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AUTOMOTIVE engineers now can use the new FlexRay library for LabVIEW from National Instruments to quickly and easily test devices on a FlexRay communications network.

The FlexRay library offers a set of 28 virtual instruments (VIs) designed to work with the bus protocol defined by the FlexRay Consortium's system specifications version 2.0 standard. FlexRay is a bus system developed by automobile manufacturers and suppliers to address the needs of current and future in-car control applications. It delivers the error-tolerance and time-determinism performance requirements for drive by wire, steer by wire and brake by wire applications. It has a data frame up to 127 words (254 bytes). The free FlexRay library for LabVIEW makes it easy for engineers to communicate with devices on a FlexRay network. The library also supports the FlexCard from TZM.

New developments in the automotive industry create increased demands that existing communication protocols cannot easily address, including the need for higher data rates, deterministic behavior and the support of fault-tolerance. A FlexRay communications bus offers synchronous and asynchronous data transfer, increased frame length, guaranteed frame latency and jitter during synchronous transfer and prioritisation of messages during asynchronous transfer. The FlexRay protocol also provides multimaster clock synchronisation, dual-channel data transfer, flexible bus topology, error detection and signalling.

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