LIN Bus and its Potential for use in Distributed Multiplex Applications
John V. DeNuto, Stephen Ewbank, Francis Kleja, Christopher A. Lupini and Robert A. Perisho, Jr.
Delphi Automotive Systems

Reprinted From: In-Vehicle Networks 2001 (SP–1594)

SAE 2001 World Congress Detroit, Michigan March 5-8, 2001
400 Commonwealth Drive, Warrendale, PA 15096-0001 U.S.A. Tel: (724) 776-4841 Fax: (724) 776-5760

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g.g. Francis Kleja. Perhaps in the future it will become its own class. there are advanced vehicle electronic architectures being considered that utilize up to 200 multiplexed sensors. Indeed. Previous versions have had to deal with issues such as noise immunity at high switching currents. not if. There are benefits associated with increased diagnostic capabilities and system expandability. a question of when. This relatively new area of automotive electronics involves multiplexing low-level functions such as relays. it is realized that at least seven in-vehicle protocols may be necessary (2). TTP/A) or too slow and cumbersome (e. Up to now the buses used in the first. Each new innovation typically requires additional mechanical actuators and associated electrical controllers. Christopher A. An example of a niche protocol is for the application of “smart sensor and actuator” technology. The sheer number of black boxes and wiring are being limited not by features or cost but by the inability to physically assemble them into a vehicle. DeNuto. Multiplexing has always had an issue with cost. protocol is specialty use. mobile media. Perisho Jr Delphi Automotive Systems Copyright © 2001 Society of Automotive Engineers. Lupini and Robert A. CCD. and C and the realization that up to three protocols and/or networks may be necessary. It was originally hoped that a single bus protocol could handle the needs of any vehicle. Each area needs its own protocol and one or more networks running that protocol. It is well known that electronic systems decrease their cost more quickly than traditional wiring.2001-01-0072 LIN Bus and its Potential for Use in Distributed Multiplex Applications John V.). The challenge is to make it cost effective. such as with airbags or x-by-wire. have been custom or proprietary (e. These include.g. but the bottom line is that the ICs necessary for the multiplex circuit add additional cost – making smart connector multiplexing appear unattractive. This makes the eventual cost effectiveness of multiplex inevitable. This technology is only beginning to reach its stride. ISO 9141) (3). A new architecture is required which will support the ability to add new features but also enable the Vehicle Assembly Plants to easily assemble and test each subsystem. BEAN.diagnostics. besides the existing SAE classes . high/low side drivers. ABSTRACT The increasing features and complexity of today's automotive architectures are becoming increasingly difficult to manage. One such architecture is a distributed multiplex arrangement that reduces the number of wires while enabling flexibility and expandability. INTRODUCTION HISTORY OF MULTIPLEXING –The multiplexing of automotive electrical data onto communication buses dates back to the late 1970s (1). With LIN lies the hope of a worldwide smart connector data bus protocol standard (4). The LIN Bus with its low cost and rail-to-rail capability may be the key enabling technology to make the multiplexed architecture a reality. airbag. Sometimes this is for safety reasons. B. etc. and lamps. Each one of these devices becomes a node on one or more smart connector buses. For now smart connector functions are lumped into the SAE class A category. actuators. basic implementations of smart connectors. Gradually that expanded to the SAE categorization of Class A. Another reason for such a “niche” . onto a data bus. Stephen Ewbank. too complicated (e. The latest entry into the low-cost smart connector arena is Local Interconnect Network (LIN). and x-by-wire. Inc. Today. etc. sometimes also known as “smart connector”. Replacing some discrete wires and connectors with a data bus interface tends to add cost.

