Prototype ECU platform speeds engine control unit design

June 15, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Faster design cycles promises British automotive supplier Pi Innovo LLC to the users of its new M670 ECU. The product is a rapid prototyping platform for engine controllers that can be widely customised. Plus, it is implemented to production standards, enabling engineers to use it for small series vehicles.

Based on the company’s OpenECU architecture, the single-box platform is particularly versatile in that can be configured according to the needs of the respective customer project, explained Pi Innovo CEO Walter Lucking. “We believe that it represents perhaps one of the most cost-effective and versatile platforms available for the development of the next generation of fuel efficient and low emissions diesel, gasoline and alternative fuel engines.”

In its standard configuration with advanced Freescale microprocessors, the M670 supports engines of up to eight cylinders and provides 120W of internal boost power for fuel injectors, accommodating multiple overlapping injections per stroke. 96 of 154 I/O circuits can be modified to meet specific vehicle application requirements. The unit’s software is fully adjustable to control a wide range of injectors for maximum flexibility.

The M670 forms part of an integrated tool-chain from concept to production. As with all Pi Innovo OpenECU products, it provides a mature and truly open application-independent Simulink development environment to streamline the development process for production ECU code. Customers are therefore able to progress more quickly to a production solution, saving product development time and cost.

It can be used with a wide range of industry-standard calibration tools including ATI Vision, ETAS INCA, dSPACE Control Desk and Vector CANape via CCP – as well as Pi Innovo’s own calibration tool, Pi Snoop.

The OpenECU product family and thus the M670 has been engineered for flexibility and robustness, suitable for use in the under-hood environment. This robustness together with its large amount of customizable I/O enables the M670 to be reused across successive vehicle product development projects, saving considerable cost in prototype hardware. Similarly, for niche or low volume (<10,000) vehicle applications, it can be customized for production use as an alternative to more costly bespoke ECU development.
Pi Innovo will showcase the ECU platform at the Automotive Test Expo taking place this week in Stuttgart.

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