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Today, anyone who has driven a modern automobile cannot help but be impressed by the complexity and scope of the vehicle's Electronic systems content, all working together to try and make the occupants’ motoring experience safer and more pleasurable. Cars can now protect you, entertain you, anticipate your every move and even pretend to be a French speaking women!

So, as test engineers, how does RTI go about addressing the testing needs, aiming at the complexity of next generation ECUs (Electronic Control Units) before it is installed in your favorite sedan, wagon of SUV? 

What test systems are used, you ask?  And I do emphasize “systems”, as no-one ATE type platform can do it all anymore, and are always right for just that task at hand? 

Here at RTI, we make it easier on you to come to a “ONE STOP SHOP”, in order to become aware of your applications, test strategies and methods. In sum, be very careful on the questions you need to ask your System Integrator and/or ATE vendors to help you make the right choices.

Your Product Development Stages are critical to TEST:

In PD, all new designs are verified and tested prior to production release. What is becoming more important in the testing strategy in the lab is what is known as HILs, or Hardware in the Loop. And RTI can help you plan this from the factory “ground up”.

Process Testing and Integration considerations:

In terms of verifying the quality of the assembly process, the automotive industry is somewhat conservative. Such as primary reason is the environment faced in Automotive, temperature ranges 40° to +250°C, and multiple G force shock potential demands in a design that is more robust than, say a home computer. Where Component densities per square centimeter will likely remain lower than other consumer products as well. Also, as most area ANALOG rates will be under 150 MGHZ for the foreseeable future, test pads will stay mechanically and electrically very “test-a-able”, and viable. Add the issues of product liability when a safety systems fails promotes a go slow/careful philosophy. So it appears that the INCIRCUT testing is still viable in the assembly line for several more years to come.

Certain Mechanical- Electrical testing are comprised of the following subtasks: 

  • Component testing 
  • Functional testing 
  • Durability investigations (HI-REL)


Suitable component testing allows a cost-effective verification of simulation results as well as a validation of the involved engine subsystems. Component investigations contribute to the shortening of development times as they can be performed at a time before the completed stages are available. FEV distinguishes between static component testing, pulse testing and dynamic rig-testing


Despite the high standard of component testing achieved as of today, especially as regards transferability of test results of the complete vehicle sub-assemblies, functional testing conditions is still indispensable. Especially for measured variables and locations immediately affected by the actual process, the higher expenditure must be accepted. And At times, functional tests performed are characterized by the use of sophisticated measuring technologies:

If it’s feasible, the following measures are taken to ensure a time and cost efficient test procedure: 
  • Test bench installation and driving cycle operation without utilizing special measuring technology 
  • Extensive in-parallel data acquisitions
  • Utilization of an actual hardware specimen for the analysis of various subsystems is required (“SAMPLING”) of your golden device, is often required and requested.

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