MSO 6 Series Oscilloscopes from Tektronix.

Tektronix offers Automotive Ethernet and PAM3 test solutions

  • Tektronix has launched two software packages to simplify the Automotive Ethernet testing, debug and Protocol Decode with its Mixed Signal Oscilloscopes (MSOs) in the 5 and 6 series.
  • The new signal separation software allows Automotive Ethernet tests to be performed without disturbing the ECU system or cutting the Ethernet cable to install a directional coupler.
  • The PAM3 analysis software provides a detailed view of the signal characteristics at system level.

With the deployment of the Automotive Ethernet or IEEE 802.3bw (formerly BroadR-Reach) communication bus in vehicles, full design validation is essential to ensure interoperability and reliable operation between several ECUs. According to Tektronix, current Automotive Ethernet bus test solutions require the installation of a directional coupler to separate the full duplex signal. This adds the loss of insertion and feedback and makes it difficult to determine if an error is the result of the system or test equipment.

To overcome this problem, Tektronix’ signal separation software separates the full duplex signal by examining the voltage and current waveforms of the master and slave test points and provides separate signals using a proprietary algorithm. This method displays the real ECU signals without the need for a directional coupler and allows the debugging of the master and slave ECU protocol simultaneously.

Signal separation supports the entire lifecycle of automotive Ethernet tests, from design to service. This solution can be used in-car test, as well as for signal integrity tests during any other development phase.

PAM3 analysis
The three levels of PAM3 coding of automotive Ethernet signals introduce additional complexity into the signaling and impose new requirements on the test methodology, in part because the three amplitudes produce two eye diagrams. Tektronix’ PAM3 analysis software package provides a set of measurements with software clock recovery providing a better understanding of signal characteristics for the validation and characterization of PAM3 designs with different cable lengths, noise conditions or ECU configurations. The solution also allows you to measure eye opening measurements, eye mask testing, jitter separation and Bit Error Rate (BER) plotting in a real ECU environment.

In addition to signal and protocol analysis, Tektronix’ solution also allows compliance testing of the physical layer of automotive Ethernet according to the Open Alliance TC8 specification. The test process is automated with detailed Pass/Fail reports.

The Tektronix MSO 5 Series and MSO 6 Series oscilloscopes offer an analog bandwidth of up to 8 GHz, a sampling rate of 25 GS/s and a 12-bit resolution analog-to-digital converter. They have the features necessary to accurately capture waveforms with resolution for viewing the smallest details of Ethernet signals.