FPGA based interface concept to improve the performance of automotive testers

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Scherer Balázs Attila
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

Testing today’s automotive electronic devices is a highly complex task and is of paramount importance. Production testing is one of the last phases of the lengthy testing process, during which manufacturers inspect the functionality of the device both on board level, and on system level.

Complying with modern tendencies, a testing environment suitable for this should have advanced automation built in, furthermore, it should be ready to be reconfigured. The observed rapid changes regarding the type of the device tested as well as the dynamic development in the automotive sector in general are both justifying this claim. The most practical solution for reconfiguration is modularity, for which purpose a common platform with specific hardware devices is used.

These devices operate as an interface between the test platform and the device under test, and in general resemble to an embedded system with a traditional microcontroller-based architecture. Nevertheless, an FPGA-based system might be a more competent solution for this, since it might overpower a microcontroller-based system in several aspects. Most importantly, FPGAs can be used in a much wider spectrum thanks to their reprogrammable internal logic. By choosing the adequate functionality implemented on them, such systems can be adapted perfectly to user requirements.

My thesis deals with an automated test process, and presents the process and the method of development by integrating an FPGA-based circuit and software functionality to a system.


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