BMW Diagnostic Systems

Over the years BMW has used a number of different diagnostic hardware, here’s a look of current and previous hardware.

ICOM (Integration Communication Optical Module) – 3rd generation vehicle interface used by BMW dealers. It supports ADS, CAN, MOST and Ethernet communication to the vehicle and is compatible with BMW Standard Tools, E-Sys and ISTA. It’s composed of three parts (for cars)

ICOM A – Main piece and connects to the network and to the OBD port on the car

ICOM A2 – *** NEW *** ICOM A2 is a direct replacement for the ICOM A, it works exactly the same as the ICOM A and was released to overcome some of the design issues BMW felt existed with the ICOM A. It has a significantly more powerful processor, more storage capacity and a robust aluminum case will help to avoid damage when using in harsh environments.


ICOM B – Piece which connects to the ICOM A via USB and to the MOST (optical) port on the car

icom b

ICOM C – Piece which connects to the ICOM A’s OBD port and allows the ICOM to connect to older models with the 20pin round connector under the hood

icom c

OPS (Optical Programming System) – 2nd generation vehicle interface previously used by BMW dealers. It support ADS, CAN, and MOST communication to the vehicle and is compatible with BMW Standard Tools, Progman/SSS and DIS.


OPPS (Optical Testing and Programming System) – Functionally the same as the OPS, except that is has support for the byteflight bus, a special optical bus used mainly on the 7 series as part of the safety system. They are yellow in color, as opposed to the orange color of the OPS. Many chinese sellers sell yellow OPS heads and pass them off as OPPS heads, yet they don’t support the byteflight bus like a true OPPS.


DK (Diagnostik Kopf or Diagnostic Head) – 1st generation vehicle interface previously used by BMW dealers. It supports ADS and CAN (K-CAN only,no D-CAN) communication to the vehicle and is compatible with BMW Standard Tools, Progman/SSS and DIS. Commonly called a Yellow Head or mistakenly a GT1.