Performing automotive Ethernet conformance tests with CANoe

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​Assuring Ethernet conformance of automotive ECUs is now easier and more efficient for developers and system integrators, says Vector, manufacturer of software tools and embedded components.

The current Version 12.0 of CANoe, the development and test tool from Vector, now supports conformance tests defined by Technical Committee 8 (TC8) of the OPEN Alliance. The tests are implemented so that their execution is primarily automated, enabling integration into the development process.

When automotive Ethernet is used, a variety of different communication protocols may be implemented, depending on the use case. To test their compatibility, the OPEN Alliance industry association has developed an extensive test specification with more than 850 test cases. The current Version 12.0 of CANoe with Option Ethernet contains these tests and allows their execution at any developer workstation. They enable users to detect problems in early development phases. The tests to be run are configured with the help of vTESTstudio to adapt them to project-specific requirements.

For pure protocol tests, it is sufficient to use any Ethernet interface from Vector with IEEE-100BASE-T1 support. For tests of the physical transmission layer, the VT6306 card is available for the VT System. To increase the overall test's degree of automation, the VT6306 can be combined with other VT modules, such as modules to control the ECU's supply voltage.

Compared to other TC8 test systems available on the market, Vector believes users benefit from many advantages in test implementation. For example, the tests are standard features of the widely used tools CANoe and vTESTstudio, so no special tools need to be procured. The developer gets an open system in which all test cases are available as source code; this makes it easy to transfer the configuration to suppliers and to adapt it to project-specific requirements and future extensions. The tests can be executed without any special knowledge of the tools CANoe. Ethernet and vTESTstudio.

The extensive test report and the many different analysis capabilities of CANoe assist users in efficiently analysing problems that occur without having to switch tools. In evaluating the test results, a question that often arises is whether the test was configured incorrectly or whether the ECU made an error. To clarify this, the provided CANoe configuration contains a simulated ideal reference ECU. This gives users an error-free test configuration, and they can compare the results with their real ECU test. According to the manufacturer, this significantly enhances reliability in evaluating test results and estimating the required follow-up tasks.