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Flexible time division multiple access (FTDMA) is a medium access mechanism that some modern popular networks for use in passenger vehicles, such as Byteflight and FlexRay, rely on. Its development was driven explicitly by the new needs of automotive x-by-wire systems, which could not be satisfied by the existing solutions. The FTDMA technique was conceived primarily to overcome the limitations of controller area network and, in particular, for supporting high performance real-time communications. Even though this access scheme is mainly suitable for asynchronous transmissions, it can be adopted profitably for synchronous exchanges as well. In this paper, the main features of FTDMA are analyzed, and its performance is evaluated for different kinds of communications that have to be supported in today's vehicles.
Date of Publication: May 2006