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Novel powertrain MCUs enable plug-in hybrid EV

Posted: 20 Jun 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Scaleo chip  IFP Energies nouvelles  plug-in hybrid electric vehicle  MCU  powertrain 

Scaleo chip and IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) have unveiled the "FlexHybrid powered by OLEA", the first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) driven by OLEA MCUs.

Scaleo chip, a fabless semiconductor company in automotive electronics, has recently introduced OLEA, its line of powertrain MCUs embedding two unique technologies. 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.

IFPEN, a public-sector research, innovation and training centre, has activities covering the fields of energy, transport and environment. Among these domains of expertise and know-how, IFPEN has an extensive experience and technologies on the improvement of internal combustion engines and powertrain electrification, development of control laws and energy optimization algorithms. Based on its work on fuel economy analysis, IFPEN has released an eco-driving mobile application for the general public.

Scaleo chip, 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 MCU's to control the 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 MCUs into the FlexHybrid vehicle.

Within the NextSTEP program, three powertrain electric control units (ECUs) using the OLEA MCUs 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 MCUs. 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 (66kW), a VALEO starter-alternator, a permanent magnet synchronous motor (37kW), and a Li-ion battery from SAFT. The transmission features an automated 5-speed manual gearbox with a mechanical speed reducer for electric motor coupling. FlexHybrid has 30km 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 seven control/management functions (engine control, transmission control, actuators/sensors processing, energy supervision, powertrain synchronisation, electrical functions management) and eight communication functions (CAN, Ethernet and Inter-Core) distributed over the connected ECU's by a determinist Ethernet link.

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