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Chassis & Suspension

Getting FlexRay Under Control (Part 1) – Physical Layer Basics and Model Generation

May 13, 2010 | Thorsten Gerke and Thomas Suermann | 222900831
Getting FlexRay Under Control (Part 1) – Physical Layer Basics and Model Generation This article describes a simulation-based methodology for FlexRay topology within the physical layer. Part 1 focuses on the basics of the FlexRay physical layer and signal integrity. The latter is essential for model generation and analysis of topology quality criteria. Part 2 describes the analysis methodology for efficient evaluation of virtual FlexRay vehicle topologies.
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Due to the rapid development and standardization of FlexRay, it has already been deployed in a variety of production vehicles. However, most automotive companies have not yet gained much practical experience with FlexRay, particularly with its physical layer. For this reason, development cycles are slow and partly based on trial and error. FlexRay and CAN physical layers may be similar from a theoretical point of view, but differ significantly in practical terms.

The knowledge of the more familiar CAN physical layer cannot simply be applied to the deployment of FlexRay topologies. The FlexRay Consortium addresses this issue in part by providing development support through specification criteria, guidelines and application notes. However, it is the system developer's responsibility to individually check each topology for proper functionality. Checking the FlexRay physical layer specification criteria requires analyzing the target topology, which is not available during the concept phase. As a result, system developers are forced to rely on their intuition and experience. Utilizing simulationbased design methodologies, however, allows developers to realize FlexRays deterministic concept and accurately predict the final results.

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