Communications gateway applications | add2

Communications gateway applications

Communications gateways are efficient solutions for exchanging information over two or more communications buses when required.

A typical application of communications gateways is when the contents of a particular communications bus needs to be adapted for reasons of compatibility to allow error free communications; such as when new electronics controllers are introduced to an existing system.

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Example of an ABS controller gateway

ABS Controller Gateway Example
Body control module
Climate control module
Door modules
Engine control module
Transmission control module
Gateway controller
ABS controller (gatewayed)

The above example shows an ABS controller being connected to the vehicle network via a gateway controller.

This scenario allows for a new type of ABS controller or a new ABS controller strategy to be tested using an existing vehicle, where all other ECUs are standard.

The gateway performs the role of interpreting the CAN messages normally expected by both sides by passing the data through and changing it as required.

In some circumstances, the gateway might have to create new signals for either side which may even require I/O to be connected to establish the required information. This is called RCP or Rapid Control Prototyping.

Model-based gateways

Using a model-based design for the communications gateway facilitates rapid design of the application for the exchange of communications data.

In addition to supporting rapid development of gateway models, a model-based approach also supports the design of more complex functions such as translation of units, scaling and online calibration.

Discreet I/O can also be introduced to or extracted from the communications bus to support additional hardware that may have been added or changed.

Often in a development environment some aspects of Rapid Control Prototyping also need to be performed.  Products such as MICROGen allow the combination of gateway, flexible I/O expander, and Rapid Control Prototyping controller to be easily and quickly implemented using model-based design techniques.

Simulink Gateway model

Example of a gateway model using Simulink

Communications databases

It is common practice to use databases to store pertinent information relating to data packed within message-based communications systems, such as CAN 2.0b and LIN.

Using these standard database files allows model-based gateways to be created quickly and easily and to connect to standard communications monitoring tools, such as VISUALCONNX, using the multi-CAN connection.

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