Browse Publications Technical Papers 2014-32-0071
2014-11-11

Improvement Potential at Electronic Control Units by Integration Across Clusters and Applications 2014-32-0071

The market potential for products such as scooters and small motorcycles is already self-sustaining. However, other applications for small engines can be more fragmented with a wide variety of requirements for the engine control unit. Consequently, the engine control unit can be designed to accommodate more features than are necessary for a given application to cover a broader market. The flip side of this approach is to design the engine control unit for a limited application reducing the market size. Neither approach creates a cost efficient product for the producer. It either supplies the market with an electronic control unit that has features not being utilized (wasted costs) or a unit that has limited capabilities reducing the economies of scale (higher costs). When these designs are developed using discrete components these inefficiencies are exacerbated. Integration of these functions at the semiconductor level can mitigate these costs, improve the thermal performance and expand the functional capabilities to include additional vehicular control aspects in the electronic control unit.
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how integration of features into semiconductors can provide a more cost effective way to address larger market segments by combining applications and minimizing the costs of unused features through more flexible implementation. We will use thermal simulation techniques to analyze the tradeoffs between integrated power and thermal management components as we optimize an electronic control unit design. This approach will allow the designer to develop a product that is scalable across multiple engine types, sizes and uses while still maintaining the thermal performance necessary to meet the requirements of various applications. The resulting design will help the producer achieve a more cost effective solution by addressing the economies of scale benefits associated with procurement and manufacturing efficiencies.

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