The old adage “if it isn’t broke. CHALLENGES The primary challenge to implementing a distributed multiplex architecture remains cost. A cost competitive solution for a distributed multiplex door sub-system has been proposed by Delphi. We are meeting these needs with functional demonstrations of distributed multiplex sub-systems in seats and doors and comprehensive testing. Advanced computer simulations are being employed to obtain the optimum packaging solution. don’t fix it” is often applied to technical innovations such as distributed multiplex. In Figure 1. It is 33 Window Motor Courtesy Lamp Vehicle Body Electronic Module Conventional Connector Wiring 33 Body Computer / Electrical Center Figure 1: Driver’s door with conventional (non-multiplex) architecture . OEM’s are requiring this level of development prior to including a new technology into one of their programs. Only then can cost parity be achieved. Specific being applied to Smart minimize package size lies in the area of thermal new packaging techniques are Connector designs in order to and thermal resistance. and packaging improvements must be realized. This new architecture increases the electronic content while decreasing the conventional wiring content. to see the many benefits that a distributed multiplex system has to offer but are difficult to quantify. The third challenge is to demonstrate the performance of such technology with technical demonstrations and test data. The multiplex nodes are referred to as Smart Connectors. In order to keep the electronic cost increase as small as possible. Finally. OBJECTIVES A distributed multiplex architecture is currently being developed by Delphi Automotive Systems. This architecture possesses the least electronic content. and the least flexibility to change.Specific advantages of LIN bus when applied to a distributed multiplex architecture include: • • • • • • Standardization Low cost silicon 12V single wire interface Self Synchronization without a crystal Guaranteed latency times Speeds up to 20Kbit/s imperative to obtain the minimum thermal resistance with no increase in part cost. The second challenge management. It takes a technology leader. BENEFITS The potential benefits of architecture are listed below: • • • • • a distributed multiplex APPROACH Figures 1 through 3 display three comparative architectures applied to a driver’s door of a typical automotive application. with a real vision of the future. we must overcome our natural resistance to change. penetrations. The goals of this approach are to offer the customer greater flexibility and better packaging at a reduced subsystem life-cycle cost. increased volumes. the most wires. The cost increase in electronics must be offset with a decrease in the cost of the wiring system and other structural cost improvements. Each device interfaces directly with a centralized body computer and / or bussed electrical center. no multiplexing is used. Simplified vehicle assembly Common application on multiple vehicles resulting in higher volumes and lower costs Significantly increased flexibility – the ability to add features to a vehicle in a plug & play manner Improved quality and reliability due to a significant reduction in the number of wires Simplified wiring assembly and reduced mass OSRV Mirror 14 14 Driver’s Switch Assembly 9 2 2 Door Lock Assembly 6 Many of these benefits are compounded when the same Smart Connectors are applied to multiple platforms. With shortened product development cycles.

allowing the door module to exist as a peer to the vehicle’s body computer. Window Motor OutSide RearView (OSRV) Mirror Assembly Driver’s Door Switch Door Lock Assembly Door Multiplex Module 2 Window Motor Courtesy Lamp Electronic Module Conventional Connector Power Ground CAN data Other wiring Vehicle Body Body Computer / Electrical Center Figure 2: Driver’s Door with centralized multiplex architecture This approach offers the greatest flexibility to change and the greatest potential for inter-platform application. Of the remaining wires. Since the Smart connectors share a common three-wire bus structure. A change in any load can require a change to the entire door module. Master Figure 2 depicts the same door loads controlled using a centralized door multiplex module. 2. The distributed architecture also offers the possibility of automated wiring harness assembly through the use of Insulation Displacement Crimp (IDC) terminals A comparison of the total wiring content can be seen in Figure 5. The four Smart Connectors defined in this system control the: 1. and rear doors as well as different modules on nearly every platform within an OEM. passenger’s. 4. the functions of the . the distributed multiplex architecture uses the least number of discrete wires and enables automated assembly of the three-wire data bus. Using this approach reduces the number of discrete wires but still limits flexibility. Four doors in a given vehicle can be executed using the four Smart Connectors detailed above. This four-door approach is shown in Figure 4. adding a Smart Connector need not change the wiring content. 3. As seen in the figure. This approach uses the most electronics and the least wiring of the three approaches presented. Mirror Dr Switch Lock Switch Lamp Switch Lamp Switch Lamp Mirror Switches Lamp Window Motor Door Lock Driver’s Door Window Motor Door Lock Left Rear Door Window Motor Door Lock Right Rear Door Window Motor Door Lock Passenger’s Door Figure 4: Four-door vehicle controlled using 4 types of Smart Connectors OSRV Mirror 14 Driver’s Switch Assembly Door Lock Assembly Window Motor Courtesy Lamp Vehicle Body Body Computer / Electrical Center Electronic Module Smart Connector IDC Interface Conventional Connector Power Ground LIN data Content changes in a vehicle can be executed more easily using this approach.OSRV Mirror 14 Driver’s Switch Assembly 9 2 Door Lock Assembly 6 central door module are distributed to four discrete Smart Connectors using the LIN protocol. This type of architecture normally utilizes the CAN data bus. In this approach. This essentially makes the sub-system plug and play. This technique usually results in different modules being applied to the driver’s. A load can be added to a vehicle by plugging a Smart Connector to the bus and modifying the software in the master. Figure 3: Driver’s Door with distributed multiplex architecture using “Smart Connectors” Figure 3 presents the same loads controlled using a distributed multiplex architecture employing Smart Connectors. 14 out of the 21 (66%) are associated with the mirror pigtail.

