Scaleo chip, a fabless semiconductor company specializing in automotive electronics, and IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) announced the “FlexHybrid powered by OLEA”, the first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) driven by OLEA microcontrollers. (Earlier post.) The OLEA family of multicore powertrain microcontrollers implements AMEC (Advanced Motor Events Control) hardware for real-time engine control and events processing and the ISO 26262 ASIL-D SILant (Safety Integrity LeveL agent) functional safety architecture.
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 microcontroller’s to control the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle FlexHybrid. This program was also actively supported by Bpifrance, the French public investment bank.
NextSTEP is aimed at developing and demonstrating advanced 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 1.4-liter 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 an all-electric range of 30 km (18.6 miles); 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. 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—Bruno Paucard, President and CEO of Scaleo chip
OLEA, FlexHybrid and all joint development results will be shown at the 9th annual Convention of SYSTEMATIC to be held in Montrouge, France, on 24 June. Others events will be announced in the coming months for FlexHybrid and OLEA exhibitions.
IFPEN, a public-sector research, innovation and training center in France, has activities covering the fields of energy, transport and environment. Among these domains of expertise and know-how, IFPEN has extensive experience with and technologies for 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, IFP Energies nouvelles recently released an eco-driving mobile application for the general public.