ECU Testing with dSPACE HIL Systems

Cutting-edge systems for ECU software testing
  • Hardware scalable from small to large systems
  • For all vehicle domains
  • Worldwide support
  • Engineering for customer applications
Systematic and Reproducible
Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation is the method used to test the functions, system integration, and communication of electronic control units (ECUs). ECUs are indispensable for vehicles, airplanes and robots. The technical environment of the ECUs and interconnected system parts are simulated in HIL simulation. The HIL tests are very systematic and also completely safe, even when critical thresholds are exceeded. The main goal is to detect errors in ECUs. Once detected, the situation that produces the error can be reproduced whenever and however required.
Improving ECU Software Quality
As HIL simulation can be done far earlier than vehicle tests, it helps to improve quality at an early development stage. A major Japanese automobile manufacturer states that HIL simulation finds 90% of ECU errors, and almost all the errors can be found before the calibration phase. This shortens the time to market and avoids recall campaigns that severely damage a company’s image. The investments made in HIL systems and in developing tests have usually paid off after only a few months.
Just a few of the advantages:
  • Fewer prototypes, fewer test drives, lower costs
  • Higher quality (at earlier development stages), lower risks
  • More comprehensive and more systematic tests in a shorter time
  • Avoids recall campaigns and loss of corporate image


The dSPACE SCALEXIO system for HIL simulation is based on a new technology:

  • Versatility for different test tasks
  • High channel and system flexibility
  • Integrated signal conditioning and Failure Insertion Unit (FIU)
  • Completely software-configurable using ConfigurationDesk
  • Connectable to dSPACE Simulator systems

dSPACE Simulator

dSPACE Simulator is a modular, standardized, off-the-shelf HIL simulator system. Its main features are:

  • HIL systems tailored to your needs
  • Mature simulation system with numerous successful applications
  • For testing everything from complex single ECUs to large ECU networks in any application field
  • Signal conditioning, load simulation, and electrical failure simulation