New Capabilities for Testing Embedded Software Announced

A number of new and exciting workflow enhancements were included in ANSYS SCADE 17.2 for those who are validating and testing embedded software. In this blog, I’ll cover the top 3 enhancements.

Virtual System Testing Using Simplorer Entry

In ANSYS 17.2, all SCADE Suite users can immediately simulate and analyze virtual system prototypes thanks to the bundling of Simplorer Entry.

One of the main objectives of embedded software users is to perform closed-loop testing to tune the software application — as early as possible. As a best practice, embedding the application within a virtual environment is a great way to reduce testing costs. It can be performed first with simplified model of the environment using Modelica language then moved to high-fidelity models.

Once their control software has been designed, the user can export it as a Functional Mock-up Unit (FMU) to be imported into ANSYS Simplorer. In Simplorer, he will be able to assemble a full virtual prototype by connecting multi-physics plant and environment models with the embedded software FMUs and interactive graphical panels created in SCADE Rapid Prototyper. (Watch the video at the end of this post to learn more about that.)

auto-cruise-controlThe following table summarizes the differences between debugging a software component with the SCADE Suite simulator, testing the components with SCADE Test and simulating it in a full virtual system prototype modeled with Simplorer.

testing embedded software

Support of Closed-loop System-level Testing Capabilities

ANSYS SCADE 17.2 also provides capabilities when the user has an in-house or 3rd party system-level simulation environment. The SCADE Suite generated software code can now be automatically instrumented in order to perform a number of operations directly from the 3rd party system simulation platform, thanks to dedicated APIs:

  • Save the software application state in a “snapshot” file.
  • Load a snapshot file and use it to set the state of the software component. This is a very powerful way to initialize the simulated component to a given state.
  • Compute the model structural coverage and dump the raw result. The coverage result file can then be loaded and graphically reported in the SCADE Test Environment. This allows computing structural coverage from a high level test suite directly in the 3rd party system simulator.

An excellent use case is the simulation of a complete aircraft where many scenarios first require to bring the aircraft to a given altitude and then performing various runs changing different parameters. With ANSYS SCADE 17.2, the user can perform the initialization phase and record the state in a snapshot file, which is then directly loaded at each run, optimizing the costly initialization phase.


New SCADE Test Environment for Displays

Lastly, I will mention how graphical application developers using SCADE Display can benefit from SCADE Test capabilities. SCADE Test eases the creation of test cases for interactive graphical applications via a dedicated user interface and allows automated regression testing to enable huge cost savings.

Comparison of actual test results with expected results is based both on HMI functional outputs and on automated image comparison (built-in or using 3rd party tools). Indeed, advanced users with specific needs can implement their own graphical comparison algorithms or connect an external tool.


As we have seen in this blog post, ANSYS SCADE 17.2 provides powerful solutions for testing and validating embedded software moving away from component testing, and focusing on system-level testing. These functionalities are paving the way to digital twins and digital factory simulation.

And, finally, here’s that video I promised you.

  1. Ansys, please:
    1) fix the old bugs in Workbench and Design Modeler
    2) add other functionalities in Mechanical interface, such as link180 and CP
    3) please, stop of buying new companies and spend efforts and resources in new products such as AIM and improve the great Workbench.

  2. Hervandil,
    Thank you for your feedback. Over the past several years we have invested substantially in the Workbench platform to make our simulation technology more accessible and easier to use, and we will continue to do so. I’ll pass your request for CP and LINK 180 onto to our Product Management team. These are commands and elements I also see useful to have in Workbench.

    Like you, many of our customers are excited about AIM. This product has matured significantly over the past three years and now supports a broad range of physics. We understand that your engineering goals can’t afford to wait for new features, that’s why we have adopted a frequent release program so you have the latest simulation solutions from our development teams as soon as possible.

    • Hello Mr. McDevitt

      Thanks for your reply and concerns.
      I’ve been using finite elements softwares since my graduation. Ansys specifically since it’s release 5.0!!
      In my opinion, Workbench and Design Modeler were big milestones in this area, since Design Modeler was design to be a cad thought for finite elements.
      So, I do hope your company doesn’t stop to get improving both softwares to not happen the same as happened with the old classic graphic interface, with its eternal non solved boolean operation bugs!
      Best regards.

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