mirror fold motor. and reads sensors for mirror position and outside temperature. This functionality is included in the window motor Smart Connector because dedicated Smart Connectors controlling these functions were estimated to increase the sub-system’s total cost. This Smart Connector controls the mirror tilt motors. Motor Ckt 2 Figure 6: Window Motor Smart Connector I/O block diagram The second Smart Connector defined is the OSRV Mirror Smart Connector. This Smart Connector is used in each door of a vehicle. an exterior courtesy lamp. mirror heat. An input / output block diagram of this Smart Connector can be seen in Figure 7. A more detailed description of each Smart Connector follows: The first Smart Connector described is the window motor Smart Connector. multiplexed.90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Conventional Cut Leads (Body) Cut Leads (Automated assembly) Cut Leads (Door) Mirror Pig Tail Hi Current Ground Hi Current Power Switch Input Ckt 1 Passenger Window Switch Switch Input Ckt 2 Switch Ground Backlighting Power Centralized Multiplex Distributed Multiplex Lock Switch Switch Input Ckt 3 Switch Input Ckt 4 Courtesy Lamp Output Courtesy Lamp Courtesy Lamp Ground Motor Ckt 1 Window Motor LIN bus Ground Figure 5: Comparison of wiring in conventional. . It controls the window motor and several other miscellaneous door functions. and distributed Smart Connector architectures The four Smart Connectors described above are all currently under development using Delphi’s Advanced Development Process (ADP). These miscellaneous functions include the courtesy lamp and window and lock switch inputs. An input / output block diagram of this Smart Connector can be seen in Figure 6. The project recently completed a comprehensive requirements review. This Smart Connector would be used in each front vehicle door.

Motor 2 Motor 2 Ckt. In addition to bench testing of individual components. Figure 7: OSRV Mirror Smart Connector I/O block diagram Figure 9: Door Lock Smart Connector I/O Block Diagram The third Smart Connector defined is the Driver’s Switch Smart Connector. An input / output block diagram of this Smart Connector can be seen in Figure 8. read the position of the mirror joystick. It can also monitor the position of two digital input switches. Driver Door Switch Switch Ground Ckt1 Backlighting Backlighting Driver’s Window Passenger’s Window Switch Input 1 Power LIN Bus Ground Mirror Select / Fold LR Window RR Window Window Lockout Switch Input 2 Mirror Joystick Switch Input 5 Switch Input 6 Switch Input 3 Switch Input 4 Switch Input 7 Figure 8: Driver’s Switch Smart Connector I/O Block Diagram . This Smart Connector drives the door lock and super-lock motors. Door Lock Assembly Switch Input Ckt 1 Switch Input Ckt 2 Power LIN Bus Ground Switch Ground Ckt Door Lock Motor Ckt Door Lock Motor Motor Common Ckt. An input / output block diagram of this Smart Connector can be seen in Figure 9. read the position of the rear window lockout switch. data bandwidth. Areas of focus include EMC. read the position of the mirror select / fold switch. Not only must the protocol be shown to be workable. This Smart Connector is designed to read window switch inputs for four windows. latency. and drive dimmable backlighting. and bus operation under high current load switching. and will result in a system capable of being deployed on OEM vehicles throughout the world. an actual 11-node production intent system will be built and tested. there is little field experience to indicate how the bus will perform under real world conditions. but manufacturer's claims regarding integrated circuit functionality and development systems capabilities must be verified. All of this is being done under Delphi's ADP process. PLANS AND TESTING Extensive test plans have been developed to demonstrate the feasibility of the LIN bus for production applications.OSRV Mirror Assembly Lamp Feed Puddle Lamp Ground Ground Heater Heater Feed Fold Motor Ckt 1 Fold Motor Fold Motor Ckt 2 Vertical Motor Vertical Motor Motor Common Horizontal Motor Horizontal Motor Vertical Position Input Horizontal Position Input 5V Feed 5V Return Thermistor Temperature Input LIN Bus Ground Power The fourth Smart Connector defined is the door lock Smart Connector. It will be used in each vehicle door. Since the bus protocol has just recently been defined (and is still subject to revision).

