By Richard F. Boldt, Telelogic automotivedesignline.com (October 16, 2008)
In the past ten years, automotive systems and software design has changed dramatically to meet increased product expectations, new design technologies, and workflow changes. Today's engineers overcome increased design complexity challenges using modeling tools that allow them to leverage abstraction, simulation, and code generation solutions while working in distributed teams.
In addition, many organizations use automated approaches that give them the ability to design, develop, and ultimately implement complex algorithms into their final designs. Even with these advances, however, many engineers are still implementing their algorithms directly into the source code using a textural code editing environment.
Among the numerous challenges facing engineers, the most critical is keeping pace with the rapid increases in design complexity. As many simply cannot keep up, engineers thus look for development software that will help them cope with this challenge. Traditionally, engineers dealt with complexity by leveraging algorithm development-focused tools to assist in meeting the challenge. But these are beginning to fall short because they were not originally designed to address architectural needs—it is difficult to scale these tools up to properly address today's physical (electrical), functional, and software architectural design requirements.
Using algorithm tools or written documents between different organizations can also present problems. This hurdle is a serious consideration as most automotive designs are spread across numerous organizations and geographies. Many of these products use proprietary languages that do not communicate well, and the written documents are usually ambiguous. However, engineers are using these tools to successfully design and develop individual algorithms and as such they would like to continue using them for this purpose.
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