Providing Nanosecond-precision Latency Measurements for Automotive Ethernet

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With radar, lidar and camera sensors present in automobiles, time sensitivity on networks becomes extremely important, as vast amounts of sensor data need to be transferred and processed within a few milliseconds. Test and measurement expert Rohde & Schwarz and time-sensitive networks specialist, TSN Systems have cooperated on precise timing measurements for in-vehicle networks using automotive Ethernet 100BASE-T1.

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) require high bandwidth and low latency communications. Automotive Ethernet is becoming the de-facto communication solution to handle these requirements by offering higher data rates as well as time-sensitive network capabilities.

Dr. Nik Dimitrakopoulos, Automotive Market Segment Manager at Rohde & Schwarz said, “Our product portfolio has a strong focus in the automotive industry. With the addition of the R&S RTx-K35 option to our oscilloscope family, precise time measurements using various automotive communication standards are possible. We are very proud to assist TSN Systems to validate their timing information for their TSN Box 3.0 devices.” 

The Rohde & Schwarz oscilloscope solution is based on the R&S RTO, while TSN Systems contributes TSN Box, a hardware interface to the network and TSN Tools, a measurement and analysis software.

Juergen Scheuring, Managing Director at TSN Systems, says, “The advent of time sensitive communication in next generation EE-Architectures raises some serious challenges for the test and validation teams at OEM and Tier1. We are happy to cooperate with Rohde & Schwarz and to benefit from their class-leading products providing Layer 1 analysis and expert level knowledge on time sensitive networking.”

The combination of TSN Tools and TSN Box provides a range of functions to address validation and testing for time sensitive automotive Ethernet. While TSN Tools is a PC based analysis software performing visualization and detail analysis, TSN Box serves as a precise interface to the link. Based on its configuration, it can act as a generic TSN Talker/Listener device with nanosecond precision. The TAP can transparently synchronize itself to the gPTP master in the network. This allows very powerful applications that need correlation between payload time stamps and TAP time.

The R&S RTx-K35 software option for the R&S RTO oscilloscope enables high precision latency measurements, for example monitoring the communication between two devices for a long period, and provides statistics on error rates as well as frame timing on the packets. The R&S RT-ZF7 test fixture acts as the link in the middle and allows the full monitoring between the transmitter and receiver device in both directions using the oscilloscope.

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