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Volcano Bootloader

The Volcano Bootloader is a standalone program that allows download and replacement of any program module within the ECU (requires either Flash or EEPROM memory). The Bootloader works with AUTOSAR Basic Software as well as the Volcano Target Package.

Features and Specifications


  • Enables software updates through software downloads through the CAN connection
  • Optimized microcontroller resource utilization (ROM)
  • High download performance
  • Protection against overwriting of Bootloader ROM (optional)
  • Easily integrated with application software
  • Configuration according to custom ECUs

Technical Specifications

  • ISO 14229-1, ISO 15765-2 and ISO 15765-3 compliant
  • Security Access (according to ISO 14229-1) available
  • Typical memory utilization 10-12kB ROM
  • Also as KWP2000 compliant deliverable


Use Cases

Bootloader enables software updates of any software module within the ECU – through the CAN (Controller Area Network) network. This functionality requires that the ECU has flash memory. Typical usage includes:

  • Update of existing ECU software during service – no need to dismount the ECU from the vehicle in order to update its SW, which dramatically reduces cost of aftermarket changes.
  • Reconfiguration or complete programming of ECU during manufacturing or service – reduces the need for keeping separate stocks of ECUs, both in case of production and aftermarket.
  • Download of software and application data during development – speeds up unit and system testing.

Bootloader Strategy

Typically, the Bootloader is divided in two parts :

  • Primary Bootloader (PBL)
  • Secondary Bootloader (SBL)

The PBL is permanently placed in a protected boot sector and will execute directly after reset. The PBL acts as a communication engine to download the SBL into the internal RAM of the ECU and then activate it. The SBL adds functions for erase and programming of flash memory and EEPROM; it also handles the actual download of new or updated software. This strategy allows a minimum ROM utilization by the PBL.


Protocols from complete car OEM-specific to standardized protocols using ISO 15765-2 transport layer and ISO 14229 diagnostic services is available. A KWP2000 compliant bootloader is also available.

The Volcano Bootloader is available in many microcontroller types from different vendors and may also be configured to customer ECU requirements (e.g. watchdog, transceiver, etc.).


Ease of integration comes from the Volcano Bootloader’s standalone executable program. Mapping the interrupt vector table and reserving the flash segment for the Volcano Bootloader is all that is required.


Supported Services

The following services (defined by ISO 14229) are supported for software download and upload within the Volcano Bootloader (the service is followed by the use of the service for download):

  • Diagnostic Session Control - The tester requests the ECU to enter the programming mode
  • ECU Reset - The tester requests the ECU to perform a reset (and therefore exit the programming mode)
  • Security Access - Unlock the ECU for download/upload
  • Read Data By Identifier - The tester requests the ECU to report identification information
  • Write Data By Identifier - Write ECU configuration data (e.g. hardware part number, serial number)

  • Routine Control - Activate the secondary bootloader. Erase flash memory
  • Request Download - Request download to ECU RAM Flash or EEPROM
  • Request Upload - Request upload from ECU RAM, Flash or EEPROM
  • Transfer Data - Transfer data to/from ECU RAM, Flash or EEPROM
  • Request Transfer Exit - Exit transfer of data to/from ECU

Supported MCUs

The following is a list of currently supported MCUs. Mentor Graphics provides support for other MCUs on customer request.

  • C167CS
  • CR16
  • HC08
  • HC908
  • HC912
  • MC68376
  • MPC561

  • Star12
  • ST10F272/273
  • TC1766
  • TC1775
  • TMS470
  • XC164

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