dSpace interface manager software accelerates ECU function development

February 15, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The new ECU Interface Manager from dSpace GmbH (Paderborn, Germany) enables control engineers to insert bypass hooks intuitively and quickly, directly into the compiled ECU hex code, for incremental ECU function development. No access to either the source code or the build environment of the ECU software is required. The ECU Interface Manager does what the ECU supplier in the past had to do manually: integrate the bypass services and the service calls, also known as bypass hooks. This simplifies the workflow and speeds up ECU function development projects.

The ECU Interface Manager supports internal bypassing (on-target prototyping), in which free RAM and flash memory areas in the ECU are used to implement controller algorithms, as well as external bypassing, in which the algorithms are developed on an external rapid prototyping system. End users can switch back and forth between these two options without having to modify the controller model.

The Software analyzes the ECU hex code and the associated ECU description file (A2L file), and finds function calls, read/write accesses to ECU variables and conditional branches in the ECU software. With a configuration file, the ECU supplier can specify which information will actually be displayed in the ECU Interface Manager. Its intuitive user interface allows control engineers to insert the bypass hooks quickly and easily at desired locations. Detailed knowledge of the ECU software is not necessary. At the push of a button, the ECU Interface Manager generates a new HEX file and a new A2L file containing the bypass hooks.

The ECU Interface Manager is currently available for ECUs with Infineon TriCore microcontrollers. Further microcontroller families are planned to be supported in the near future.