Analysis of the Communication Requirements of a Highly-Distributed Engine Control 2005-01-0022
Switch fabric communication networks have been proposed for use in automobiles as a means of reducing the physical complexity of communication and control systems. Such networks have proven very valuable in telecommunications and business computing applications. Similar advantages are foreseen in the automotive area. This paper begins to summarize the partitioning and communication requirements of a highly-distributed engine control system that would be part of a switch fabric network in a vehicle.
Engine controls have traditionally been constructed by connecting a large number of input and output devices to a large-scale control module. Most of the signal conditioning and output driving circuitry is combined with a microcontroller and other specialized integrated circuits in the control module. In a vehicle with a switch fabric network, some of the signal conditioning and drive electronics would be distributed out to the actual input and output devices. These devices would contribute their abilities to the engine control strategy running in some computing resource by using the switch fabric communication network. Two types of communication - event-based and periodic process - are used to illustrate the communication requirements of this kind of distributed control. A vehicle with a 4 cylinder engine is used in the analysis presented.