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Integrated Debugger for Universal Controller Simplifies the First Steps in the Development of ECUs

Vector and iSYSTEM today introduce their co-operatively designed VCA0301 - an integrated debugger for the universal ECU VC121-12 from Vector

(PresseBox) (Schwabhausen/Stuttgart, ) Vector and iSYSTEM today introduce their co-operatively designed VCA0301 – an integrated debugger for the universal ECU VC121-12 from Vector. The debugger has been developed by iSYSTEM and will be available as an accessory from May. Developers of ECUs now have, with the combination of the universal controller and entry-level debugger, perfectly tuned solution for various applications available from a single source.

The handling of the VCA0301 debugger is simple. It is fitted directly to the debug interface of the VC121-12 universal controller and provides a JTAG connection to the microcontroller. The compact construction makes it possible to use the debugger whilst the ECU is encapsulated in its housing with a direct connection to the PC via the USB socket on the casing. This complete solution offers a cost-effective development setup, from evaluation and development of the ECU through to use in a test vehicle in order to detect even intermittent software failures. It is available directly from Vector.

The VCA0301 enables the user to debug the ECU software via iSYSTEM’s debug and test software winIDEA, which is also provided. When comparing to communication via XCP, the need to instrument the ECU software is not required which results in reduced data bus and processor loading.

In order to go even deeper into the analysis and testing of the ECU software there is the option of using a BlueBox On-Chip Analyser from iSYSTEM, for example the iC5500. This offers further analysis options in order to further improve the quality and safety of the application. Features include trace, function profiling, performance measurement and code coverage analysis. This upgrade is available directly from iSYSTEM.

The VCA0301 compliments the available accessory range and simplifies the deployment of the Vector universal controller VC121-12 in a diverse range of use cases such as classic ECU development and evaluation purposes, as well as practical training in the laboratory in further education institutes. Through the integration of the debugger inside the ECU, the cabling complexity is reduced resulting in a less cluttered working space for the user.

Background information
VC universal controllers from Vector
The Vector universal controllers are all-purpose ECUs for gateways and I/O control with the VC121-12 the largest and most flexible of the range. They are predestined for fast development of functional prototypes and use in small production runs. The universal controllers cover a wide spectrum of usage cases. Through PCB depopulation, population variants and individualisation, the spectrum of use cases can be broadened further.

Universal controllers offer the user, through their immediate availability, a huge time saving. In order to further amplify this effect, Vector offers suitable accessories for the universal controller with their breakout boxes, JTAG adaptors and evaluation boards to support the developer.

More information is available at:

BlueBox On-Chip-Analyser from iSYSTEM
The iSYSTEM BlueBox hardware is a debug and analysis tool for a diverse range of embedded single and multi-core processors and microcontrollers. The basis for further analysis functionality is the availability of a trace interface on the target processor or microcontroller. On the VC121-12 there is a NEXUS* trace interface implemented ( upon which the matching trace adaptor of the iSYSTEM BlueBox can be fitted. The iSYSTEM development environment “winIDEA” can then be used to invoke the analysis functions.

Trace offers the recording of the program execution during run-time in order to measure and check the real-time behaviour of the application. In addition it forms the basis for profiling and code coverage. With function profiling and respectively performance measurement, it is possible to follow the timing at function level as well as localising timing bottlenecks. The code coverage analysis ascertains the quality of those tests and the depth of the current testing during that process.

* The VCA0301 is also fitted to this interface and uses the JTAG signals for standard debugging. Trace is not available using this debugger.

More information is available at:

Further information on the Vector Group (Status 2016-04-01):
Vector Informatik is the leading manufacturer of software tools and embedded components for the development of electronic systems and their networking with many different systems from CAN to Automotive Ethernet.
Vector has been a partner of automotive manufacturers and suppliers and related industries since 1988. Vector tools and services provide engineers with the decisive advantage to make a challenging and highly complex subject area as simple and manageable as possible. Vector employees work on electronic innovations for the automotive industry every day. Worldwide customers in the automotive, commercial vehicles, aerospace, transportation, and control technology industries rely on the solutions and products of the independent Vector Group for the development of technologies for future mobility.
Vector worldwide currently employs more than 1,540 people with sales of EUR 332 million in 2015. With its headquarter in Germany (Stuttgart), Vector has subsidiaries in the USA, Japan, France, Great Britain, Italy, Austria, Sweden, South Korea, India, China, and Brazil.


iSYSTEM was founded in 1986 and is a privately held company headquartered in Schwabhausen close to Munich and subsidiaries in Slovenia and the USA. For 30 years now iSYSTEM is i.a. specializing in customers from the automotive, aerospace and medical industries where quality and safety play a huge role. Customers of iSYSTEM develop embedded systems that can save lives and ensure that this is not unnecessary in danger. iSYSTEM develops, manufactures and markets on embedded software development and test specialized hardware and software tools. The BlueBox hardware and software allow quick access to all kinds of single and multi-core microcontroller via the many different forms of debug interfaces. This software can be developed and tested directly on the real hardware without code instrumentation.