A New Model Exchange Standard – The Functional Mockup Interface

Nearly every industry today deals with issues of an increasingly complex supply chain, representing interconnected relationships between OEMs, and their Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers. Customers who perform simulation driven product development are acutely aware of the supply chain issues, because simulation tools used by various companies are usually different and often not interoperable. This is where standards come in — modeling standards like the IEEE VHDL-AMS language provide a clear modifiable description of behavior and all tools that support this language are expected to behave the same way. However, since each tool provides its own implementation of the language compiler (typically converting from the standard modeling language to C++ code), there can be some differences in behavior.

A relatively new standard called Functional Mockup Interface (FMI) provides a unique approach to standard models. The Model Exchange approach relies on already compiled models, thus eliminating the difference in behavior due to different implementations of the language compilers. This leads to much better interoperability, while sacrificing some of the flexibility (you cannot modify the equations in a generated model). For details about this new standard, please visit fmi-standard.org — there are an ever increasing number of tools that support this standard.

ROM and co simulation links in simplorerThe ANSYS 15.0 systems products include support for this new standard. Specifically, the embedded software generation tools SCADE Suite© and SCADE Display© can generate FMI compliant models and the system simulation tool ANSYS Simplorer supports FMI model import. With this combination, one can seamlessly combine interactive software and plant models. Customers can also include models from Modelica tools to do more detailed plant modeling.

I had the opportunity to present these new capabilities at the FMI Tech Day conference organized in Detroit late last year. The conference was very well attended and included many simulation vendors as well as a key OEMs and suppliers. Here is a video of my talk at the conference.

If you will be at the Modelica Conference in Lund, Sweden on March 11-12, stop by the ANSYS/Esterel booth to learn more about FMI and to see SCADE and Simplorer in action.