Compression software facilitates faster firmware updates in ECUs

24-08-2021 | Segger | Design & Manufacture

eSOL has licensed SEGGER's emCompress compression software to provide faster firmware updates in Electronic Control Units (ECUs) for automotive customers.

The software is an excellent product choice for dramatically decreasing update times by providing solutions to compress data for all kinds of applications where size matters. Created for embedded systems, it can compress and decompress data even on the tiniest microcontrollers. In the automotive industry, slow bus systems like CAN are a common standard. To meet the speed limitations imposed by the communication bus, the most suitable option is to decrease the volume of data to be transferred. As the information in a firmware update necessitates staying complete, compression is the logical choice.

The software supports the Lempel–Ziv–Markov chain algorithm (LZMA) to produce lossless data compression and other algorithms (e.g. LZMA2). Typical compression rates for firmware images range from two to four, lessening the update time between 50% and 75%. The decompression algorithm also supports files that were produced by PC-based tools such as '7-ZIP' or 'Lzip', which use LZMA as well.

“Thanks to the highly effective implementation of the state-of-the-art compression algorithms in SEGGER's emCompress, we can significantly speed up ECU firmware updates to the delight of our customers,” says Bob N. Ueyama, executive vice president of eSOL. “Time spent in the garage for a firmware update now can be reduced to an absolute minimum.”

“While the firmware of automotive ECUs is getting more and more comprehensive with each vehicle generation, updates in the garage are very often still done using existing tools for the CAN-bus,” explains SEGGER CEO, Ivo Geilenbruegge. “We are very pleased to see that our emCompress is a key component for eSOL to drastically reduce their update times.”

By Natasha Shek