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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 11-01-2013, 09:50 AM
RhoXS RhoXS is offline
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How Much Computing Power Does My X3 Have?

It seems there is very little in the X3 that is not mediated through a computer. I am not yet convinced this is always an advantage, but I am curious about exactly how many discreet computers are running and how powerful are they?

By a "computer" I am thinking of a device that has a CPU, memory, some sort of operating system, some type of soft/firmware to give it the ability to make decisions and do something useful, and is programmable by at least the ability to update the firmware.

Also, where are the computers located? Where is the hard drive associated with my Nav system? etc.
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2013, 10:57 AM
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Lets see if I can give this a shot here. I'm taking this from the F25 vehicle electronics training manual. There are a lot of modules, some are "brainer" than others that resemble a traditional PC (Like the nav), some are very specific in nature that is little more than a microcontroller. For purpose of this list, anything that talks on one of the vehicle busses has to have some smarts of some level:


The "hub" of it all is the ZGM (central gateway module) that ties all of the busses together and manages traffic to/from various locations. The diagnostics port comes off of this module. It controls all busses, which are: Flexray (automotive high-speed bus), PT-CAN (powertrain bus under the hood), K-CAN (body network for mainly cockpit stuff), K-CAN2 (body network mainly to connect modules to each other), MOST (media oriented system transport for multimedia stuff)

Under the hood is:
DME-Engine Computer
EGS-Transmission Computer
ACSM-Advanced Crash Safety Module
EKPS-Fuel pump module (might be integrated into DME, not sure)

From the diagram these sub modules may be one box somehwere:
ICM-Integrated Chassis Management
DSC-Dynamic Stability Control
EPS-Power Steering Module
VTG-Transfer Case Module
VDM-Vertical Dynamics Management (no idea about this)

In the cockpit:
KOMBI-instrument cluster
HUD-Head up display (I think that is integrated with kombi)
HEADUNIT - car computer/navi/etc
COMBOX-integrated into NBT headunit, else separate module for multimedia
CID-Display unit for the headunit
IHKA-Heat/AC control unit
FLA-High-beam assistant (if so equipped with that option)

Miscellaneous Thinking parts:
CAS - Car access system (I'm thinking this is comfort access unit)
TPMS - Tire pressure system
HKL - Tailgate control module (this might be integrated into ICM)
SMFA - Seat control module (also may be part of ICM)
TRSVC - Camera control system module ( on k-can bus and not MOST bus, so this is probably for speed limit/collision warning camera, not rearview camera)
FRM - Footwell module (dont know function)
JBE - Junction box electronics (computer switching/sensing of power, also contains PDC module)
FZD - Sunroof Control module
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2013, 01:11 PM
Coder Coder is offline
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Great list! Now I wonder how much software (lines of code or whatever) this represents.

The CAS is more than comfort access, it also handles the vehicle protection functions.
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  #4  
Old 11-01-2013, 03:03 PM
missedbass missedbass is online now
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That's pretty scary, What happens if the battery dies, is there a memory?
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by missedbass View Post
That's pretty scary, What happens if the battery dies, is there a memory?
Every time you push the start button your car it "boots up" just like turning on your computer. If the battery dies, it's just unplugging the computer from the wall. Get power again, and all is well.

It isn't very scary. Every engine produced since about 1986 has been computer controlled to some extent.
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  #6  
Old 11-01-2013, 04:46 PM
missedbass missedbass is online now
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That's good to know but when it comes time to change the battery, I think there will be more to it than changing the battery in my jeep
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:44 PM
02420X3 02420X3 is online now
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The mechatronic unit in the transmission might be considered another computer.
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  #8  
Old 11-02-2013, 06:54 AM
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The mechatronic unit in the transmission might be considered another computer.
That is the EGS.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:04 AM
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Its funny that we were just talking about this a couple days ago and then in one of my news feeds I stumbled across an infographic showing how many lines of code for various things it takes.

For your "average modern high-end car" (which I think a BMW would fit into), it claims around 100 million lines of code. Compare that to the space shuttle at about 400,000

http://dailyinfographic.com/wp-conte...s_of_code2.png
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2013, 02:13 PM
lib lib is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewsky View Post
Its funny that we were just talking about this a couple days ago and then in one of my news feeds I stumbled across an infographic showing how many lines of code for various things it takes.

