Pico Technology's BroadR-Reach decoder/analyzer.

Pico Technology offers a solution for BroadR-Reach Ethernet testing

  • Pico Technology announced a BroadR-Reach decoder/analyzer to simplify the testing and debugging of automotive Ethernet applications.
  • This solution includes a non-intrusive software directional coupler that separates upstream and downstream traffic on full-duplex communication lines.

BroadR-Reach technology allows multiple embedded systems to access information simultaneously via unshielded twisted pair cables. It allows 100 Mbps data rates to be achieved at lower connection costs and lower cabling weight.

The BroadR-Reach Physical Layer (BR-PHY) uses a three-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM3) signaling, limited to the 33⅓ MHz bandwidth, and a data jamming technique to equalize the power spectral density in the allocated band. The full-duplex connection allows simultaneous master-slave/slave-slave-master-slave transmissions. This makes testing more difficult than previous generation buses such as CAN, CAN-FD and FlexRay.

Most automotive Ethernet test solutions require, according to Pico Technology, the insertion of a hardware directional coupler to separate bi-directional data flows. But such couplers can interfere with normal network operation and disrupt test results.

The PicoScope software directional coupler uses two non-intrusive differential voltage sensing points at a specified distance, with a known propagation rate in a standard RG58 or Cat5 cable, to separate the data signals transmitted in each direction.

The separated waveforms allow the display of traffic upstream and downstream. The PicoScope BroadR-Reach decoder can also display the content of each data packet, synchronized with the transmitted waveform. Two software directional couplers can be configured and decoded to simultaneously display Master > Slave and Slave > Master communications. The decoded data can also be displayed in a table format. Filtering and search tools are available to target specific content in packets and areas of interest.

The PicoScope decoder/analyzer is included as standard in the PicoScope 6.14.10 software, which is already able to process automotive protocols such as CAN, CAN-FD, FlexRay, LIN and SENT.

This solution can be used with all oscilloscope modules in the PicoScope 6000 series, offering a bandwidth of 250 to 500 MHz, a sampling rate of 5 GS/s and a memory capacity of up to 2 GS. It is combined with two 200 MHz TA045 differential probes to capture signals at two measurement points on the BroadR-Reach network.