.2.-9.2.2023, San Diego, CA
DistribuTECH, 23.1.-25.1.2024, Indianapolis, IN
DistribuTECH, 11.2.-13.2.2025, Dallas, TX
Interesting video
The ISS Design Challenge ...
Interesting video
Mouser Electronics Warehouse Tour with Grant Imahara
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