The electronic control unit (ECU) serves as an automotive computer controller. Automotive electronic controllers are used to receive and process signals from sensors and export control commands to the actuator to execute. Microprocessors, the core of an automotive ECU, include the micro control unit (MCU), microprocessor unit (MPU), digital signal processor (DSP) and logic integrated circuits (IC). The global ECU leaders are Bosch, Denso, Continental, Aptiv, Visteon, among others.
As vehicles tend to use more electronics, ECU is making its way into all parts of the car from the anti-lock braking system, four-wheel drive system, electronically controlled automatic transmission, active suspension system and airbag system to body safety, network, entertainment and sensing and control systems. The vehicles’ consumption of ECU then booms: high-class models use 50-70 ECUs on average, and some even carry more than 100 units.
When the one-to-one link between the number of sensors and ECUs gives results in underperforming vehicles and far more complex circuits, more powerful centralized architectures like the domain control unit (DCU) and multi-domain controller (MDC) emerge as an alternative to the distributed ones.
The concept of the domain control unit (DCU) was initiated by tier-1 suppliers like Bosch and Continental as a solution to information security and ECU development bottlenecks. DCU can make systems much more integrated because of its powerful hardware computing capacity and availability of sundry software interfaces which enable integration of more core functional modules, meaning lower requirements on function perception and execution hardware. Moreover, standardized interfaces for data interaction help these components turn into standard ones, thus reducing the spending on research and development or manufacture. In other words, unlike peripheral parts just playing their own roles, a central domain control unit looks at the whole system.
Autonomous vehicles require domain controllers not only to be integrated with versatile capabilities such as multi-sensor fusion, localization, path planning, decision making and control, V2X and high-speed communication but also to have interfaces for cameras (mono/stereo), multiple radars, LiDAR, IMU, etc.
To carry out their number crunching, the domain control unit often needs a built-in core processor with strong computing power for smart cockpit and autonomous driving at all levels. Solution providers include NVIDIA, Infineon, Renesas, TI, NXP, and Mobileye. The way in which powerful multi-core CPU/GPU chips are used to control every domain in a centralized way can replace former distributed automotive electric/electronic architectures (EEA).
At present, most new vehicles adopt DCU-based E/E architectures. In Singulato iS6’s case, a DCU + automotive Ethernet-based network topology is used to divide E/E architecture into five domains: intelligent driving, smart cockpit, body, chassis, and power; an integrated design allows fusion of all sensor data into the intelligent driving domain controller which is in charge of data processing and decision making to implement ADAS functions such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and automatic parking. All imply that automakers need to develop their own ADAS/AD systems.
The study by “Cool Wax Gourd”, a technical expert’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo account, shows that: the evolution of three generations of Tesla models from Model S to Model X to Model 3, is actually a process of functional redistribution, namely, developing capabilities based on those from suppliers; Model S E/E architecture has been a fifth-layer one (Vehicle Computer) to begin with.
As automotive E/E architectures evolve, there is a big shift in the relationship between OEMs and automotive electronics suppliers, too. The trend towards integrated automotive electronic hardware leads to a smaller number of electronics suppliers and a more important role of DCU vendors.
Being generally integrated with instrument clusters and head unit, a cockpit domain controller, for instance, will be fused with the air conditioner control, HUD, rearview mirror, gesture recognition, DMS and even T-BOX and OBU in future.
An autonomous vehicle that generates 4TB data an hour, needs a domain control unit to have some advanced competencies such as multi-sensor fusion and 3D localization.
The central gateway, which is closely tied with the domain controllers, takes charge of sending and receiving key security data, and is directly connected to the backstage of automakers. Through OTA updates to domain controllers, carmakers can develop new capabilities and ensure network security for faster deployment of functions and software.
DCU vendors and automakers will deepen their partnerships in research and development.
Desay SV argues that: tier-1 suppliers and OEMs will collaborate in the following two ways in the area of autonomous driving domain controller:
First, tier-1 suppliers are devoted to making middleware and hardware, and OEMs develop autonomous driving software. As tier-1 suppliers enjoy edges in producing products at reasonable cost and accelerating commercialization, automakers are bound to partner with them: OEMs assume software design while tier-1 suppliers take on the production of hardware and integration of middleware and chip solutions.
