ECU Design

Pathway Technologies Provides SolutionsAn ECU or Electronic Control Unit is a microcontroller, which traditionally has embedded code for driving the output. The input is from sensors attached to the hardware. Some of the signal information may be available on the CAN bus, while the rest of it is available off the CAN bus.

However, it is desirable to move the ECU development from the traditional approach to one using a modeling/simulation/rapid prototyping environment. In this approach an ECU must have an embedded control algorithm that reacts to sensor signals. The control algorithm is developed using a control model, code generation from the model, deployment in the ECU, testing, iterative fine tuning of the algorithm until the goals have been achieved. Some common problems to be solved in the procedure are listed below:

  1. Scaling floating point numbers and operations to fixed point operations (for the migration to the final ECU)
  2. Writing hardware drivers
  3. Writing communication drivers - CAN is just the basic protocol; other related protocols such as CanOpen, J1939, J1850, TTCAN must be supported depending on the vehicle class
  4. Satisfying environment conditions, where ECUs might need to perform in severe temperature conditions like that in the engine compartment: under-the-hood environment
  5. Developing new sensors
  6. Code generation for different ready made or custom tailored ECUs
  7. Customization at various layers / levels

While some of the challenges listed are mostly hardware related and can be mitigated by an appropriate choice of hardware and packaging, the other challenges remain uniquely software related.

Pathway Technologies Inc. provides ECU Prototyping, ECU Hardware Design, Custom Target Code Generation solutions, apart from the Control System Design and Implementation for their clients in the automotive, commercial vehicle, medical electronics and industrial automation industry sectors. We offer products and services for design, fabrication and vehicle implementation. Our expertise in using industry standard embedded software tools and our adherence to software development best practices ensures that the quality of our work meets the highest standards of our clients.

Experience and Capabilities

  1. Automatic code generation (using tools like Realtime Workshop Embedded Coders)
  2. Coding for Embedded targets using CodeWarrior, other cross-compiling and supporting tools
  3. Communication protocols like CAN, and industry standard variations such as CanOpen, J1939, J1850 and other proprietary protocols
  4. Custom changes to Base CAN protocols
  5. ECU hardware interface development, including electronics circuitry
  6. Control algorithm development
  7. Embedded Software development
  8. Hardware-in-the-loop simulation for ECUs
  9. Testing and Verification