Virtual Testing For ECUs

Posted on January 5, 2012

dSpace has developed a new simulation tool designed to enhance the safety and reliability of electronic control units (ECUs) used in heavy-duty engine and vehicle applications while in early development. The dSPACE Offline Simulator is engineered to provide realistic early simulation on a PC and interacts closely with the company’s ControlDesk Next Generation and AutomationDesk software, giving users a complete test chain, dSpace said.

The Offline Simulator allows developers to create virtual ECUs by using a special software base to integrate and compile the ECU's application software and then execute the virtual ECUs on a PC. As a result, software architects are now able to simulate ECU software on a PC. They can perform consistency tests, check the plausibility of interfaces, and verify task scheduling very early on. And because ECU functionality can be tried out at an early stage, it can be verified even before the first ECU prototypes are available, the company said.

The vehicle and component models, which are usually created with Simulink and used as environment models during offline simulation, can be reused in later development phases. According to dSpace, the same applies to the layouts created for ControlDesk Next Generation or other software, and to the tests themselves. Moreover, tests can be designed on a PC and then validated and optimized by offline simulation to save valuable testing time on a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulator, the company said.