Scaleo Chip has recently introduced OLEA, its new family of powertrain microcontrollers embedding two unique technologies surpassing the current market solutions: AMEC® (Advanced Motor Events Control) and SILant® (Safety Integrity LeveL agent) technologies provides unprecedented hardware flexibility, timing events predictability, processing performance, functional safety and design cycle reduction.
Scaleo chip, IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN), Continental and CEA partnered within the NextSTEP program (Next Solution for Thermal and Electrified Powertrain), to demonstrate the ability of Scaleo chip’s OLEA microcontroller’s to control the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), called FlexHybrid. This program was also actively supported by Bpifrance, the French public investment bank.
NextSTEP is aimed at developing and demonstrating leading edge technologies that address three essential challenges for the design of clean, cost effective and safe vehicles: (i) improve energy efficiency of automotive powertrain, (ii) manage the complex embedded electronics systems and (iii) extend the in-vehicle network. These goals were achieved by implementing OLEA microcontrollers into the FlexHybrid vehicle.
Within the NextSTEP program, three powertrain electric control units (ECU’s) using the new OLEA microcontrollers were designed: the first ECU handles the spark ignition engine and automated manual gearbox controllers, the second ECU includes the power converters and electric motor controllers, and the third ECU hosts the hybrid vehicle supervisory controller, the transmission control law and the electronic/electrical components manager. A rapid prototyping tool chain enables automated software and hardware code generation for the embedded cores and the programmable logic of the OLEA microcontrollers. This code generation flow allows complex algorithms porting from MATLAB®/Simulink® models.
The FlexHybrid car is built on a Renault Kangoo platform powered by a 1.4l PSA gasoline engine (66 kW), a VALEO starter-alternator, a permanent magnet synchronous motor (37 kW), and a Li-ion battery from SAFT. The transmission features an automated 5-speeds manual gearbox with a mechanical speed reducer for electric motor coupling. FlexHybrid has 30 km of range in full electric mode and its battery is recharged during regenerative breaking, when the gasoline engine is running or when plugged into a conventional power outlet.
All the software functions necessary to control the vehicle were developed by IFPEN. The OLEA embedded software stack includes 7 control/management functions (engine control, transmission control, actuators / sensors processing, energy supervision, powertrain synchronization, electrical functions management) and 8 communication functions (CAN, Ethernet and Inter-Core) distributed over the connected ECU’s by a determinist Ethernet link.
“Our strong and fruitful partnership with IFPEN has concluded with this first prototype car which demonstrates all the benefits of OLEA from end-to-end integration: silicon, software, and system in a vehicle” says Bruno Paucard, President and CEO of Scaleo chip. “Moreover, it provides to OLEA customers fast application development and scale-up with implementation examples in ECU design, software development, AMEC® development and calibration with OLEA”.
According to Gilles Corde, program director at IFPEN, “Working with a leading technology company on a very innovative product such as OLEA, generated a strong motivation on IFPEN researchers. We designed a modular OLEA-based electronic control unit which runs our algorithms dedicated to the plug-in hybrid vehicle control. We were able to contribute to a tangible innovation that emphasizes our ability to support OLEA technologies. IFPEN is proud of this rewarding collaboration with Scaleo chip and this successful project marks the beginning of a longer-term partnership between our two companies.”