Buses and networks are a mandatory part of the development process for mechatronic systems. Without Ethernet, for example, fully self-driving vehicles would not be possible. That is why dSPACE provides a comprehensive and complete tool chain for simulating, analyzing, and validating networks.

Our Solution Highlights
  • Real-time simulation tools and hardware for in-vehicle and in laboratory use
  • Completely software-based simulation for buses
  • Requirements for aerospace and industrial applications, for instance, are also covered by the dSPACE product portfolio.
  • Custom-specific solutions for any other applications or project on request

Bus & Network Simulation

For bus and network simulation tasks, dSPACE offers standardized solutions for all common automotive bus systems: CAN, CAN FD, LIN, Ethernet, and FlexRay. The comprehensive hardware and software portfolio covers a wide range of application areas, for example, rapid control prototyping and hardware-in-the-loop and software-in-the-loop simulations.

Simulation platforms for testing your bus and network systems are available tailored to your specific project needs, ranging from large bandwidth requirements to in-vehicle size restrictions. To connect your network to the simulation platform, dSPACE offers both standardized solutions and customer-specific solutions with several additional bus systems for aerospace and industrial applications. Supported standards include, among others, ARINC 429, ARINC 664, MIL-STD-1553, Profibus, and EtherCAT.

dSPACE offers several products for configuring your bus simulation, such as the dSPACE Ethernet Configuration Package for SOME/IP configuration, the dSPACE FlexRay Configuration Package for FlexRay communication, and the dSPACE Bus Manager for CAN and LIN communications. The Bus Manager supports purely software-based network simulation as well as and hardware-based real-time simulation. Key functions such as end-to-end protection, secure onboard communication, and global time synchronization are integrated into the tool, making the configuration process smooth and comfortable. The Bus Manager is an add-on for dSPACE ConfigurationDesk. Thanks to this integration, it is possible to configure real-time hardware components such as I/O channels within the same software environment as the bus configuration.

Bus & Network Logging and Replay

No matter your specific requirements, dSPACE offers the ideal system.

  • For applications requiring a high data bandwidth, AUTERA is the right choice. With an in-vehicle data logging and prototyping system, you can read, process, and record raw network data from lidar, radar, and camera sensors as well as other automotive buses and networks with best-in-class bandwidth.
  • If you are running SCALEXIO, you can directly access the CAN, LIN, or Ethernet system interfaces without additional hardware. This makes it easy to analyze your signals without a complex and costly test setup.
  • In software-based simulation runs, for example, with dSPACE VEOS, you can also access the network interfaces directly.
  • A direct connection between your PC and an ECU is provided by the specialized converters for various bus protocols, such as CAN, LIN, and K-Line. These converters (DCI-KLine1, DCI-CAN/LIN1, DCI-CAN2) allow you to analyze your signals even without a real-time system.
  • For in-vehicle applications, you can use the MicroAutoBox III as a bus and network gateway and for monitoring purposes. The MicroAutoBox III is a powerful real-time system for performing fast, in-vehicle function prototyping. It can be added to or replace an electronic control unit (ECU) and lets you experience and test control features in a real environment.

All systems are part of a complete and consistent tool chain. For example, the bus simulation container allows you to reuse your bus configuration together with the environment model on many dSPACE platforms without having to adapt your bus interfaces.

Working with Communication Description Files

Working with Communication Description Files

For special tasks such as analyzing communication description files, dSPACE offers a dedicated solution: the Communication Matrix Manager.

The Communication Matrix Manager is a stand-alone software for handling communication matrices intuitively, quickly, and affordably. It supports the communication standards Ethernet, FlexRay, CAN, and LIN.  The software provides graphical representations of the content in conventional communication matrix formats (AUTOSAR, FIBEX, DBC, LDF). The representation is independent of the communication matrices and includes a hierarchical view of the different elements, the properties of the elements, filters, and dedicated views. You can easily compare the properties from many different communication matrix elements, for example, clusters, channels, ECUs, PDUs, originating from several communication matrices, thus finding deviations quickly and intuitively. The software makes detecting changes and performing consistency checks easy and user-friendly.

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Supported Communication Standards


The Fieldbus Exchange Format (FIBEX) is specified by ASAM. FlexRay networks are, in most cases, described by FIBEX files. The files have an XML format and contain information about the complete vehicle network. In detail, they describe the network topology, data frames, signals and their coding and scheduling, as well as dedicated signal parameters.


FlexRay is a standard (ISO 17458)  for in-vehicle, time-triggered communication systems. dSPACE’s FlexRay products provide comprehensive FlexRay support, ranging from hardware, such as prototyping systems and I/O boards with FlexRay interfaces, to software for the real-time simulation of models in FlexRay networks.


Communication database for CAN is one file format for describing the CAN communication between distributed ECUs. The file defines the properties of a CAN network, including its signals, the connected ECUs and the CAN messages. The format is widely used but limited to CAN networks.

CAN in Automation

The CAN in Automation (CiA) international users’ and manufacturers’ group was founded in 1992 by multiple companies. Its aim is to provide an unbiased platform for future developments of the CAN protocol and to promote the image of CAN.


The LIN description file (LDF) specifies all the signals, data packages and scheduling tables of a LIN bus. The description includes the properties of the master and one or more slave controllers. As can be derived from its name, the file format is limited to LIN buses.


AUTOSAR XML (ARXML) files describe systems according to AUTOSAR. AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) is an industry partnership that aims to develop and establish an open standard for automotive electrics/electronics (E/E) architectures. A system is a combination of a hardware topology, a software architecture, a network communication, and information on the mappings between these elements. AUTOSAR system description files are instances of the AUTOSAR System Template. Within the file, different bus protocols, including the gateways between these protocols, can be described.


The Ethernet technology allows multiple in-vehicle systems (such as infotainment, automated driver assistance and onboard diagnostics) to simultaneously access information via a single unshielded twisted pair cable.

OPEN Alliance

dSPACE joined the OPEN Alliance in 2012. The OPEN Alliance was established to encourage the widespread adoption of Ethernet-based, single pair unshielded cable networks as the standard in automotive applications. The OPEN Alliance Special Interest Group (SIG) addresses industry requirements for improving in-vehicle safety, comfort, and infotainment, while significantly reducing network complexity and cabling costs.


The SAE J1939 vehicle bus standard is based on CAN and used for communication and diagnostics among vehicle components. Application areas cover commercial and off-road vehicles, as well as charging station communication. dSPACE supports the configuration of J1939 bus and network communication throughout its bus tool chain.

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