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Home Engineering: Technology, News & Trends What are the Five Major Domain Controllers in Automobiles?

What are the Five Major Domain Controllers in Automobiles?

Automotive technology

An automotive domain controller is an integrated controller for managing and controlling multiple embedded electronic control units (ECUs) in an automotive electronic system. It serves as the hub of the entire vehicle electronic system and achieves coordination and communication among ECUs by processing and distributing data to achieve integrated control and optimization of the entire vehicle system.

The main functions of the automotive domain controller include data processing and control, communication and network management, safety, and fault diagnosis. It receives and processes data from various sensors makes decisions and operates according to preset algorithms and logic to control various vehicle functions and systems. At the same time, it is also responsible for managing and coordinating the data exchange and communication among ECUs to ensure the effective cooperation of the whole vehicle system.

With a high level of intelligence and integration, the domain controller can integrate different automotive electronic systems, such as body electronics, chassis electronics, engine electronics, in-vehicle entertainment and information, and assisted driving, to achieve synergy and optimization between these systems. By introducing domain controllers, automakers can simplify the architecture and management of automotive electronic systems, improve system stability and reliability, and at the same time achieve higher levels of functionality and intelligence. Domain controllers also provide better flexibility and feasibility for vehicle upgrades and expansions.

Top Five Automotive Domain Controllers

Automotive five-domain controllers usually refer to the controllers of five domains such as body electronics, chassis electronics, engine electronics, in-vehicle entertainment, and information, and assisted driving. The details are as follows:

1. Body electronics controller: Including central door locks, anti-theft alarm, electronic windows, electronic mirrors, and other in-vehicle safety and comfort control systems, but also includes body stability control, economic driving, and other driving safety control systems.

2. Chassis electronic controller: It can sense the vehicle attitude and road conditions in real-time through sensors, to perform suspension, braking, steering, and other operations on the vehicle, including anti-lock braking system(ABS), ASR system, electronic stability control system, and turn signals and other systems.

3. Engine Electronic Controller: It is the main controller of the vehicle engine, including the ignition controller, fuel injection controller, emission controller, and other systems, controlling the engine speed, starting, acceleration, and fuel economy.

4. In-vehicle entertainment and information controller: Including in-vehicle audio, navigation, rear-view camera, multimedia system, etc., which can realize audio, video, navigation, and other functions.

5. Auxiliary driving electronic controllers: Including adaptive cruise control, automatic parking, lane offset warning, automatic braking, blind zone detection, and other systems, which can increase driving safety and comfort by driving in a straight or curved line, keeping a distance between vehicles, providing highway holding and other functions. There is a wide variety of automotive electronics, and only the most prominent examples of controllers for each area are listed above.

Automotive domain controller

The Roles of Automotive Domain Controllers

1. Data processing and control: The domain controller is responsible for receiving, processing, and controlling data from various sensors and actuators. It can monitor the vehicle status, environmental conditions, etc. in real time and perform data processing and decision-making according to preset algorithms and logic, such as adjusting engine parameters, braking system operation, steering system control, etc.

2. Communication and network management: In modern vehicles, there are multiple electronic control units (ECUs), and the domain controller acts as a hub for communication and network management between these ECUs. It is responsible for handling the data exchange and communication between ECUs, so that information can be shared and co-ordinated between different systems to improve the efficiency and safety of the whole vehicle system.

3. Fault Diagnosis and Troubleshooting: The domain controller is equipped with the function of fault diagnosis, which can monitor and detect faults in the vehicle’s electronic system and report relevant information to the driver or maintenance personnel. It can record and store fault codes to help quickly locate and solve problems, and provide appropriate troubleshooting strategies.

4. Safety and Intelligent Functions: The domain controller plays a key role in the safety and intelligence functions of the vehicle. It can work with safety systems (e.g., vehicle stability control, collision warning systems, etc.) and assisted driving systems (e.g., auto-parking, adaptive cruise control, etc.) to provide more precise control and feedback to enhance driving safety and comfort.

The automotive domain controller acts as the hub of the automotive electronic system, responsible for data processing, communication management, fault diagnosis and handling, and providing safety and intelligent functions to ensure the normal operation of the entire vehicle system and enhance the driving experience.

Difference Between Automotive Domain Controller and ECU

Automotive domain controller and ECU (Electronic Control Unit) are two different concepts in automotive electronic systems, and there are some differences between them.

1. Functional scope: ECU refers to the Electronic Control Unit, which is an independent electronic device in a vehicle used to control specific functions or systems, such as the Engine Control Unit (ECU), Brake System Control Unit, and Air Conditioning Control Unit. Each ECU is usually responsible only for the control and management of a specific system. A domain controller is a more advanced concept that has the functionality of multiple ECUs and achieves integrated control of the entire vehicle system by processing and distributing data and coordinating interactions between individual ECUs. The domain controller can manage multiple ECUs at the same time, exchanging and coordinating data through networks and communication protocols to improve system integration and performance.


2. Responsibilities and coordination capabilities: ECUs are mainly responsible for the control and management of specific systems or functions, such as engine control, brake control, air conditioning control, and so on. It is a node in the automotive electronic system with relatively independent functions and decision-making capabilities. The domain controller has more advanced responsibilities and coordination capabilities. It coordinates the communication and collaboration between individual ECUs by integrating and managing the data and functions of multiple ECUs to achieve comprehensive control and optimization of the entire vehicle system. The domain controller is capable of processing and analyzing data from multiple systems and making decisions and operations based on predefined algorithms and logic.

3. Architecture design: ECUs are usually single, stand-alone electronic devices that are installed at specific locations in the vehicle. Each ECU is responsible for the control of a particular system and communicates with other ECUs over the vehicle network. A domain controller is an integrated system that typically consists of a master control unit and multiple connected ECUs that communicate and exchange data with each ECU through an internal network or bus. The domain controller is more integrated in that it can manage multiple systems and functions of the vehicle, such as body electronics, chassis electronics, engine electronics, etc.

An ECU is a single-function module responsible for the control of a specific system or function, while a domain controller is a comprehensive controller with the functions of multiple ECUs and provides multi-functional control and management of the entire vehicle system through integration, coordination, and optimization.

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