Software in the Loop – a virtual integration platform for agile mechatronic development
Silver is a tool used by development engineers to integrate and test system modules virtually using simulation on Windows PC. Two alternative set-ups are supported:
- Co-execution of control software and of hardware simulation models in order to test system-level behavior even before physical prototypes exist
- Rapid control prototyping: controller functions running on laptop under Silver can be connected via CAN to overwrite certain functions of real ECUs running in car or in a hardware-in-the-loop or testbench simulation.
Control software and simulation models can be imported from development tools such as MATLAB®/Simulink, Real-Time Workshop, TargetLink, ASCET, Dymola, SimulationX, SIMPACK, AMESim, C/C or Python. Silver provides built-in support for automotive standards such as ASAP2/A2L, CAN, FMI, MDF, XCP and ISO 26262.
- extremely fast development cycles due to comfortable integration of software and vehicle components on the PC of the developer. This helps to detect problems early.
- excellent debugging and test support, e. g. with Microsoft Visual Studio Debugger or QTronic TestWeaver. Found problems can be exactly reproduced as often as needed.
- parallelize the development process: A Silver configuration can easily be duplicated at low cost. This way, every member of a team can use its personal 'virtual' development environment 24 hours a day, without blocking rare resources like HiL test rigs, or physical prototypes.
- sharing results without sharing IP: With Silver, all members of a team exchange working results by exchanging compiled modules (DLLs), not sources. This helps to protect intellectual property.
- executing others contributions without their tools: Silver runs modules (simulation models, control software) developed using very different tools. To run these modules in Silver, you do not need access to these tools. This greatly reduces the complexity of Silver setups (no tool coupling).
Today, Silver is in use for automotive software development at Mercedes-Benz, AMG, IAV, Continental and others.
Model-based Development of a Dual-Clutch Transmission using Rapid Prototyping and SIL
For several years Mercedes-Benz has been integrating simulation and comprehensive tests with a high degree of automation in the development process of automatic transmissions. The SIL virtual integration is based on Silver and complements the HIL and physical prototype integration and test efforts. The SIL technology has matured to a point where development can be supported even up to pre-calibrating the power train. This allows significant time savings in a flexible and robust development process, across teams and companies.
Read more in: Daimler - Silver
Virtual ECUs for Developing Automotive Transmission Software
IAV has a long history of applying HIL testing for controller software validation. HIL tests are limited by poor analysis and debugging capabilities. AVL commissioned a SIL test system based on Silver as complement, giving every developer a virtual system for testing and debugging of function code. For the function developers, the analysis times are drastically reduced by faster change-analysis-change cycles.
Read more in: IAV - Silver Success Story