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Auto industry power domain controller software defines car speed

by:Yisheng      2021-06-09

A hundred years ago, internal combustion engines replaced horse-drawn carriages; today, internal combustion engines are facing changes in the era of electrification and intelligence.

Overall vehicle OTA, autonomous driving, and intelligent network connection are the general directions of intelligence. Correspondingly, the current electronic and electrical architecture can no longer support such demands, and new changes are already happening quietly .

The entire industry will usher in the 'domain controller' era.

Independent brands accelerate electrification transformation

At this year's Beijing Auto Show, Chery New Energy released the @LIFE platform.

Based on this platform, it released a new generation of electronic architecture technology with independent intellectual property rights. The @LIFE platform will transform from a traditional CAN bus distributed electronic architecture to a domain controller + Ethernet + CAN integrated electronic architecture .

This year, Lynk u0026 Co also officially released its exclusive pure electric architecture called 'SEA Huge'. The research and development of SEA's vast architecture began four years ago, in 2016. The SEA vast architecture, which has been sharpened for four years, is the pure-electric architecture with the largest bandwidth in the world. The wheelbase ranges from 1800mm-3300mm, realizing full-size coverage from A-class cars to E-class cars, and can meet all the styling needs of cars, SUVs, MPVs, small city cars, sports cars, pickups and future travel vehicles.

In July, Great Wall officially released the lemon platform, which is compatible with a variety of power forms (pure electric, internal combustion engine, hybrid, fuel cell), and has also embarked on the road of domain concentration.

In April, Xiaopeng Motors put an autonomous driving domain controller based on NVIDIA DRIVETM AGX Xavier on top of the P7. The goal is naturally to achieve stronger autonomous driving capabilities. Since then, Xpeng Motors' subsequent models will continue to be equipped with NVIDIA's AI autonomous driving computing platform.

In September, Ideal Motors, NVIDIA and Desay SV reached a cooperation. Ideal will be equipped with an autonomous driving domain controller based on the Orin system-level chip in the full-size extended-range smart SUV launched in 2022 .

But Weilai has not yet announced a similar plan, but the relevant layout and planning are only a matter of time.

Overseas brands start to make efforts to 'domain controllers'

Looking at overseas brands, Volkswagen was the first to start.

The zFAS domain controller was launched by Volkswagen Audi. Although zFAS was a product of 3 years ago, it did set a benchmark for the industry.

In order to accelerate the transformation of electrification, Volkswagen released the MEB pure electric platform. ID 3, as the first mass-produced pure electric model, will be equipped with a cross-domain integrated architecture called E3.

General Motors also released a new generation of electrified architecture in 2019, and supports the entire vehicle OTA; this new architecture also reduces the number of controllers through system integration and has better scalability And higher performance.

Mercedes-Benz can't sit still this year. In June, it reached a cooperation with Nvidia. Both parties will build a new in-vehicle computing architecture based on Nvidia's autonomous driving platform. AI and autonomous vehicle applications will be jointly developed, including SAE L2 and L3 autonomous driving functions.

At the earliest, it will be deployed to Mercedes-Benz models in 2024.

It is not difficult to find that both OEMs and software vendors are developing in the direction of domain controllers. Why is the automotive industry suddenly ushering in change?

The root cause lies in Tesla

When traditional car manufacturing is still transitioning from distributed to centralized, completing the leap to multi-domain, Tesla has already developed to the next step.

Cross-domain integration, instead of dividing each domain according to function, it is divided by area, but according to the automatic driving and entertainment domain control module, the right body controller BCM RH and the left body controller BCM LH Divide.

Previously, the computing power of widely used ECUs could not be coordinated, which caused a lot of waste. High computing power required backward compatibility. At the same time, hundreds of ECU suppliers in the distributed architecture were different, which made it impossible to perform Unified maintenance and upgrading, while increasing the difficulty of software development.

The emergence of domain controllers reduces wiring, reduces the cost of the entire vehicle, and reduces the difficulty of software development.

Tesla announced its most recent patented technology on July 22, US time. The new patent will update the wiring structure and plans to reduce the length of the Model Y in-car wiring harness to 1.5 kilometers.

Musk said: 'This is just the beginning, a new wiring structure is being developed, and it is planned to reduce the Model Y harness to 100 meters.'

Tesla has a great role in promoting the industry. However, this is only one of the reasons.


It is not difficult to find that the emergence of domain controllers has caused subtle changes in the relationship between OEMs and suppliers. The value of automotive software is rising, which also makes some traditional OEMs pay more and more attention to software research and development capabilities.

The original car-making model has changed. The OEMs are striving to build their own software Ru0026D teams and are more willing to hold the most core things in their own hands. In the next stage, the relationship between OEMs and suppliers will face new adjustments.

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