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This article is about controls for motor vehicles. For other uses, see control unit (disambiguation).
An ECU from a Geo Storm.

In automotive electronics, electronic control unit (ECU) is a generic term for any embedded system that controls one or more of the electrical system or subsystems in a motor vehicle.

Types of ECU include Electronic/engine Control Module (ECM), Powertrain Control Module (PCM), Transmission Control Module (TCM), Brake Control Module (BCM or EBCM), Central Control Module (CCM), Central Timing Module (CTM), General Electronic Module (GEM), Body Control Module (BCM), Suspension Control Module (SCM), control unit, or control module. Taken together, these systems are sometimes referred to as the car's computer. (Technically there is no single computer but multiple ones.) Sometimes one assembly incorporates several of the individual control modules (PCM is often both engine and transmission)[1]

Some modern motor vehicles have up to 80 ECUs. Embedded software in ECUs continue to increase in line count, complexity, and sophistication.[2] Managing the increasing complexity and number of ECUs in a vehicle has become a key challenge for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Key elements of an ECU[edit]

  • Core
  • Memory
  • Inputs
    • Supply Voltage
    • Digital inputs
    • Analog inputs
  • Outputs
    • Relay drivers
    • H bridge drivers
    • Injector drivers
    • Logic outputs
  • Communication links
    • Housing

Design and development[edit]

The development of an ECU involves both hardware and software required to perform the functions expected from that particular module. Automotive ECU's are being developed following the V-model.[1] Recently the trend is to dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to develop safe modules by following standards like ISO 26262.[3] It is rare that a module is developed fully from scratch. The design is generally iterative and improvements are made to both the hardware and software. The development of most ECU's are carried out by Tier 1 suppliers based on specifications provided by the OEM.

Testing and validation[edit]

As part of the development cycle, manufacturers perform detailed FMEAs and other failure analyses to catch failure modes that can lead to unsafe conditions or driver annoyance. Extensive testing and validation activities are carried out as part of the Production part approval process to gain confidence of the hardware and software. On-board diagnostics or OBD help provide specific data related to which system or component failed or caused a failure during run time and help perform repairs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b National Instruments White Paper on Electronic Control Units
  2. ^ Ebert, Christof; Jones, Capers (2009-04-01). "Embedded Software: Facts, Figures, and Future". IEEE Computer Society Press. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  3. ^ Case, Lenny (October 2011). "Fast-tracking ECU development". Automotive Industries. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_control_unit — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

4289 news items

Autoblog (blog)

Autoblog (blog)
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 14:09:47 -0800

However, if owners see the supplemental restraint system warning light illuminate before the recall begins, they can visit a dealer for a diagnostic check. If technicians find the problem, then they can replace electronic control unit immediately from ...

I4U News

I4U News
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 10:22:30 -0800

Honda will voluntarily recall approximately 341,000 Honda Accord Sedans in America. The recall will affect Honda Accord 2008-2010 model years. The recall will replace the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) electronic control unit. According to Honda ...

Cars.com News

Cars.com News
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 07:33:45 -0800

The automaker said in a statement that the recall is to replace "the supplemental restraint systems electronic control unit," whose circuitry is susceptible to corrosion and malfunctions. FCA also issued a recall for some 112,000 Dodge Journey SUVs and ...
 
CNNMoney
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 07:45:00 -0800

... electronic control unit (ECU) design, automotive Ethernet, early software development, and verification and debugging of embedded systems at embedded world Conference 2016 in Nuremberg, Germany. To see demonstrations on how to improve features, ...
 
Times of India
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 06:02:53 -0800

PUNE: ZF TRW, which deals in driveline and chassis and passive safety technology, has announced a joint venture with Brakes India Limited. The firm, through its joint venture, has won the first business award for its Electric Park Brake (EPB) system in ...

The Verge

The Verge
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 07:33:45 -0800

Unlike Formula 1, Formula E teams have to wait for cars to return to the paddock before plugging right into the “brain” of the car, a series-issued electronic control unit (ECU). There, they download as much as 1.2GB of performance-critical data every ...

Top Gear

Top Gear
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 02:51:52 -0800

If you spec Ludicrous, you get an uprated smart fuse that has its own electronic control unit and separate lithium ion battery pack. Made from Inconel (the same stuff used for F1 exhausts, and we've all seen those glow white hot while coping with the ...

Washington Times

MarketWatch
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 09:44:18 -0800

Honda, meanwhile, said it would recall roughly 341,000 2008-2010 Accord sedans in the U.S. to replace an electronic-control unit susceptible to moisture that can lead to corrosion and eventual malfunction, causing an air bag to fail to deploy. Honda ...
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