Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced a measurement application that provides comprehensive FlexRay triggering, protocol decode, debug and eye-diagram analysis capabilities for Infiniium Series oscilloscopes.
This measurement solution allows automotive designers who use embedded microprocessors to verify proper signal integrity of their FlexRay signals and effectively debug protocol and signal integrity issues.
The FlexRay serial bus is an automotive communication bus with a time-triggered, deterministic architecture.
Designers are rapidly adopting this high-performance, fault-tolerant serial bus, especially for today's higher-end automobiles, including BMW's X5 SUV, where it is being used initially to support a suspension application.
Because of the fault-tolerant nature of the FlexRay protocol, FlexRay technology is expected to be used in the near future for many safety-critical applications such as steer-by-wire, brake-by-wire and collision-avoidance systems.
The Infiniium-based Agilent FlexRay analysis solution supports user-selectable standard data rates of 2.5 Mbps, 5.0 Mbps, and 10 Mbps. The decoded information shows the frame ID, cycle number and the payload of the FlexRay signal.
In addition to decoding the FlexRay bus, this new option performs a software clock recovery based on re-synchronisation of an ideal 10-MHz FlexRay clock to each byte start sequence (BSS) event. This recovered clock is used to create and display a real-time eye diagram.
A FlexRay real-time eye provides a composite view of the quality of FlexRay signals, including an automatic measure of system jitter. Masks based on TP1, TP2, TP3 or TP4 requirements can also be applied for automatic pass/fail testing. If a mask test fails, engineers can easily unfold the eye diagram to quickly locate the failed bit.
Automotive embedded devices, including FlexRay devices, must be tested under simulated extreme conditions in environmental chambers. These extreme conditions may include testing ECUs (engine control units) and differential serial buses at temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Celsius.
The active circuitry in today's typical active probes cannot tolerate temperatures exceeding 55 degrees Celsius. However, engineers can use Agilent 1130 Series InfiniiMax active probes and N5450A SMP microwave extension cables to extend and displace the probe's active amplifier so it is outside the environmental chamber.
This configuration allows engineers to connect InfiniiMax passive probe heads to test points within the chamber at temperatures ranging from -55 C to +155 C.