Since each bus system and network communication comes with different data rates and implementation costs per node, users need to thoroughly consider which system to use.

Bus systems form the information backbone of today’s vehicles and their ECU communication. Established communication technologies such as CAN, CAN FD, and LIN are still largely used as they are proven and cost-efficient. Nevertheless, the trend of using Ethernet in the automotive sector continues.

The current automotive Ethernet semiconductors allow for transmission rates from 10 Mbit/s up to 10 Gbit/s using a single twisted cable pair. Due to the large number of protocols in use, such as SOME/IP, gPTP, TLS, IPsec, or MACsec, among others, managing communication is rapidly becoming more complex.

dSPACE provides suitable solutions for different applications to get on top of things. Our software and hardware portfolio cover topics such as restbus simulation, virtual bus simulation, or bus communication testing to name just a few.

dSPACE Solutions for Automotive Communication Systems

Since the bus and network ports are the main interfaces of the ECUs, it is nearly impossible to validate ECU functionality without bus simulation. Tests of ECU networks where not all necessary ECUs are available are called restbus simulation. Here, the simulator emulates the missing bus nodes.

dSPACE provides a complete set of tailored hardware and software to execute restbus simulations in a very convenient and efficient way throughout the entire development and testing process.

Rapid Prototyping

Function development from autonomous driving to zero emissions

Function development from autonomous driving to zero emissions

Our scalable and comprehensive dSPACE prototyping systems help to bring your ideas to life in mechatronic control design and data-driven development.

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HIL Testing

Central Test Method for Validating ECUs

Central Test Method for Validating ECUs

The dSPACE HIL test systems provide a simulated environment for efficient and reproducible validation of real ECUs in the laboratory 24/7. This increases test coverage and shortens validation times significantly. Our HIL solutions cover all vehicle domains from autonomous driving to zero emissions – starting with component testing and up to virtual vehicle testing.

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SIL Testing

Software-in-the loop (SIL) testing with the powerful dSPACE solution for PC- and cloud-based simulation

Software-in-the loop (SIL) testing with the powerful dSPACE solution for PC- and cloud-based simulation

With the dSPACE solution for software-in-the loop (SIL) testing, you can significantly accelerate your software development process by testing and validating virtually. dSPACE offers you a complete, modular, scalable development and test solution. You can conveniently simulate a device-under-test on a PC, connect it to physics-based models, run scalable tests in the cloud, and then easily reuse test scripts on hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems.

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Test Data Management

Data Management and Collaboration Software for Automated ECU Testing

Data Management and Collaboration Software for Automated ECU Testing

SYNECT, our solution for the efficient and automated verification and validation of ECU software, helps engineers worldwide handle all test parameters, their dependencies, versions and variants, and the underlying requirements throughout the entire development process.

This results in consistent data versions and complete traceability as required in homologation processes, and an efficient reuse of data in other projects.

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Production Software Development

Optimized Production Software Development

Optimized Production Software Development

The central challenges in production software development include the optimization of RAM resources, run time, and integration into the overall system. Furthermore, it must be possible to split the software in such a way that regular software updates are possible. And before the final software release, special validation and often a release process are required.

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Simulation Modeling

Mathematical real-time models

Mathematical real-time models

Use simulation modeling to create a digital twin of a physical system to predict its behavior in the real world under all circumstances.

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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.

Consulting & Engineering Services

Development support from start to finish

Development support from start to finish

Developing complex E/E systems and software with ever more safety-critical functions, especially in the area of autonomous systems, raises the question of guaranteeing function reliability. That's why dSPACE offers end-to-end expertise in functional safety, test strategy development as well as verification and validation in complex E/E processes - to support you from the earliest project stages to homologation.

dSPACE systems are easy to get up and running – however, if a project is more complex, if individual solutions are needed or if there is high time pressure, you can also trust dSPACE's fast, competent and reliable engineering services.

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