Automotive dictionary

Explains vocabulary and abbreviations used in Automotive

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ASAM standardized configuration file for the communication with ECUs via CCP or XCP. A2L can be imported in a runtime database for D-servers and is then converted to read and write data with the diagnostic services $23 (readMemoryByAddress) or $3D (writeMemoryByAddress).


ABUS is a serial bus system with II-bit identifier, bit-by-bit arbitration, 16-bit data field, and a nominal data rate of 500 kbit/s. ABUS was developed by Volkswagen in the early 1990s.


ActiveX is a technology, introduced by Microsoft, which is based on the component object model (COM). The main components of ActiveX are the ActiveX Controls. ActiveX Controls are programs or program modules that can be embedded in HTML as objects, such as JAVA Applets. ActiveX Controls use the OLE interface of Windows to communicate with their environment.


The services $23 (readMemoryByAddress) and $3D (writeMemoryByAddress) have a parameter addressAndLengthFormatIdentifier. The 1-byte addressAndLengthFormatIdentifier parameter consists of two separately encoded nibbles. The first nibble (length of size) indicates the number of bytes of the Memory Size parameter. The second nibble (length of address) indicates the number of bytes of the Memory Address parameter.


Short for Assembly Line Diagnostic Link. ALDL is also called GM UART. ALDL is a UART-based master slave protocol with the data rate of 8,192 bit/s.


In event-driven bus systems such as CAN, every ECU checks if the bus is available (idle) before it starts to transmit a message. This process of "listening before transmitting" is called Carrier Sense (CS). Arbitration is necessary when several ECUs have access to the bus (MA = Multiple Access) and want to start sending a message at the same time. That results in a collision. Arbitration is a procedure that solves this collision. There are CSMA/CD (CD = Collision Detection) and CSMA/CA (CA = Collision Avoidance). Time-triggered bus systems such as LIN use TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) as bus access where arbitration is not necessary.


AutomationDesk by dSPACE (see is a software package for automated hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) testing of the application software or diagnostic functions of an ECU.

Source Christoph Marscholik and Peter Subke (2008) - Road vehicles, Diagnostic communication -