ECU Automotive Development Board

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ECU(Electronic Control Unit) is a important component in the automobile and different companies are developing more advanced ECUs for the automobile. To improve ECU development process and reduce cost is the main motto behind this project. The ECU development involves both hardware and software required to perform the functions expected from that module. It is expensive to develop module form scratch. The ECU Development Board reduces the cost and provides a cost effective platform for development and testing.


To design a platform that reduces the overall cost of development. and

• It must be relatively inexpensive compared to other Cortex M3 microcontroller platforms.

• It must be easily programmable.

• It must serve as a learning tool of industrial standards for the students

 Literature survey

Microcontroller Development Board

A microprocessor development board is a printed circuit board containing a microprocessor and the minimal support logic needed for a computer engineer to become acquainted with the microprocessor on the board and to learn to program it. It also served users of the microprocessor as a method to prototype applications in products.[1] The reason for the existence of a development board was solely to provide a system for learning to use a new microprocessor, not for entertainment. So everything superfluous was left out to keep costs down.

ARM Cortex-M3:

The ARM Cortex-M3 is a 32-bit RISC ARM processor core licensed by Arm Holdings. Cortex-M3 cores are commonly used in dedicated microcontroller chips. It belongs to Cortex-M family. Some other cores of this family are Cortex-M0, Cortex-M0+, Cortex-M1, Cortex-M4, Cortex-M7, CortexM23, Cortex-M33, Cortex-M35P. The ARM Cortex-M3 is a next generation core that offers system enhancements such as enhanced debug features and a higher level of support block integration. The Cortex-M3 core can run at frequencies upto 72MHz

NXP LPC1547 :

The LPC1547 is ARM Cortex-M3 based microcontroller for embedded applications featuring a rich peripheral set with very low power consumption. Features and benefits.

The LPC15xx operate at CPU frequencies of up to 72 MHz.

– The LPC1547 has 64 kB of flash memory, 32 kB of ROM, a 4 kB EEPROM, and 12 kB of SRAM.

– The peripheral complement includes one full-speed USB 2.0 device, two SPI interfaces, three USARTs, one I2C-bus interface, one CAN module

– Digital peripherals like PWM, State Configurable Timers (SCTimer), a Realtime clock module with independent power supply and a dedicated oscillator.

– Two 12-bit ADC with up to 12 input channels per ADC and with multiple internal and external trigger inputs and sample rates of up to 2 Msamples/s.
– One 12-bit DAC, four voltage comparators.

– Integrated temperature sensor and band gap internal reference voltage. – Direct Memory Access engine can service most peripherals

NXP LPC1768 :

The LPC1768 is ARM Cortex-M3 based microcontroller. The LPC1768 can operate at CPU frequencies of up to 100 MHz. It has following features and benefits.

The peripheral complement of the LPC1768 includes 512 kB of flash memory, 64 kB of RAM.

– There are 70 GPIOs available.

– Serial interfaces include Ethernet MAC, USB Device/Host/OTG interface, 8channel general purpose DMA controller, 4 UARTs, 2 CAN channels, 2 SSP controllers, SPI interface, 3 I2C-bus interfaces, 2-input plus 2-output I2S-bus interface,

– Digital and analog pheripherals include 8-channel 12-bit ADC, 10-bit DAC, motor control PWM, Quadrature Encoder interface, four general purpose timers, 6-output general purpose PWM, ultra-low power Real-Time Clock (RTC) with separate battery supply

Problem statement

To develop an relatively inexpensive development board compatible for ECU Development and other projects which can be programmed using USB 2.0 and has a infused CAN Transceiver along with 3.3V LDO for power supply.

System design

To explain the architecture, Design, interfaces, and data for a system to satisfy specified requirements, system designing is done. Systems design could be seen as the application of systems theory to product development

Black Box

Following  indicates the black box of system having inputs and corresponding outputs

Morphological chart

The morphological chart is a method to generate different ideas in an systematic manner


We select one of the optimal microcontroller based on its working, ease of use, relatively inexpensive implementation. LPC 1768FBD100 and LPC1547JBD48 are compared below in Table 1

Table 1:

Table 2:

LPC1547JBD48 is selected based on the above comparison. The following are the justifications.

•It is relatively inexpensive.

• It has inbuit USB bootloader.

• It comes with advanced fearutes like switch matrix, Watchdog Timer and has reasonable Flash and SRAM.

• It has better AD with sampling rate of 2Msamples/s.

Component Comparison
The other components and feature which are to be implemented into the PCB are given along with the alternates in Table 2  Comparing components based on cost, working we have selected following components.

• MCP2551 : It comes in DIP-8 package and available easily at reasonable cost.

• CP2102N : This comes in surface mount package with 1.5mm X 1.5mm dimension. It doesn’t require external 48MHz crystal.

• Bootloader : It is easy to use whereas UART based Bootloader has autobaud issues.

• TC12643V3AB : It is a low cost 3.3V LDO with 800mA of output current which is sufficient to run all the ICs on the board

• USB as Power Supply : It enhances ease of use and USB Type B connector is used.

Next article on this series will have further information about hardware design. 

Project Information

ECU Development Board

Team : Chetan Salimath , Goutham Uttarkar , Jagadeesh Jatti, Jaishankar Navani

Under the guidance of : Prof. Tanuja V. Javali

Author Goutham Uttarkar

Goutham Uttarkar is a B-Tech Electrical , Electronics and Communication Engineering graduate from KLE Technological University , Hubballi (India). He is an active electronics enthusiast with  good knowledge in understanding of Analog Circuit Design and Semiconductor Physics. He has worked in Worked on 180nm, 90nm, 45nm, 15nm & 7nm FinFET technology nodes. He also has hands on experience of Cadence and Synopsys EDA Tools

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