Early Validation of ECU Software
Virtual validation describes the overall method of using PC-based simulation for validating, verifying and testing ECU software. dSPACE customers can therefore use virtual ECU models throughout the entire ECU development process.
Today's ECU software involves several software components (SWCs) that interact intensively with each other. In the large ECU networks installed in most of today’s vehicles, the number of SWCs can easily reach the thousands.
Because the task of developing ECU components is usually shared by several departments or even different companies, not only the SWCs themselves have to be tested and validated, but also the interactions between them. The earlier in the development process that errors and inconsistencies are found, the quicker and cheaper it is to correct them.
Early Testing Without Hardware
In previous development processes, validating and testing ECU software could not even begin until the prototype ECUs were available. This had clear disadvantages because prototypes are not usually available until fairly late in the development process and they are also very expensive. Moreover, prototypes cannot be multiplied or used in several projects simultaneously.
This is where dSPACE comes in with virtual validation. The already available SWCs are combined to create a virtual ECU model. The model is then validated, tested and calibrated with VEOS on a standard PC. This form of offline simulation lets developers investigate real-world issues such as task scheduling, the behavior of the basic software, and the communication behavior on a virtual CAN bus. As the virtual ECU can be duplicated easily, various teams are able to perform tests at the same time. Any necessary corrections and changes are included in a new version of the virtual ECU that is then provided to the other teams.