New Approaches in Virtualization of ECU Software Development 2013-01-0429
With the growing number of electronic systems, broadening function range and ever increasing interaction complexity in modern vehicles, the validation and calibration of new software functions becomes more and more challenging. The expenditures associated with this rising complexity are further increased due to growing number of vehicle variants that are adapted to regional markets. This conflicts with the ever present cost pressure in the overall automotive industry to reduce both production and development costs.
Performing the most costly tasks of the development earlier in the process, using simulation on the PC, CAD or validation in virtual environment is a promising approach in order to face these challenges. The efficiency gains expected from the virtualization of the development process are significant at all development levels:
Software and functional bugs discovered earlier, significantly reducing the cost to fix them
Reduction of vehicle prototype used for road-testing, vehicle integration and fine-tuning
Reduction of systems prototypes and test benches, such as engine, for calibration tasks
Reduction of ECU HW prototypes and samples for SW integration or SW debug & testing
Each potential virtualization step requires different technologies depending on the discipline, the system level and its complexity, as well as the tasks to be performed. Furthermore, those technologies have to be put together in a consistent process supported by efficient tools, in order to ensure that the assets (e.g. models, calibration sets, test cases…) and the results of a task are available and reused along the development process.