Ready for ADAS and beyond: The Evolution of the ETAS ETK

Automotive Embedded Control Units (ECUs) which feature numerous sophisticated software functions are crucial to attain today’s expectations in terms of vehicle  performance, safety, responsiveness, drivability, fuel savings and emissions.

To develop and calibrate these ECU functions, direct access to the ECU measurement variables and control parameters via the ECU memory is required, and that’s where the ETAS ETK comes in.  What is an ETK?  The ETK is a powerful, high speed microcontroller/microprocessor interface that is used between the development ECU and a PC-based development and calibration tool providing access to the ECU’s memory.  It’s also commonly referred to as an ECU interface or memory emulator.  ETAS is a pioneer and leader of this interface technology, rolling out its first ETK in 1997 and today,  supporting the largest variety of automotive embedded micros in the industry.

ADAS embedded control systems

Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are evolving well beyond previously deployed traditional control systems. Where a traditional system has a dedicated microcontroller used for controlling engine, transmission, braking, and chassis functions, ADAS ECUs commonly include a very high-end microprocessor in addition to the microcontroller. The amount of data flowing into these ADAS ECUs is much greater than for traditional control systems as ADAS control systems include radar, lidar, multiple cameras and other sensors. The control software operating these ADAS systems is correspondingly greater in complexity and requires much more powerful tools for calibration, test and validation.

A new generation of ETKs

ETAS continues to expand and evolve its ETK product line. In the early years, ETKs typically had a 0.5 MByte/s measurement throughput capability. In 2009, ETAS launched the XETK with 3 to 6 MByte/s measurement throughput capability. The FETK products introduced in 2015 exceed 20 MByte/s measurement throughput capability. The latest generation, called GETK, is currently in development and will exceed 1 GByte/s throughput capability, suitable for future requirements of ADAS ECU development.

Already in use

ADAS control systems by major OEMs –designed to support SAE Automation Driving Levels 1 to Level 3–  are currently being calibrated, tested, and validated on the road using ETAS’ XETKs and FETKs, which interface to the microcontroller and microprocessors to acquire memory contents and software variables. These measurement and calibration systems typically include the use of the following:
  • PC-based ETAS INCA measurement and calibration software for capturing and calibrating the control system software variables
  • ETAS bus interface modules for monitoring various vehicle busses (CAN, Ethernet, FlexRay, or LIN)
  • ETAS measurement hardware for monitoring voltage, temperature, and frequency signals
  • Power over Ethernet (POE) based Ground Truth cameras which are recorded and time stamped by the measurement and calibration system
  • ETAS’ Measure Data Analysis (MDA) tool for the analysis of the collected data

The ETAS measurement and calibration system is capable of synchronizing the various data sources (XETK, FETK, Bus interfaces, etc…) with a precision of 2 μs. Thousands of software variables are available utilizing XETK products, tens of thousands of software variables are available utilizing FETK products.

Introducing the ETAS GETK

ADAS Level 4+ Measurement & Calibration Demonstrator

ETAS is currently showing an early technology demonstration of our upcoming GETK technology which will connect a microprocessor’s PCI express (PCIe) interface to a real-time in-vehicle data recording system. The GETK technology demonstration has a measurement and calibration recording capability of greater than 500 MByte/s.

Are you ready to tackle the requirements of ADAS ECU development? Contact us to schedule a GETK demonstration and start discussions on how we can help you start acquiring time synchronized data with an ETAS measurement and calibration system.

Todd Collins

Design Engineering Manager