Rapid creation of custom BLDC motor control ECU using off-the-shelf OpenECU

M561An OEM required a custom ECU for driving a fuel pump for an experimental fuel on a fleet of vehicles. Furthermore, this customer wanted rapid prototyping features which would allow them to use model-based development to quickly change fuel pump control strategies during the test and deploy these changes across the fleet.

This challenge was met by leveraging off-the-shelf OpenECU technology in a new custom ECU. A two-microcontroller solution was selected using the core of Pi Innovo's M670 ECU for the primary microcontroller and circuits, and the core of Pi Innovo's GaN BLDC development board for the secondary microcontroller and circuits.

The primary microcontroller allowed model-based development using the OpenECU developer platform to implement the fuel pump control strategy. The fuel pump speed commands are then sent to the secondary microcontroller via a UART link that connects the two microcontrollers. The secondary microcontroller uses a sensorless BLDC control algorithm to achieve the desired motor speed, while sending actual motor operating conditions and diagnostic information back to the primary microcontroller over the UART link.

By using off-the-shelf technology already in Pi Innovo's repertoire, a custom ECU was delivered to the customer within 6 months of project kickoff.