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EST technology simulates 84 ECU models

1 October 2007

For the first time, a simulation technology has demonstrated the simultaneous simulation of 84 electronic control unit (ECU) models with very high performance and scalability, while maintaining the timing accuracy of each ECU.

The ECUs each contained an ARM1176 processor with bus, memory, peripheral devices, LCD and network interconnect controllers, and were connected by system network fabrics (in this case, CAN-type buses) into 7 subsystems. Half the ECUs in each subsystem controlled a Simulink-type ordinary differential equation plant model (42 Simulink-type models in total), and the other half executed multi-media like applications on top of a Linux OS. With 126 ECU and plant models executing simultaneously under the EST simulation technology, the measured aggregate performance of the processor models was 3.2 billion instructions per second. This is approximately 30,000 times faster than current competing timing accuracy preserving, simulation technologies.

Translated to the engineering of automobiles: the simulation was the equivalent of running the real-time control systems of 3 cars communicating together to effect accurate joint control while running high-end infotainment systems in each car. A physical car of this complexity, would execute about 1 billion instructions per second in the same circumstance. This is faster than real-time.

EST’s technologies and methodologies enable the efficient and effective (and optimal) design of complex control architectures, operating under severe real-time constraints, in order to control cars, airplanes, etc. Interestingly, the same architecture is instrumental in structuring the supply chain that designs and manufactures validated physical super-systems.