Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-01-0712

Open Interfaces for Bridging the Steps in the Chain of a Totally Simulation-based Software Development 2001-01-0712

This paper proposes a new approach towards achieving a totally simulation-based software development process for electronic control units (ECU) in automotive applications. It introduces a tool-based methodology to support the system software designer right from inception through the chain by bridging the main steps of software development, i.e. “Simulation/Automatic Code Generation”, “Compilation” and “Measurement & Calibration”. The coherent linkage of these steps to each other by means of flexible open interfaces (conform with ASAM-MCD [1] and OSEK [2]) is addressed in this paper. One can consider the stages of a simulation-based software development as being similar to the representation of a three-stage waterfall model [3], in which the following nodes comprise the development stages:
  1. 1
    System Simulation (e.g. by using Matlab/Simulink) and function Auto-code Generation (e.g. by using TargetLink) [4]
  2. 2
    Compilation, Linkage and Download
  3. 3
    Measurement & Calibration (e.g. by using MARC I of AFT [5])
The usual problem of a totally simulation-based software development for ECU is how to establish interfaces between the development stages, so that a consistent linkage and smooth development flow is assured regardless of the tools used at these stages. This is a non-trivial problem if the employed tools at the development stages are expected to exchange data and come from different vendors. This paper introduces two powerful software tools to bridge the aforementioned stages. In fact, these software tools are a means to “dock” the three aforementioned phases. The first and the second development stage are interfaced by means of AFT Controller Interface (ACI), whereas the second and the third stage (“Compilation” and “Measurement & Calibration”) are interfaced to each other by an A2L-Generator. ACI is a library of digital, analogue and CAN-specific Blocksets to produce a comfortable interface for the OSEK-conform ECU-OS and cascading TargetLink sub-systems for performing various tasks. A2L-Generator, which is composed of a Parser, a Merger, and a Configuration Description Language (CDL), is a tool for automatic generation of calibration interface software, which is ASAM-MCD-conform. The automatically generated A2L-file can subsequently be used for measurement and calibration purposes.
We demonstrate how open interfaces such as ACI and A2L-Generator ease the process of simulation-based software development and resolve the shortcoming of incompatibility in data exchange if different simulation tools are “chained” together..


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