Universal modular experiment and instrumentation software for electronic control unit (ECU) development

ControlDesk is the dSPACE experiment software for seamless ECU development. It performs all the necessary tasks and gives you a single working environment, from the start of experimentation right to the end.

  • ControlDesk 22.2

    New cost-effective product version focused on working with bus systems: the Bus Navigator (stand-alone). 

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  • Last Cross Test Demonstrated Good Interoperability

    The interoperability of ASAM XIL API-compliant products, such as ControlDesk, is checked on a regular basis. For this purpose, major vendors of development tools for automotive applications meet with dSPACE regularly to carry out so-called cross tests on their products. During these tests, they connect their test tools to third-party test benches to evaluate if their test software is able to communicate with test hardware from other manufacturers without issues.

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  • New ways for cost-effective mild hybrids

    Continental’s new belt-driven starter generator uses not only the 48 V vehicle electrical system but also an asynchronous machine as the electric motor and generator – a novelty. dSPACE’s flexible HIL test systems spur the development of the mild hybrid ECU.

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  • Electric wedge clutch for smoother shifts

    Previous attempts at wedge clutches in automatic transmissions often failed because of unpleasant shift jerking. Researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University are working on solving this problem through a precisely controlled electric motor. The validation is based on hardware and software tools by dSPACE.

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  • Efficient tests for commercial vehicle ECU variants

    For commercial vehicles, diversity is a standard. Scania has a nearly endless selection of vehicle types and modular vehicle configurations. And the generic electronic control unit (ECU) system has just as many variants. In a new test lab, Scania shows how this system can be validated with reliability.

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Application Areas

ControlDesk can be used for tasks like these:

  • Rapid control prototyping (RCP; fullpass, bypass)
  • Hardware-in-the-loop simulation (HIL)
  • ECU measurement, calibration, and diagnostics
  • Access to vehicle bus systems (CAN, CAN FD, LIN, Ethernet)
  • Virtual validation with VEOS and SCALEXIO

Key Benefits

ControlDesk unites functionalities that often require several specialized tools. It provides access to simulation platforms as well as to connected bus systems and can perform measurement, calibration and diagnostics on ECUs, e.g., via standardized ASAM interfaces.
Its flexible modular structure provides high scalability to meet the requirements of specific application cases. This gives you clear advantages in terms of handling, the amount of training needed, the required computing power, and costs.

Versions Description
  • Same tool for rapid control prototyping, HIL simulation, offline simulation, ECU calibration, and diagnostics
  • Easy creation of layouts and instruments
  • Synchronous measurement on all data sources
  • Integrated project and experiment management
  • Integrated measurement data management (ASAM MDF 4.1)
  • Compatibility with several ASAM standards (such as ASAM MDF, XCP, CCP, ASAP2, ODX)
  • Powerful tool automation capabilities for user-specific extensions and optimal process integration
  • Access bus network data with instruments (CAN, CAN FD, LIN and Ethernet)
  • Operator mode (protects your projects and experiments against unauthorized changes)
  • Monitoring, logging, and dedicated instruments for CAN and CAN FD
  • Support of virtual validation test scenarios with dSPACE VEOS and SCALEXIO
  • Built-in access to all dSPACE real-time hardware platforms
ControlDesk – Operator Version1)
  • Built-in access to third-party test benches and other hardware by using an ASAM XIL API MAPort server
  • Built-in automation functionality using the ASAM MCD-3 standard tool for rapid control prototyping, HIL simulation, offline simulation, ECU calibration, and diagnostics
  • For using projects and experiment data that were already created with the standard ControlDesk version
  • Protection against altering and creating projects and experiments
  • Built-in access to all dSPACE real-time hardware platforms



Additional Modules Description
ECU Interface Module
  • CCP (CAN Calibration Protocol)
  • XCP on CAN, XCP on CAN FD, XCP on Ethernet2) (TCP/IP and UDP/IP)
  • Support of structured data types as specified in ASAM A2L 1.7
ECU Diagnostics Module
  • Compliance with the ODX database standard (ASAM MCD-2D v2.0.1 and v2.2.0 (ISO 22901-1))
  • Support of ISO protocols for CAN, CAN FD, K-Line, and Ethernet
  • Dedicated instruments for executing diagnostic services and reading or clearing the ECU fault memory
  • ECU flash programming via diagnostic interfaces
  • Support of ASAM MCD-3D v2.0.2
Signal Editor Module3)
  • For graphical stimulus definition
  • Time-synchronous stimulus generation on dSPACE real-time hardware and in Simulink models simulated in dSPACE VEOS
  • Replaying measured data
  • Multiple stimulus patterns can be executed independently
  • Support of the XIL API stimulus format (STZ files, i.e., zipped STI files)
Bus Navigator Module4)
  • Support of CAN, CAN FD, LIN, Flexray and Ethernet buses
  • Dedicated instruments for CAN, CAN FD, LIN, Flexray and Ethernet bus objects
  • Replaying recorded CAN and CAN FD messages
  • Replaying Ethernet communication
  • CAN, CAN FD, and LIN monitoring and logging for dSPACE hardware, dSPACE VEOS, and PC bus interfaces
  • Ethernet bus monitoring (dSPACE SCALEXIO, Vector interfaces, Ethernet interfaces of PCs including loopback)
  • CAN bus statistics
  • LIN bus statistics


1) MCD-3 automation functionality not supported.
2) Also for access to simulated virtual ECUs.
3) Signal generation not supported for the DS1104.
4) New with ControlDEsk 22.2: the CONTROLDESK_BNV license can be used alone as Bus Navigator (stand-alone).

5) FlexRay not supported in Bus Navigator (stand-alone).

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