Real-Time ECU Access for White-Box Testing

Application Area

During ECU tests, it is sometimes difficult or even impossible to reach certain electrical interfaces. To still be able to execute software function tests on close-to-production or production software, dSPACE offers ECU Interfacing Software. It gives you a convenient way to access the ECU control functions directly from the real-time application without electrical or mechanical interfaces. For example, you can simulate values of ECU sensors that are difficult to access, such as temperature, pressure and acceleration sensors, directly on the ECU. By using dSPACE ECU Interface Software, you can react to changes in the internal status of the ECU software during test runs, enabling them to precisely and immediately influence the test progress. In addition, subfeatures of the ECU software can be tested isolated from the complete ECU software on the ECU hardware (white-box testing).

Important Aspects

Existing ECUs can be connected to the dSPACE ECU Interface Software without thorough knowledge of the original implementation details. There are two different approaches: The ECU software can be prepared for connecting the ECU to the SCALEXIO system or the ECU-internal signals can be made available in the real-time application. The ECU Interface Base Package lets you access ECUs that have already been prepared for connection to external dSPACE real-time hardware. With the optional Binary Code Management Module, you can retroactively prepare the binary code of microcontrollers for ECU integration by inserting service calls in the code sections used to test functionalities. Access to the build environment etc. is not required.

dSPACE Solution

In hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) white-box tests, the HIL simulator has to be able to access the unit under test in real time in order to perform synchronous measurements and set ECU-internal variables. The dSPACE HIL simulator SCALEXIO does this by using either the serial dSPACE DSI-GSI2 hardware or an XCP-on-Ethernet interface that is already on the ECU. To access the variables in the ECU code synchronously to the ECU, bypass or XCP service calls are needed as access points. The service calls can be inserted either manually on the basis of the ECU source code or automatically on the basis of binary code. dSPACE provides the ECU Interface Manager for automatic insertion, a powerful, intuitive tool that gives test engineers a graphical user interface to perform the modifications required for ECU access at any time. With a few clicks, the ECU-internal signals that were prepared for access can then be made available in ConfigurationDesk. Here, they can be used with the real-time application. Application synchronous access to ECU internal functions and variables enables your SCALEXIO HIL System for White-Box Testing.

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