There are different systems for vehicle diagnosis (ISTA) and programming (ISTA/P) used. This means it was necessary to change systems several times when repairing a vehicle using software.
ISTA+ has been expanded so that all the required programming functions for the series F, G and I are integrated.
E-series vehicles still have to be programmed using BMW ICOM ISTA/P!
The functions relevant for programming can be accessed via the following menus:
1.Software update o Comfort – as per the suggested measures plan
o Advanced – with broadened scope
o Additional software (range of functions is not active yet)
2. Control unit replacement o Before exchange (preparation) – control unit read-out for the exchange
o After exchange (subsequent evaluation) – control unit configuration after exchange
3.Vehicle modification o Retrofit
o Conversion (only coding)
o Immediate measures
So, what for E series coding/programming?
For Exx- Series:
Interface = K+DCAN Cable (OBDII to USB) or ICOM
ECU Data Files = SP-Daten
NCS Expert = Coding Software
WinKFP = Programming (Flashing) Software
EDIABAS = Low-Level ECU Communication Software used by NCS Expert & WinKFP
For Coding, you need NCS Expert / SP-Daten for E-Series
All Diagnosis and Coding can be done with a cheap K+Dcan cable
For Programming (Flashing ECU’s with new Firmware), then you need ISTA/P for for E-Series, or you can use WinKFP for it. And you will need a BMW ICOM cable (ICOM A2/ICOM A3 or ICOM Next)
YOU HAVE TO KNOW before you buy ICOM A2 or ICOM A3 or ICOM Next:
ICOM Next vs the old ICOM
-> much faster in BMW F and G series ..
-> supports gigabit Ethernet too to be future proof, there currently is not gigabit Ethernet protocol defined yet for autos. Also it has USB3.0 instead of USB2.0 and a better wifi card.
So, Icom next a works much better.
-> more stable during programming
-> be necessary for the future Gbit cars
-> faster start-up times and high throughput
-> through high-performance,low-power ARM SoC
-> improved handling
-> more flexible OBD cable
-> lighted button for logs
In sum, Icom next wins!
ICOM A3 vs ICOM NEXT
Both of these have the same hardware. None of them are clones of anything also. A3 is fully china version of ICOM, there is no original version looking like this crap. NEXT is just looking as genuine NEXT, but with old A1/A2 hardware inside, like A3.
I recommend buying an Icom next. It is priced roughly at 500 euro. Take in consideration that you will probably work on cars that are worth 30-40k euro or maybe more and if your chinese icom fails you even once, you will be spending a lot of money on a bricked ecu.
ICOM A vs ICOM A2 vs ICOM A3
Modified ICOM A2 for vehicles with OBD access receives a significantly more powerful processor and more storage capacity. And robust aluminium case will help to avoid damage when using in harsh environments. It works better in cooling, runs faster and works more stable, not easier broken than older ICOM A.
ICOM A3 can program all units for all BMW series expect media system, and work more stable and has stronger compatibility than ICOM A2, A1.
In short, ICOM NEXT A+B+C works perfect; it’s the best option.