which BMW ICOM cable you need

bmw-icom-a2-b-c

which  BMW ICOM cable you need: K+DCAN or ENET or ICOM A2/ ICOM Next?

K+DCAN cable

(switch mode)

ENET cable BMW ICOM

(ICOM A2, ICOM Next)

Image  bmw-inpa-k-can-with-ft232rq-chip-1 (1)  e-sys-icom-coding-f-series-for-bmw-1  bmw-icom-a2-b-c
Price $17.99 $11.99 $300 around
Vehicle For Exx cars For Fxx cars For ALL Exx & Fxx cars

(BMW E, F, G, I, Alpina series cars, MINI and Rolls-Royce from 1985 – 2017)

Software Inpa 5.0.2

Ediabas

E sys 3.23.4

Psdzdata

Ista-D

Ista-P

BMW ETK
BMW KSD
INPA

NCS Expert

WinKFP

E-Sys 3.27.1

BMW AiCoder

BMW FSC code generator

Diagnostic Yes Yes Yes
Coding Yes Yes Yes
Programming No Yes Yes

In summary,

It depends on your purpose (diagnostic or coding or programming) and model (Exx or Fxx or others).

For Coding, you need different Tools, NCS Expert / SP-Daten for E-Series and E-Sys / PSdZData for F-Series.

All Diagnosis and Coding can be done with cheap DCAN Cable for E-Series and cheap ENET Cable for F-Series.

For Programming (Flashing ECU’s with new Firmware), then you need ISTA/P for for both E-Series and F-Series cars, or you can use WinKFP for E-Series and E-Sys for F-Series. For E-Series Programming, you will need an ICOM, but for F-Series Programming, you can use ENET Cable.

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 Fxx- / Ixx- / Gxx-Series, Mini, & Rolls-Royce:

Interface = ENET Cable (OBDII to RJ45 Ethernet) or ICOM

ECU Data Files = PSdZData

E-Sys = Coding Software

E-Sys = Programming (Flashing) Software

About: BMW ICOM

ICOM A (also ICOM A2, ICOM A3, ICOM Next A): main interface

ICOM B: adapter for programming multimedia in E series

ICOM C: adapter for old BMW with round 20 pin diagnostic plug

ICOM D: adapter for motorcycles

ISTA+ (AKA Rheingold or ISTA-D)

DIAGNOSTICS for All Vehicles

PROGRAMMING for F/I/G/RR & MINI, but requires an ICOM

ISTA-P

PROGRAMMING traditionally for all chassis, but is being phased out by August 2017, except for legacy E-series.

Replacement ECU’s must be NEW

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. 

ICOM NEXT A vs ICOM A2

-> 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

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.