Second, tier-1 suppliers choose to work with chip vendors in solution design and research and development of central domain controllers and then sell their products to OEMs. Examples include Continental ADCU, ZF ProAI and Magna MAX4.
DCU, as a kind of OEM automotive electronics, usually takes over two years from design to mass production and launch. Most of the above suppliers are still researching and developing DCU. Aptiv and Visteon are far ahead of peers and have mass-produced DCU.
The global automotive DCU (cockpit + autonomous driving) shipments will exceed 14 million sets in 2025, with the average annual growth rate of 50.7% between 2019 and 2025.
Throughout the DCU industry, Chinese companies have emerged in the past two years, such as Desay SV, Baidu, Neusoft, HiGO Automotive, COOKOO, In-driving, iMotion, etc., all of which now take emerging and non-first-tier traditional automakers as their key clients.
- The Chinese Version of this Report is Available on Request
1 From ECU to Domain Control Unit (DCU)
1.1.1 Block Diagram of Typical Automotive Electronic Control Circuit
1.1.2 Automotive Electronic Control Unit Industry Chain
1.1.3 ECU Evolution
1.1.4 Enormous Growth of ECU and Emergence of Domain Controller
1.2 Domain Controller
1.2.1 Typical Five Major Domain Controllers
1.2.2 Why to Use Domain Controller
1.2.3 Domain Controller Shares Hardware Resources and Realizes the Sharing of Basic Software
1.2.4 Domain Controller Network Architecture
1.3 Domain Controller Related Chip
1.3.1 Infineon AURIX Chip
1.3.2 Infineon AURIX TC3XX
1.3.3 NVIDIA DRIVE Series Chips
1.3.4 TI Cockpit Chip
1.3.5 TI Jacinto
1.3.6 Renesas Chip
1.3.7 Qualcomm Chip
1.3.8 NXP Chip
1.4 Estimated Global Market Size of Automotive Domain Controller (Cockpit + AD)
2 Gateway and E/E Architecture
2.1 Gateway Controller
2.1.1 Typical Gateway Controller (1)
2.1.2 Typical Gateway Controller (2)
2.1.3 NXP’s Gateway Solutions
2.1.4 ST’s Safety Gateway Solutions
2.2 Electrical/Electronic Architecture (EEA)
2.2.1 Typical Automotive EEA (1)
2.2.2 Typical Automotive EEA (2)
2.2.3 Potential E/E Architecture (1) in Future
2.2.4 Potential E/E Architecture (2) in Future
2.2.5 Distributed E/E System Architecture (Continental)
2.2.6 Future Automotive E/E Architecture (NXP)
2.2.7 Future Automotive E/E Architecture (Bosch)
2.2.8 Service-oriented Architecture (SOA)
2.3 E/E Architecture Samples of Automakers
2.3.1 Daimler-Benz 1st-Gen E/E Architecture
2.3.2 Daimler-Benz 2nd-Gen E/E Architecture
2.3.3 E/E Architecture of MAN
2.3.4 SCANIA’s E/E Architecture
2.3.5 IVECO’s E/E Architecture
2.3.6 Tesla Model 3 Architecture
3 Cockpit Domain Controller
3.1 Traditional Cockpit System Design
3.2 Cockpit Domain before and after 2020
3.3 Example of Complex Design of Cockpit Domain Controller
3.4 Visteon’s Cockpit Domain Controller
3.5 NXP Cockpit Solutions
3.6 iMX8 Solutions
3.7 TI Cockpit Solutions
3.8 Development Tendency of Cockpit Domain Controller
3.9 Development Trends of Future Cockpit Electronics
4 ADAS/AD Domain Controller
4.1 AD Domain Controller
4.2 Typical AD Domain Controllers (13 Models)