a schedule table is set up within the master. which is required to be within 20% of its local ground reference. as well as in-vehicle testing. for example). Load currents (figure 10) in the three-wire smart connector configuration can result in a temporary (large) voltage shift in the ground wire. These voltage drops can corrupt the data transmission in the commonly used single wire buses. Note the ground shift in the slave node’s response. Electrical measurements will be taken to . as more buses will be required to handle communications. which promises increased immunity to this problem. and must wait to be polled by the master before their data can be output. and use wave shaping on the signal to reduce radiation. he or she expects an immediate response to the command. and requirements have been gathered from several different vehicle manufacturers. Using conditional branches in the schedule table can solve this (6). Figure 10: Ground shift at a window motor during inrush. A benefit of this method is that latency and bus utilization are very predictable. A latency requirement has been established for Delphi's system to address this issue. and this determines when each message will be output on the bus. Full development of the LIN protocol must also address variability of master nodes and slave nodes designed and built by different suppliers combined into a sub-system.EMC EMC will be an important issue for LIN. and will be programmed to change the scheduled table based on data received from the slave nodes. The 10-node test system will run as close as possible to this speed to provide another check on EMC performance. This will be used to simulate a master node. Slave nodes cannot initiate communications themselves. it is not enough to simply verify that the bandwidth is adequate for all the messages planned for the system. Present day single wire systems run at speeds to about 10K bits/second. The 11-node test system will be used to verify the proper operation of the bus under realistic conditions. it will be necessary to determine what the actual upper limit is.highest bus traffic at the highest speeds (5). Typically. Test and evaluation of these techniques is commencing using a bus development tool known as LINspector. The LIN bus protocol specifies permissible data rates of up to 20K bits/second. A tool such as LINspector will be used monitor the bus while various loads are energized. As long as the node’s transmission. This provides a significant margin for ground shift when a remote slave node responds to a poll by the master during a high current event. This is shown in Figure 10. and to measure radiated emission under worst case conditions -. since a single LIN bus is used for all communications. Meeting this requirement has complicated the message strategy for the 11-node test system. In keeping with its goal of being a low cost solution. A single master node initiates all communications in the LIN bus system. using production intent loads. If 20K bits/second turns out to be unrealistic. It would take over 100 ms for all messages to be transmitted if they were all processed sequentially. Receiving nodes are designed to interpret messages that are within 40% of its local battery and ground. will be used to demonstrate acceptable latency performance. HIGH CURRENT LOADS AND BUS DISRUPTIONS Earlier prototype systems suffered from communications disruptions when high current loads were switched off and on. The problem is that using a static schedule table will result in unacceptable delays for the system. is received within the master’s 40% tolerance. the message will be valid. This is due to long wire lengths and the sharing of a single ground wire by multiple smart connectors. the LIN bus uses a single unshielded wire as its transmission medium. LIN requires a transmitting node to transmit within 20% of the local power and ground voltages. Speeds much lower will result in added cost. BUS LATENCY AND BANDWIDTH In evaluating LIN performance. When a user generates a request through the system (by pushing a button. LIN data communications are also plotted. Worst-case analysis. Conditional branches result in some loss of predictability. but should reduce system delays to levels acceptable to vehicle users. faster than today's single wire systems. The system will be wired in a production intent configuration. But how will the LIN bus do? Bench testing has been performed to acquire LIN bus waveforms for use in mathematical modeling. The LIN physical layer uses a rail-to-rail (ground to battery) swing.

