Electronics and Semiconductors

Magneti Marelli IAW 4AC.A3 Engine Control Unit Teardown

17 May 2012
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

IHS Insight Perspective

This Magneti Marelli IAW 4AC.A3 ECU is used in Chery QQ - a domestic Chinese automobile. Whether or not the unit is used in other vehicles is unknown. As in most automotive ECU Teardown, exact function of the device is largely unknown. However, the device appears to deliver some basic ECU functionalities such as Engine Speed, Cooling Fan, Ignition and Fuel Injection control. Most of these functions are ultimately commanded by the ST Micro ST10F269-Q3 MCU.

Magneti Marelli IAW 4AC.A3 Engine Control Unit Main ImageMagneti Marelli IAW 4AC.A3 Engine Control Unit Main Image

Overall Significance

Magneti Marelli builds a variety of automotive products ranging from ECU to Active/Passive Safety devices. This particular product line is under Magneti Marelli Powertrain business line which deals with gasoline/diesel ECUs and transmission control unit. The company supplies ECUs and transmission control units to major European automotive manufacturers as well as those in emerging market such as Tata in India and Chery in China as seen in this particular unit.

Feature Significance

This particular unit appears to be a basic one which provides Engine Speed, Cooling Fan, Ignition and Fuel Injection control. Noted that since some of the private labeled ICs are not positively identified and thus their functions are assumed based on our expertise on other known platform.

Magneti Marelli IAW 4AC.A3 Engine Control Unit - Main PCB TopMagneti Marelli IAW 4AC.A3 Engine Control Unit - Main PCB Top

Design Significance

All major ICs are supplied by ST Micro in this device and it is pretty common in the automotive space because of the various platforms that just make 'mix-and-match' very difficult for OEMs. Due to this restriction, some OEMs, like Denso, would actually have their own design and build their own custom ASICs. In this design, however, most of the ICs appear to be some modified version of some ST Automotive ICs only which contributes to a relatively low cost ECU.

Target Market

Automotive OEM

Intended for dedicated internal market - not for sale other than to the OEM (Chery in this case) and as official OEM replacement modules.



Pricing and Availability

110 USD Online Retailer

MSRP is not applicable here and this online pricing is from a relatively trustworthy retailer and provides only a rough reference.

Online Retailer

Sold as replacement module.

Volume Estimations

475,000 Total Units
5 Total Years

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an Annual Production Volume of 475000 units and a Product Lifetime Volume of 5 year(s).

Teardown volume and production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed volumes are different by an order of magnitude, minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis because of this.

Market Performance

Electronics in the automotive space has been showing a steady rise in terms of semiconductor revenue. Our forcast tool (AMFT) indicates that in China alone, the semiconductor revenue will increase ~10% and up annually for the next 3 years. In the same time, the Power train segment will basically follow the same trend. IHS Automotive can be contacted for more background and trend for the automotive market worldwide.

Magneti Marelli IAW 4AC.A3 Engine Control Unit Cost AnalysisMagneti Marelli IAW 4AC.A3 Engine Control Unit Cost Analysis

Cost Notes

Pricing for automotive devices, especially for ECUs, is usually hard to arrive at due to the nature that many of the ICs are custom ASICs and are not market available. Pricing, as a result, relies heavily on cost modeling. In this case, although there are not custom ASICs, many are still private labeled ICs which market pricing is still rare to find. We are, however, able to find market data on some or on similar ICs to help gauge our model.

Total BOM: $39.76
Top Cost Drivers below: $35.41
% of Total BOM 89%

Main Cost Drivers below

ST Microelectronics ST10F269-Q3 MCU - 16-Bit CPU w/ 4-Stage Pipeline, 40MHz, 256KB Flash, 12KB RAM, 5 Timers, 10Bit x 16Ch ADC, 111 General Purpose I/O, Dual 2.0B CAN Interface, w/ DSP Function, 0.35um CMOS- (Qty: 1)
Enclosure, Main, Top - Die-Cast Aluminum Alloy, Machined- (Qty: 1)
TE Connectivity Pin Header - Right Angle, Quad Row, Dual Shell, Automotive Shrouded, 4 Snap-In Pins, w/ Synthetic Rubber Compound Seal on Edge- (Qty: 1)
ST Microelectronics VB025MSP Ignition Coil Driver - 380V, 9A- (Qty: 2)
Main PCB - 4-Layer - FR4- (Qty: 1)
ST Microelectronics L9113 Power Management / Control IC- (Qty: 1)
ST Microelectronics MAR9109PJ Injector Driver IC (Assumed)- (Qty: 1)
ST Microelectronics Dual Bridge Driver (Assumed)- (Qty: 1)
ST Microelectronics VB325SP Ignition Coil Driver - 380V, 10A- (Qty: 1)
Ceramic Multilayer - X5R/X7R- (Qty: 117)

Not Included in Analysis

The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing with basic test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself - cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM's margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

Manufacturing Notes

Magneti Marelli has manufacturing plants and R&D centers worldwide. Out of those, 2 of the R&D centers and 11 of the manufacturing plants are dedicated to the Power Train Business line. On this ECU, there is no Country of Origin information but we believe that this particular unit is made in their Shanghai, China Plant since the device is used in Chery vehicles.

Country of Origin

For the purposes of this analysis, we are assuming the following country(ies) of origin for each level of assembly, based on a combination of 'Made In' markings, and/or assumptions based on our knowledge of such equipment.

Main PCB - China
Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly - China

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of 'finished' sub-assemblies (such as TBD), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.

Labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. "Auto inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design Complexity

Component counts by assembly and the number of assembly are indicators of design complexity and efficeincy.

Component Qty: 254 - Main PCB
Component Qty: 11 - Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly
Component Qty: 265 - Grand Total

With a total components count of 265, this is by far one of the simplest ECU we have analyzed in terms of components count. However, the low component count is due to the fact that this is a very basic ECU designed for use in a relatively simpler engine. Mechanically, the design is on par with other ECUs with basically just a top and bottom housing.

Component counts have a direct bearing on the overall manufacturing cycle times and costs, and also can increase or decrease overall yields and re-work. Our calculations of manufacturing costs factor counts and more qualitative complexities in the design. The cost of manufacturing is relatively low compare to other ECUs because of the low components count and the assumed Chinese labor rate applied.

Note that manual labor has a much smaller effect on auto-insertion assembly lines (for the Main PCB, for example), where manufacturing costs are much more capital equipment intensive and driven by these investment costs.

Design Notes

The overall design appeared to be some sort of ST Micro Automotive platform which has been customized by Magneti Marelli, evidenced by the private labeled and other major ICs built by ST. Though not all ICs are positively identified, it is apparent that the whole design revolves around the ST Micro ST10F269-Q3 MCU, followed by the L9113 Power Management / Control IC and other ignition related driver ICs. This design is actually common among ECUs that we have analyzed, with almost all of them consist of a main MCU plus a few custom ASICs that probably do the same remaining functions. In addition, many of the ICs in this unit are quite old with the oldest dated back to 1997. However, this is again very common in the automotive space as it requires more matured components and has a relatively long design cycle.

The other components in this module are clearly specialized ICs serving a narrow range of purpose (injector driver IC, ignition coil drivers, etc.).

Magneti Marelli IAW 4AC.A3 Engine Control Unit - Disassembly View 1Magneti Marelli IAW 4AC.A3 Engine Control Unit - Disassembly View 1

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