Ensure Ethernet can be used

To tackle standard Ethernet’s (IEEE 802.3) apparent lack of determinism and allow a system designer to quickly gain confidence that Ethernet actually can be used, TCN can help estimate link bandwidth utilization and provide statistical timing data for individual data frames forwarded through a number of Ethernet switches. The best-, worst- and average case latency can be identified from these latency and jitter distributions. TCN TimeAnalysis™ is a virtual model-based design and analysis software that let you build and optimize Ethernet (scentric) systems.

By analyzing the collected data frame latency statistics, the user can gain insights into, for example:

  • How a certain network topology copes with different traffic loads
  • How the traffic behaves under different network configurations
  • Verify that timing constraints applied to data frames carrying time critical information are satisfied.

Benefits of using TCN TimeAnalysisTM includes: latency_dist

  • Studying how the network behaves under different load
    conditions, e.g. to find a suitable trade-off between network performance and hardware and software cost
  • Evaluating different network topologies and network parameter configurations, e.g. port or flow priorities
  • Identifying possible hot-spots where contention occur, e.g. due to high link utilization
  • Estimating the probability of worst-case case delay and jitter for a data frame, or even the occurrence of packet drop due to limited memory buffers sizes, thereby the feasibility of any timing constraints applied to a data frames can be verified
  • Minimize learning curves and debugging times.

The software behind TCN TimeAnalysis™ is being developed continuously to support more and more standards within the IEEE Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) for transporting audio and video as well as other real-time content over Ethernet.

TCN Analysis™ solution overview

TCN TimeAnalysis™ is a software-based solution for simulating data-frame traffic-forwarding over a virtual switched Ethernet network, including bridging from CAN and LIN . Using simulation, insights into network behavior and performance can be gained regarding existing network setups. It especially allows for evaluating and testing network design options well in advance of acquiring and testing any physical network equipment, saving money and development time.

During a network simulation, the behavior of the virtual network devices and the traffic they forward mirrors what would be occurring in the physical Ethernet network counterpart.TCN TimeAnalyzer GUI

As in a true network, ECUs and hosts are the sources of data traffic. The size of data frames sent by hosts can range from small to very large depending on their payload content. Large packets, e.g., carrying radar- or video frames needs to be fragmented by the IP-stack into many smaller Ethernet frames. Thus, large frames result in a burst of packets being injected into the network.

After having traversed a link, the Ethernet frames are typically received and temporarily stored in an Ethernet switch. While being re-transmitted onto the next link by the switch, the burst can cause contention on the egress link. This in turn can lead to increased forwarding latency and jitter for other frames entering the switch through another ingress port, wanting to exit through the same egress port. If these data packets carry time sensitive control information, it becomes evident that the increase in latency and jitter might conflict with real-time constraints that they might be subject to.

TCN Ethernet Design & Analysis Suite

TCN TimeAnalysis™ offering

The TCN TimeAnalysis™ offering has its base in a model based simulation software supplemented with trace-file analysis, and includes:

  • Software, developed by TCN : Software subscription, run within your site or as a service by TCN (or partner)
  • Services (optional): TCN, or partner, creates models to perform the analysis on-site and/or off-site. TCN can develop software to the customer's specific needs, for instance reading customer specific files for import (e.g. ARXML) or to import data collected from a physical network measurement tool of your preference.

The software currently supports Microsoft Windows (x86_64). Java is required.