Issue: Aug 2010


Ai interview - Wolfgang Malek, CEO, Ruetz Systems Solutions GmbH



by Lenny Case

Ruetz System Solutions develops and supplies car infotainment solutions based on the Media Oriented Systems Transport or MOST technology. The company has accreditation from the MOST Cooperation to be a certified test laboratory according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. Ruetz supports engineers working in systems integration and testing through all steps of the process required for newly developed devices and components to comply with MOST Compliance, up to certification of control units according to the binding standards set by the MOST Cooperation. Ruetz’s consulting and training services include a full product portfolio, which companies can use to carry out network, component and application testing.

The company’s testing encompasses the MOST Optical Limited Physical Layer Compliance (hardware), MOST Physical Layer ePhy MOST Core Compliance (network functionalities) and MOST Profile Compliance (application). Ruetz’s testing environment includes a fully-automated system called the Testerlyzer with which components and network tests can be done according to MOST standards. This lays the foundation for successful systems integration. The Testerlyzer system is the test system for network testing and for the MOST Core Compliance test which accompanies development processes. Testerlyzer has a modular structure and consists of the system components such as Testerlyzer pro Compliance (testing software) and Testerlyzer Box (measuring and automation hardware), as well as two Optolyzer® modules by the company SMSC which provide an interface to the MOST bus.

The Testerlyzer was developed for MOST25, MOST50 ePHY and MOST150 projects. The company says that automation of all testing sequences results in significant saving in time of up to 80 per cent compared with manual testing. Tests follow up-to-date MOST Core Compliance test specifications and target-group specific protocols result in transparent documentation of test results. Apart from offering modules required for MOST Core Compliance testing Ruetz offers additional modules such as general tests, standard mechanisms, ring break diagnosis and Net services system tests and database connection tests.

The second part of the company’s testing portfolio is the TTCN-3-based test and simulation system branded TTsuite MOST which was developed by Ruetz in collaboration with Testing Technologies. Both these components are used for MOST compliance tests. The TTsuite MOST provides users with an easy-to-use platform that allows them to carry out tests and simulations of varying complexity. This tool is based on the standardized test description language TTCN-3 and uses the Graphical Presentation Format or GPF of TTCN-3 to define, visualize and document the tests. “With TTsuite MOST it is easy to describe and carry out new test scenarios. Moreover, test routines cannot only be used to carry out tests but also as test specifications,” says Ruetz.

The TTsuite MOST was developed for MOST25, MOST50 ePHY and MOST150 projects and allows for the full administration of the MOST bus. The system allows for direct import of the MOST function catalogue and offers MOST Synchronous channel support. The MOST high port enables sending and receiving based on MOST High Protocol plus there it offers MOST Control channel ports for TTCN-3. The TTSuite MOST offers integrated SPY functionality, reporting on different levels of detail in MOST analysis style, simple alignment of test results with dynamic MOST specifications.

Ruetz has been a member of the MOST Cooperation since 2001. The company was founded by Georg Janker and Wolfgang Malek who are pioneers of MOST technology. In 2007 the company was accredited to issue the MOST Compliance certificates.

Automotive Industries spoke to Wolfgang Malek, CEO, Ruetz Systems Solutions GmbH.

AI: Tell us about Ruetz’s specialized expertise in providing innovative solutions for integrated MOST-based infotainment systems.

Malek: We are fortunate to have been able to support the success of MOST technology with tools and know-how from the very beginning, not only in the area of system specification but also in system integration. We have been doing this for 13 years now and have seen a large diversity of solutions worldwide, during this time. Our knowledge has gone into a large pool of technology and process know-how, which enables us to specify new avant-garde functionalities and to take care of system integration of entire infotainment networks.

AI: To what do you attribute Ruetz’s leadership as a MOST compliance test house? 

Malek: Apart from providing MOST Compliance Tests for all three speed grades, we don't only support our customers with mere testing services but also provide fast and easy help for solving error scenarios within the shortest period of time. We are used to acting as an emergency service in this field. 

As a company, we are also very interested in backing up MOST as an industry module as standardised technology at the highest level. For example, in the car manufacturing industry, we are driving cross-manufacturer standardisation of network tests by providing application recommendations and we have provided innovations such as executable test specifications. I think, the high level of standardisation of MOST is an immense competitive advantage compared with other technologies which in parts compete with MOST and it is saving large amounts of money for all participants and stakeholders in the process.

AI: What are some of the tests specific to car manufacturers?

Malek: The MOST compliance verification process clearly verifies conformity in accordance with applicable MOST specifications. Car manufacturers clearly focus on robustness, reliability and application-related testing. At this point, we support car manufacturers with test solutions as well as taking charge of the area of systems integration for them.

AI: What are some of the features of automotive testing with the TTsuiteMOST?

Malek: Our customers benefit from not having to deal with upgrading and maintaining their test systems themselves. Instead they can focus on testing their systems.

TTsuite MOST is based on the industry standard TTCN-3, which in turn is maintained and further developed as a test description language for the telecommunications industry by the European standardisation organisation ETSI. Such a cross-industry application of a standard is very cost-efficient due to the scaling effects it produces, it has also a high quality and is robust for future use.

Another tremendous benefit for customers of TTsuite MOST is the fact that test cases can be graphically displayed and then executed immediately for a device or system. The costly interim step, in the form of programming between test specification and executable test, no longer exists.

Test specifications such as the "Extended MOST Core Compliance Test Specification: MOST High Protocol" and the Automotive Application Recommendation for MOST Core Functionality have already been specified in this way by the MOST Cooperation.

AI: How does this product compare with similar MOST testing products? 

Malek: Mostly we are in competition with test frameworks which car manufacturers or suppliers have developed themselves. 

While these frameworks tend to have the advantage of containing a lot of technical history with financial investment done years before, often the maintenance effort for such infrastructures is heavily underestimated. 

TTsuite MOST is a very high-performance framework and one that our customers highly value in terms of up-to-date architecture, validation, standardisation, documentation, software lifecycle, future robustness and reusability of test cases.
In the past years, we have asked ourselves, time and again, whether it is really useful for each car manufacturer to develop their own test frameworks and to declare this an area of their core competence or whether it would not be better to drive one standard for all here.

AI: What makes your Testerlyzer product so efficient in automotive testing?

Malek: 100 % automation of MOST Core Compliance Tests for MOST25, MOST50 and MOST150 control devices, the exact calibration with MOST Compliance Specification, the close customer support and the experience that we have from many thousands of tests carried out at our MOST Compliance Test House. 

There is no test system that has done more Core Compliance tests than TESTERLYZER.

AI: How do you see the future of the MOST standard evolving? 

The evolution of MOST 25 via MOST50 up to MOST150 was the logical further development of a high performance technology to a high performance standardised industry modular system with a globally functioning ECO system. 

Aside from the high performance technology a standard is only as good as the people driving it and if I look at the commitment and personal input of the people driving MOST technology then I have to say that the product of this combination results in what MOST has to offer as benefits to the customers. 

In future, we will see further merging of infotainment and driver assistance systems and MOST is very well-positioned for these developments.


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