Browse Publications Technical Papers 2021-01-0907

Validation of EEPROM Chip Removal and Reinstallation for Retrieval of Electronic Crash Data - Destructive and Non-Destructive Methods 2021-01-0907

As a result of trauma to the circuit board or other damage to an airbag control module (ACM), electronic crash data recorded onto a passenger vehicle’s electronically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) chip may be inaccessible by traditional imaging methods and techniques, such as through a diagnostic link connector (DLC) or accessing the data directly from the ACM. Despite the potential damage to the subject module, electronic crash data may still be present on the module’s EEPROM chip. This paper explores and validates a methodology for the removal and reinstallation of a subject EEPROM chip using an identical undamaged exemplar airbag control module and a non-destructive clip-assisted method to gain access to the subject electronic crash data. ACMs were obtained from a 2016 BMW 740i, 2015 Toyota Corolla, 2014 Nissan 370z, 2006 Lexus IS350, 2015 Maserati Ghibli, and 2017 Audi A4. Each module was imaged prior to the chip swap procedure. Each of the six EEPROM memory chips were removed from their respective modules and installed into identical, undamaged surrogate modules. After the EEPROM chip swaps were completed, the surrogate modules were imaged using a direct-to-module benchtop download procedure to access the data stored on each EEPROM. This paper exclusively explores ACMs containing small outline integrated circuit eight (SOIC8) EEPROM memory chips. The electronic data obtained from the imaging of the surrogate modules were compared to the data from the initial imaging and further analyzed.


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