Battle for real time networking protocols

February 25, 2014 // By Nick Flaherty
A new tool is helping to evaluate the next generation of real time interconnect protocols in end-to-end systems.

Version 3.5 of German tool developer Symtavision's SymTA/S system-level tool suite now includes a variety of timing analyses for both embedded networks and electronic control units (ECUs).
“We have extended our tool for an additional analysis with time triggered Ethernet (TTE) having introduced AVB and standard Ethernet in 3.4,” said Ralph Klein, product manager at Symptavision. “The biggest reason for that is that we are mainly located in the automotive domain and TTE was mainly in the avionics market but now it’s being introduced into the automotive market and the OEMs are very interested in comparing different standards such as TTE, AVB and standard Ethernet. This is focussed mainly on the SAE AS6802 standard which is not full time triggered – it has some basic features of TTE and we are starting this way to cover the main issues. This is the first step but not the last step towards TTE analysis, it will depend on the market requirements.”
At the same time, Symtavision has announced TraceAnalyzer 3.5 for visualizing and analyzing timing data from both measurements and simulations alongside SymTA/S.
The new analysis complements the existing AVB and Standard Ethernet analyses in preparation of the future AVB Gen2 standard. The CAN analysis in SymTA/S 3.5 has been further improved with the introduction of a Message Buffer extension covering COM-layer communications to facilitate more detailed analysis including the examination of scheduling anomalies that might occur with specific hardware/software layouts. ECU sender/receiver overview tables are now provided for Frames, enabling a better understanding of system wide end-to-end communications.
“We can analyze entire systems, from the sensor over the ECU over CAN or FlexRay and over a gateway onto Ethernet and this is not possible with other tools that focus on single systems that do not combine everything together,” said Klein. “Our customers can analyse the end to end scenarios and see what kind of delays will occur and what kind of