Here we discuss the differences of K can vs D can cables vs Icom emulators, ideas of what the hardware&software, protocol, car and function differences.
|BMW tools||ICOM||INPA K+DCAN cable|
|Cars||New and old BMW vehicles:
E & F series up to 2017
|Old BMW E series (1998 – 2008)
|Cars after 03/2007||Cars prior to 03/2007:
K-Line was used from 1997 onwards by BMW replacing the old L-Line up consistently up until the end of 2006
Inpa/Ediabas, Ncs expert, Winkfp, E-sys, ETK, Easyconnect, Itoolradar, BMW standard tool, coding database, coding tool
|Speed||best speeds should be through an ICOM with the MOST adapter||theoretically faster, but in reality, it isn’t||actually much better speeds|
|Stability||a lot more stable esp. when it comes to programming||less stable||less stable|
|Programming/Flashing||used with diagnosis and also programming||not safe to program modules||not safe to program modules|
|Coding||Read/Write zero issues||R/W with a K&DCAN cable||R/W with a K&DCAN cable|
|Protocol||fast protocol, allows to secure flash software and read/write access the entire memory||slow serial protocol, flashing would take ages and errors could occur. Also, not possible to access the entire memory||slow serial protocol, flashing would take ages and errors could occur. Also, not possible to access the entire memory|
|Similar to||Similar to JTAG programming||Similar to RS232 bootloader access||Similar to RS232 bootloader access|
|Tips||BMW ICOM can be used with diagnosis and also programming. While DCAN cable can do all of those it is not safe to program modules because there have been a lot of cases where modules were bricked. You can only get your 1B file using FSC generator with ICOM on an E series car but cannot generate 1B file using a DCAN cable since it will give you an error. There is another way though of getting your 1B file without using an ICOM on an E series through the USB port inside your glovebox accessing the hard drive directly. Rather than going through all those stuff, it is more convenient to just buy the lifetime FSC code and be done with it.
You program a module if you want to update the software to a newer one or if you a retrofitting a new module and want to flash it. ICOM is a lot more stable than dcan cable when it comes to programming. And you are right there are modules that takes hours to finish and any interruption in the process will surely brick that module. You can get a cheap china clone ICOM but finding a refutable vendor selling a good working ICOM is not easy.