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Testing software away from power

 

The only way to effectively test control software is to test its behavior. And the behavior under faulty conditions is what we are most concerned with. Testing faulty conditions in the presence of high power is not recommended in practice, as it is highly risky. Not having this available prevents us from implementing all the lessons learned from the transition of automotive and aerospace industries to the digital era. Moreover, it prevents us from relying on the best practices from the IT world in general with hundreds (if not thousands) of man-years spent on developing principles for efficient testing of dynamically evolving and safety-critical software instances, like regression testing.

Finally, in the presence of power, there is no room for test automation whatsoever.

 

How we compare to conventional power labs

HIL lab Power lab
Lab cost (CAPEX)
Maintenance (OPEX)
Test coverage 100x x
Cost per operating point 0.00001 $ 1 $
Testing in 10.000 operating points? ? ?

Vertically integrated test solution

The true cost of adopting new technologies is sometimes hard to estimate. As our products mature and we start preparing for extensive testing runs, HIL concepts based on conventional design toolchains give an impression of a native and logical extension as we tend to stay in the comfort of a well-known environment.

What we typically underestimate is the time and effort we are bound to spend in optimizing our design tools to perform as test platforms.

 

Typical HIL concepts and how we compare

Integrated HIL Solution Alternative HIL Concepts
Hardware and firmware ?
Simulation software
FREEMIUM
Test automation environment
OPEN SOURCE
Toolchain(s) licenses ? ?
Integration responsibility
Services and support

Disregarding the performance of particular hardware platforms, key differences between a vertically integrated HIL test solution and heterogeneous HIL concepts (made as a combination of devices and toolchains from various vendors) are:

1. Heterogeneous HIL concept requires multiple toolchain licenses.

Typically licensed per user, these can add up to noticeably high figures.

2. Heterogeneous HIL concepts require the integration of tools that are not originally designed to work together.

Interoperability issues can arise from both integrating hardware with non-native software toolchains and from partial compatibility of software tools typically limited to particular software versions only.

3. The end-user is responsible.

The responsibility to get such a complex system to operate properly is solely in the hands of the end-user. Without a unique support channel that can help resolve interoperability issues, this task can easily take months (sometimes even years) which hides enormous overhead in the engineering cost.

Integrated HIL Solution Alternative HIL Concepts
Hardware
Option to Lease / Rent ? ?
Software FREEMIUM
License type ? ?
License cost
Premium features
Technology adoption and on-boarding
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