4.3 Aptiv’s ADAS Multi-domain Controller
4.4 Tesla Autopilot 2.0 / 2.5
4.5 Veoneer’s AD ECU
5 Foreign Domain Controller Companies
5.1.1 Profile of Visteon
5.1.2 Revenue in 2018 and Orders for Domain Controller
5.1.3 Drive Core Autonomous Driving (AD) Platform
5.1.4 Drive Core Autonomous Driving (AD) Platform Architecture
5.1.5 Smart Core Cockpit Domain Controller
5.1.6 Visteon Automotive Electronics Architecture
5.2.1 High-performance SoC Processor Facilitates the Development of Domain Controller
5.2.2 Continental’s Safety Domain Control Unit (SDCU)
5.2.3 Continental’s Assisted & Automated Driving Control Unit (ADCU)
5.3.1 Hybrid Architecture of Bosch Domain Classification ECU
5.3.2 Bosch Cross Domain Control Unit
5.4.1 Zeus ADAS ECU
5.4.2 Zeus ADAS ECU –Functional Architecture
5.5.1 ProAI Controller
5.5.2 ZF’s Collaboration with Baidu
5.5.3 4th-generation ProAI
5.6.1 Profile of MAGNA
5.6.2 MAX4 Autonomous Driving (AD) Platform Domain Controller
5.6.3 MAX4 Enables L4 Automated Driving
5.7 Tesla AD Platform
5.7.1 Functional Characteristics of AutoPilot2.0 Domain Controller
5.7.2 Technical Parameters of AutoPilot2.0 Domain Controller
5.7.3 Functional Characteristics of AutoPilot2.5 Domain Controller
5.8.1 Profile of TTTech
5.8.2 TTTech and MotionWise
5.8.3 TTTech and zFAS
5.8.4 TTTech’s Technical Superiorities in Autonomous Driving (AD) Controller
5.8.5 Joint Funding of TTTech with SAIC Motor
6 Chinese Domain Controller Vendors
6.1 HiGo Automotive
6.1.2 Wise ADCU Series Products
6.1.3 Wise ADCU M6
6.1.4 Wise ADCU M6 Interfaces and Parameters
6.1.5 Wise ADCU X1
6.1.6 Wise ADCU X1 Hardware Specifications
6.1.7 Customers and Partners
6.2.1 TITAN Domain Controller
6.2.2 Composition of TITAN 3 Domain Controller
6.2.3 Block Diagram of TITAN-III
6.2.4 Performance Indices of TITAN-III Domain Controller
6.3.1 Cookoo Automotive Computing Platform Architecture
6.3.2 Cookoo AutoCabin-J1 Architecture
6.3.3 Cookoo AutoCabin-J2 Architecture
6.3.4 Cookoo AutoCabin-J3 Architecture
6.3.5 Cookoo AutoCabin-Centralized Domain Vehicle Electronics Architecture
6.3.6 Product Roadmap of Cookoo Intelligent Computing Platform
6.4 Baidu Domain Controller
6.4.1 Baidu AD Brain: Conventional IPC Centralized Architecture
6.4.2 Baidu AD Brain: Multi-domain Solutions
6.4.3 BCU Mass-production Scheduled in 2019
6.4.4 BCU-MLOC and BCU-MLOP
6.4.5 BCU-MLOP and BCU-MLOP2
6.5.2 iMo DCU 3.0 Was Unveiled
6.6 HiRain Technologies
6.6.1 Domain Controller
6.6.2 Vehicle Body Domain Controller Architecture
6.7 Neusoft REACH
6.7.1 REACH Central Domain Controller for Autonomous Driving
6.7.2 REACH DCU Functions for Autonomous Driving
6.7.3 Cabin Products of Neusoft
6.8 Desay SV
6.8.2 Strategic Layout
6.8.3 New-generation Smart Cockpit
6.8.4 Orders for Its Smart Cockpit Capable of 4-Screen Interaction
6.8.5 Desay SV Intelligent Driving Product Lines
6.8.6 Desay SV Highway Pilot and AVP Solutions
6.8.7 Desay SV and DearCC ENOVATE ME7
6.8.8 Cooperation between Desay SV and NVIDIA in the Development of Domain Controller
6.9.1 Autonomous Driving (AD) ACU
6.9.2 Technical Features