Automotive Ethernet support added to ECU design tool

5th February 2015
Barney Scott

The use of Ethernet, particularly in areas where high bandwidth and reliable performance are essential, is increasing. Mentor Graphics has announced the availability of automotive Ethernet support in its Volcano VSA product for network design of both AUTOSAR-based and non-AUTOSAR Electronic Control Units (ECUs).

These include ADAS, vehicle network backbones, AVB systems, and Diagnostic communication over Internet Protocol (DoIP). The Mentor Volcano VSA tool addresses the network-wide timing analysis challenges where a mixture of CAN, FlexRay, and Ethernet-based network busses co-exist, aiming to solve the challenge of accounting for the many different timing paths. The AUTOSAR standard supports timing definition for all elements in a mixed-topology network.

A real-life example based on a Freescale ECU evaluation board and Broadcom’s BroadR-Reach technology (Ethernet physical layer standard for automotive), along with COTS network analysis tools, will be on display at the Mentor Graphics booth at the Automotive Ethernet Congress, from 4th to 5th February, 2015 in Munich.

AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) is an open and standardised automotive software architecture, jointly developed by automobile manufacturers, suppliers and tool developers. Users of Volcano VSA are able to develop and integrate networking functions in an AUTOSAR environment.

“The rapid growth of software and electronic systems in today’s vehicles has meant that existing vehicle network technologies are not able to handle the data communication load created,” said Scot Morrison, General Manager, Embedded Runtime Solutions, Mentor Graphics.  “The high-bandwidth capabilities of an Ethernet network, along with competitive manufacturing costs, have made it a good choice for many ECU interfaces within a modern vehicle.  Our Volcano VSA design tools will allow engineers to efficiently design hybrid networks utilising Ethernet, CAN, LIN and FlexRay technologies.”

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