Application software built using AUTOSAR based architectures is hardware independent. The lower level services and drivers are abstracted to ensure there are no dependencies. The application software cleanly sits on top of a Run Time Environment (RTE) and Basic Software. These levels are independent of any hardware. Underneath them sit the OS and MCAL (Micro-Controller Abstraction Layer). Both of these are hardware dependent, but fully encapsulate all hardware specific software. Since the interface to the MCAL is well defined, it is straightforward to move the application software from one MCAL/OS (ECU HW #1) to another MCAL/OS (ECU HW #2). It is also straightforward to move to an MCAL/OS that is completely virtual, enabling the application software to run on a virtual ECU. This setup can be executed on a real-time PC.
The same application Software can run on many ECUs or virtually on PCs
1. You do not need to wait for hardware to test/validate your application software.
Benefits to developing on a Virtual ECU
- This is especially useful when the development team is distributed across several geographic locations. You do not have to worry about each team having the same revision of hardware, or having to wait for a shipment of a new revision of a hardware board. I have talked to numerous development teams who, at a critical juncture in a project, had to suffer through schedule delays of several weeks while waiting for a hardware development board to work its way through customs – that’s not an issue with a Virtual ECU!
3. Reduce risks to your development schedule.
- Quickly do early testing of a software integration on your desktop, before wasting time trying to work out the kinks on a HiL bench.
- Using a virtual ECU on your HiL bench, you can test/validate your application software on a HiL bench before the physical ECU is available
- All of the ECUs can be virtual, or you can have a mixture of physical ECUs and virtual ECUs on a network
- Each virtual ECU can run on its own dedicated PC, or multiple virtual ECUs can run on one PC
- The ECUs on the network can communicate with each other with a physical CAN bus (the real-time PCs can be equipped with CAN hardware interfaces), or they can communicate with each other via a virtual CAN bus. The choice is up to you depending on your testing objectives.
ETAS enables virtual ECUs with the ISOLAR-EVE product
- Eclipse based
- Open API (.NET, Java, C/C++, etc.) enables scripting, test automation, or integration into existing test environments
- INCA fully accesses the EVE executable
- Runs on real-time or non-real-time PCs
If you would like to learn more, just let me know! Contact me or just comment below.