Demonstration of Rapid Prototyping System for ECUs (Masterthesis)


Lingxuan Du

17.12.2014, 14:00, room 3945


The ECU is an important control part in automobiles. The development of the ECU becomes more and more difficult. On one hand, to meet the increasing requirements of customers, the hardware and software of ECU are getting more and more complicated. On the other hand, due to the complexity, the development and design of hardware and software systems are always separated in different manufactures.

The ECU consists of hardware and software. Nowadays, the software systems are always connected with the target system on which they are executed. So the developer should have to consider the characteristics of different target systems in developing software systems. That makes the development of ECU more complex. But if we change the way to design the software system, the descriptions of the software and hardware can be separated. It can be simply realized by mapping the signals from the software system on to the signal supplied by the hardware. In this way, the development in hardware and software can be separated. That makes it easier to develop the ECU, because the developer only needs to consider about mapping signals in the right way which can be realized by making the signals standard in the ECU hardware and software. It allows the development of hardware and software to be done at the same time, which can reduce the total development time and cost.

In this way, the software can be designed as modules by model-based software tools such as ASCET or Simulink. The models are then converted into the executable code. But in the development, it always takes long time to ash the code into the ECU. Testing new functions in the ECU is a very complex process because if there is any problem in the model, it should be designed and flashed into the ECU again. So a new method needs to be developed to improve the efficiency of the previous method.

Rapid prototyping can be useful in automotive software development. Using rapid prototyping, new functions can be designed as a prototype and tested in the external hardware without influence on the original function in the ECU. So the design errors can be found early and modified easily. After the test is done, the prototype can be converted into code automatically and then flashed into the ECU. In general, rapid prototyping is able to shorten the development cycle of new software.

Using bypass is a good method for realizing rapid prototyping. It builds external canals for new functions, allows the functions to be tested in the external hardware. In this way, flashing ECU is not necessary in testing new functions. Modifications are done only in the prototype in the external hardware.

This master's thesis describes a demonstration of rapid prototyping system configuration for ECUs, using EHOOKS and other ETAS software and hardware on a Flex-ECU to realize an External Bypass with RTPRO-PC.