dSPACE Solution for PC- and Cloud-based Simulation

From classic automotive applications, such as powertrain or brake systems, to e-drive applications and functions for autonomous driving, whether you are working on virtual ECUs or on AD algorithms – with the dSPACE solution for software-in-the loop (SIL) testing, you can significantly accelerate your software development process by testing and validating virtually. dSPACE offers you a complete, modular, scalable development and test solution. You can conveniently simulate a device-under-test on a PC, connect it to physics-based models, run scalable tests in the cloud, and then easily reuse test scripts on hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems. Rely on the innovative and powerful dSPACE solutions.

dSPACE – Your partner in simulation and validation.


  • Integrated end-to-end development and test environment for SIL testing across multiple development stages, from early ECU software tests and frontloading of preparation tasks to the comprehensive validation of entire systems
  • Flexible virtual ECUs (V-ECUs) at all levels: algorithm models, multisensor applications, V-ECUs with or without basic software (BSW), generated BSW or third-party BSW
  • One software simulator (VEOS) as a central simulation and integration platform for plant/environment models, multisensor applications, and V-ECUs (AUTOSAR and non-AUTOSAR), including virtual bus simulation
  • Seamless transition between SIL and HIL, e.g., for reusing your SIL/HIL tests mutually
  • Scalable solution for SIL-based data replay and testing (scenario-based, requirements-based, functional safety tests, SOTIF tests, etc.) on a single PC, in a PC cluster, or in the cloud
  • Powerful simulation models for sensors (camera, lidar, radar), traffic, vehicles, and environment
  • Convenient software tools for configuration, experimentation, visualization, data and test management, and test automation – powerful and at the same time easy to use
  • The result: more efficiency, productivity, and reliability for your innovations!

A virtual ECU (V-ECU) is software that represents a real ECU in a simulation. Unlike a soft ECU, which uses only a simplified Simulink®/Stateflow® model, a V-ECU consists of real production code. It consists of code only and does not require any special hardware. In SIL scenarios, V-ECUs are used instead of real ECUs or controller models.

V-ECUs can have different levels of abstraction, depending on what they are used for:

  • V-ECUs at the application level contain selected parts of the application software, the operating system, the RTE and required parts of the basic software typically provided by dSPACE.
  • V-ECUs can also include the application software and parts of the production basic software, such as Dem, NvM, and COM.
  • V-ECUs can include the complete application software and hardware-independent basic software, except modules for the Microcontroller Abstraction Layer (MCAL).

Generating V-ECUs

There are different ways to create a V-ECU, depending on what they are used for, the project needs, and on whether the development is based on AUTOSAR:

Function and software developers who only work with single components can create a V-ECU directly with Simulink or TargetLink. The result is a simple V-ECU with only a specific part of the application layer of the ECU software. It enables basic functional tests.

Software integrators who want to test a more complex network of functions can combine software components, functions or non-AUTOSAR code from different sources in SystemDesk to create the ECU’s software architecture. They can then use the SystemDesk V-ECU Generation Module to create a complete V-ECU. This includes the run-time environment (RTE) and, if needed, basic software in addition to the application layer. The V-ECUs are used for PC-based simulation with VEOS.

VEOS can easily be integrated into existing tool chains because it supports various automotive standards. Therefore, you can keep existing tools when you add VEOS to your rapid control prototyping or HIL tool chain to perform XCP XIL API PC-based simulation. By using dSPACE software and hardware, you gain high flexibility and investment protection for new projects and challenges.


In July 2009, ASAM (Association for Standardization of Automation and Measuring Systems) released the new XIL API standard, defining an interface to connect test automation tools like AutomationDesk with any simulation platform, such as VEOS or SCALEXIO. The standard enables truly platform-independent test development.


AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) is a de-facto open industry standard for automotive electric/electronic (E/E) architectures. dSPACE joined the AUTOSAR partnership as a Premium Member in April 2004 and is active in defining and developing parts of the architecture and its specifications.

Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI)

The Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) is an open standard for the exchange and integration of plant models provided by different tool vendors. dSPACE has signed the Codex of PLM Openness and works actively in the ProSTEP Smart Systems Engineering project, the Modelica Association FMI project to further develop the FMI standard, and the Modelica Association project for System Structure and Parameterization of Components for Virtual System Design (SSP).


  • SIL Testing Product Information, PDF, English, 691 KB
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