Some common drawbacks include: • • • • • Custom non-standard protocols Complicated protocols Slow speed Lack of Development Tools Cost The LIN Bus protocol overcomes these drawbacks by promoting a worldwide standard that is simple. Further cost savings and reliability improvements can be achieved through assembly automation. ground. Figure 12: Smart Connector concept employing an IDC terminal interface to a three-wire bus. a thorough understanding of the underlying power and signal distribution system must be present. Without any one of these three competencies. As these problems are resolved. We have an initial 4-node driver’s door system functioning and undergoing test. . CONCLUSION The viability of a distributed multiplex LIN bus appears very promising at this time. We first showed this functional system to the public during Convergence 2000. It mates to the three-wire power. Some of the smart connectors could have additional power and ground inputs. a requirement when using a solid state H-bridge. we have completed a comprehensive review of global customer requirements and allocated those requirements into specific product attributes and performance specifications. The majority of cost savings that can be realized in a distributed multiplex system are a result of a simplification of the wiring sub-system. Figure 13 shows a temperature contour plot of the OSRV Mirror Smart Connector with mirror fold and heat activated. The plot also shows the heat generated by the reverse battery diode. Thermal evaluation of this Smart Connector is proceeding concurrently with the electronic and packaging development.2Kbit/s has shown promising results. Initial radiated emission testing run at 19. This may be necessary in some vehicle applications. We are proceeding with packaging development of the Smart Connectors specified earlier in this paper. This allows the Smart Connector to be inserted onto a continuous piece of wire and eliminates the need to strip insulation. Our development team is extending from this 4-node driver’s door system to a full 11-node vehicle architecture. fast and low cost. Figure 12 shows a concept for the OSRV Mirror Smart Connector. which may be used to supply current to the high power loads.2Kbit/s and meeting our latency requirements. Historically multiplexed systems have suffered from various weaknesses. and data bus using IDC terminals. power and signal distribution. SUMMARY: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? The development of Smart Connectors requires that we: • • • • Define requirements to meet customer needs Benchmark current systems Assess the advantages and disadvantages Develop new concepts to capitalize on the strengths and resolve weaknesses To comprehend the potential commercial viability of such a system. the hardware and development tools are available but still working up the maturity curve. Process equipment that will automatically assemble Smart Connectors with IDC terminals onto a 3-wire bus is under development. packaging and thermal analysis offer the greatest opportunity for developing a commercially viable distributed LIN system with rapid speed to market. The development of such a system requires an organization with expertise in electronics. successful deployment of such a system would be nearly impossible.determine noise margins. At Delphi. Concurrent electronic. and connection systems. The system is running at 19. the systems become viable. At present.

Fran Kleja is a Project Engineer with Delphi Packard Electric Systems. REFERENCES 1. Present.” 9 International Conference on Electronic Systems for Vehicles. http://w.w.lin-subbus.” SAE 760178. TU Wien. “Vehicle Multiplex Bus Progression. DeNuto is an Engineering Supervisor with Delphi Automotive Systems. Specks and Rajnák.1. “A Comparison of LIN to TTP/ “LIN Protocol Specification 1. and Future. Development Tools.ewbank@delphiauto. He can be reached at (765) 451-0817 or at rob. Reverse Battery Diode Mirror Fold FET’s Figure 13: Computer simulation of the heat transfer within a mirror Smart Connector with mirror fold and heat activated. LIN Consortium. Austria. April 2000. He can be reached at (765) 451-0248 or at Christopher. Bell. “LIN – Protocol. Baden-Baden. Elmenreich. . He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University and did his graduate work at San Diego State Steve Ewbank is a Senior Project Engineer with Delphi Delco Electronics Systems. “Multiplexing – 2001 3. and Software Interfaces for Local Interconnect th Networks in Vehicles.gmeds. He holds an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas.gmeds.jr@delphiauto. He can be reached at (765) 451-0353 or at stephen. MC33399 LIN 4. Lupini.w.” SAE 2001-01-0060. Oct 2000.” Research Report 4/2000 Institut fur Technische Informatik. 2. A detailed architecture study jointly conducted with a major OEM has shown the cost viability of such a system. He can be reached at (330) 306-1124 or at Fran.ped. Delphi is currently on track to develop this system for production application.0. 5.DeNuto@eng. Motorola. 6.A. Koptez.CONTACT Controlling ASIC Mirror Heat FET John V. He holds a BSAS degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Youngstown State University. He can be reached at (330) 306-1143 or at John. Product Proposal Rev Rob Perisho is a Senior Project Engineer with Delphi Delco Electronic Systems. We are proceeding with the development of a distributed multiplex door subsystem using the LIN communications protocol. He has an MSEE degree from Purdue University and a BSCompE degree from the University of Michigan and is a licensed Professional Engineer.perisho. Chris Lupini is a Senior Project Engineer with Delphi Delco Electronics Systems. and Mack.Kleja@eng.e. He holds an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Akron and a BS in Naval Architecture from the United States Naval Academy. 1976.

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