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DS4121 ECU Interface Board

Connecting an ECU to a dSPACE system

The DS4121 connects up to two electronic control units (ECUs) with a dSPACE modular system, for example for bypassing tasks. In addition, the DS4121 board provides the possibility to connect dSPACE modular systems to Ethernet devices or networks via a LVDS-Ethernet Link cable.

Application Areas

The DS4121 provides the link between your electronic control unit (ECU) and a dSPACE modular system. Bypassing individual ECU algorithms and calculating them on a prototyping system is a typical application example. The connection is made via a dual-port memory plug-on device (DPMEM POD), on-chip debug interfaces like the DCI-GSI1 or an LVDS-Ethernet Link cable to establish an Ethernet UDP/IP communication. Two independent ECUs can be connected to the DS4121 at the same time. This offers the flexibility to operate such things as powertrain control modules containing the engine and transmission controllers, or valve controls for 8- and 12-cylinder engines. In addition, the DS4121 board provides the interface to the LVDS-Ethernet Link cable, letting you connect dSPACE modular systems to Ethernet devices or networks.

Key Benefits

The DS4121 is designed to carry out bypassing exactly the way you want. For example, the production-intent ECU can remain in its final mounting position while the prototyping system can be mounted virtually anywhere in the vehicle. The standard board version of the DS4121 is connected to the ECU via copper cable. The DS4121-FX uses a fiber-optic link which increases the possible distance between board and ECU.

Bypassing with the DS4121

With the DS4121, you can either use one single hardware interrupt from the ECU to the prototyping system, or you can split one interrupt into up to 128 subinterrupts with a specially designed ECU software porting kit, allowing full multi-level, multitasking bypassing. The interrupts can be specified via easy-to-use dialogs. You can also perform service-based bypassing with the RTI Bypass Blockset.

Parameter Specification
  • 2 communication channels
Memory Dual-port memory (DPMEM)
  • 16 K x 16 for each channel
  • 16-bit word access, 8-bit low byte, 8-bit high byte
  • Bidirectional interrupts for synchronization of data transfer (for each channel)
  • Connection lost interrupt (for each channel)
  • 16 subinterrupts (using RTI Bypass Blockset) via one interrupt line
  • FIFO-full and FIFO-empty interrupt (for each channel)
Target ECUs
  • Most kinds of 8-, 16- and 32-bit microprocessors
Communication with ECU
  • Two channels for connecting two ECUs or one dual-CPU ECU
  • Communication between prototyping system and ECU via DPMEM plug-on device (POD), on-chip debug interfaces (e.g., use of the DCI-GSI1 generic serial interface or an LVDS-Ethernet Link.
  • POD for SPI available
  • Customer-specific POD can adapt ECU signals to the DS4121 (PODs can be integrated into the ECU enclosure)
  • Compatibility with PODs designed for MicroAutoBox
  • DS4121: twisted pair cable (CAT5 STP) suitable for close-to-engine location
  • DS4121-FX: connection between board and ECU via fiber-optic cable
Signaling system
  • Full-duplex high-speed LVDS link (low-voltage differential signaling)
Transfer rate
  • 250 Mbit/s LVDS interface between DS4121 and ECU
  • 80 Mbit/s effective data rate per channel in both directions
Host interface
  • One 8- or 16-bit ISA slot (power supply only)
Physical characteristics Physical size
  • 340 x 125 x 15 mm (13.4 x 4.9 x 0.6 in.)
Ambient temperature
  • 0 … 70 ºC (32 … 158 ºF)
Power supply
  • +5 V, 1.2 A



Basic Information