For your "average modern high-end car" (which I think a BMW would fit into), it claims around 100 million lines of code. Compare that to the space shuttle at about 400,000

http://dailyinfographic.com/wp-conte...s_of_code2.png
I do have to defend the folks at NASA here though.. those 400k LoC are intentionally small due to the size of the computers at the time. For them, it's about efficiency. Beyond that, it's not really fair to compare LoC values.. even if you take all languages and count bytecode, the instruction set available to the processor impacts that..

For an automotive platform, it's not wise to inherit a lot of code without making your QC team freak out. I am sure BMW has been re-using a lot of code over the years, and cloning routines for various hardware versus using a lot of abstraction just sounds a heck of a lot more safe. Though, I can't imagine what 100s of millions of lines of ACTIVE code would be for.

I am a software architect and designed an enterprise level workflow platform which is a few million lines of code... healthcare.gov blows my mind, I can't imagine that they're accurately reporting the situation.. if they are, I can't imagine they did anything right implementing the darn thing... but I digress...
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  #11  
Old 11-04-2013, 12:38 PM
Coder Coder is offline
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Yeah, I'm in the software business too, saw the article, and have my doubts about that 100M lines of code number. Even if one counted individual machine instructions, I doubt you'd reach those numbers. There just isn't that much functionality even counting the engine and transmission management systems.

In regards to battery failures and "rebooting", most of the actual code is firmware, residing in some sort of non-volatile memory. It doesn't go away when power is removed, even for long periods of time. You may lose some data in volatile memory with power loss, but that is re-initialized when the power is reapplied and the car driven for a while, part of the "learning" processes built into the vehicle.
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  #12  
Old 11-04-2013, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by lib View Post
I do have to defend the folks at NASA here though.. those 400k LoC are intentionally small due to the size of the computers at the time. For them, it's about efficiency. Beyond that, it's not really fair to compare LoC values.. even if you take all languages and count bytecode, the instruction set available to the processor impacts that..

For an automotive platform, it's not wise to inherit a lot of code without making your QC team freak out. I am sure BMW has been re-using a lot of code over the years, and cloning routines for various hardware versus using a lot of abstraction just sounds a heck of a lot more safe. Though, I can't imagine what 100s of millions of lines of ACTIVE code would be for.

I am a software architect and designed an enterprise level workflow platform which is a few million lines of code... healthcare.gov blows my mind, I can't imagine that they're accurately reporting the situation.. if they are, I can't imagine they did anything right implementing the darn thing... but I digress...
Working in IT, I also share a healthy bit of skepticism about the 100M LOC and the heathcare.gov numbers. I made effort to go through the citations to see how that was derived but all I saw was a Wired article.

I'd also put forward a guess that NASA codes the shuttle platform a little bit more tightly than a telematics supplier for a car. They could do in 10 lines of code what would take others 100's.
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  #13  
Old 11-04-2013, 11:39 PM
newyankee newyankee is offline
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Speaking of computer power, I am curious about the "hard drive" used for media storage. Does anyone know how big it is, if it is accessible, and if it is a SSD drive (hope it is not a spinning drive).
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2013, 05:58 AM
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Speaking of computer power, I am curious about the "hard drive" used for media storage. Does anyone know how big it is, if it is accessible, and if it is a SSD drive (hope it is not a spinning drive).
In the docs I read I think I remember reading it was 200G or so (might be 250? I can't find that doc when I need it!). It's partitioned to hold the HU OS, maps, etc, and a portion of it is allocated to user media files. The drive is a spinning hard drive: a little laptop style (2.5") SATA drive. I know it is inside the headunit, but I dont know of how accessible it is, nor have I heard of anyone who has replaced it.
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2013, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewsky View Post
For your "average modern high-end car" (which I think a BMW would fit into), it claims around 100 million lines of code. Compare that to the space shuttle at about 400,000
As a control engineer, my guess is that the fewer codes in the shuttle is due to reliability reasons. Car companies try to save money by replacing what use to be hardware with software. Its a lot cheaper to write a line of code than to buy 1 million relays. Some of the more critical systems in a car such as gas and brakes have redundency, but most systems do not. If the computer in the car fails, a whole host of system will be out of service. A more relaible and safer design is using hardware for each individual system, whereas if one system fails, it will not affect the other.
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