A new simulation software package could change conventional development processes for embedded "super systems" used in aerospace, industrial, medical and telecommunications applications. By taking simulation beyond the chip and board level, the new software could eliminate numerous hardware steps, according to the developer. As a result, it could compress the build-test-debug cycle into a single desktop process, thereby cutting months from product development cycles.
"The key is that we are able to 'virtualize' complex systems," noted Ross Wheeler, founder and CEO of DoubleWide Software (Santa Clara, Calif.), maker of the new product. "We're able to take multiple embedded systems, virtualize them and integrate them into a single test environment."
Known as DoubleWide Studio, the software reportedly can run the "virtualized" multiple embedded systems concurrently on a single workstation operating on Windows, Linux or Solaris. DoubleWide executives said the software can create and test the complex topologies of interconnected devices while simulating a variety of connectivity conditions.
As a result, it could speed the development and testing tasks associated with production of complex hardware systems, such as telecommunication switches, storage servers and medical imaging devices, which typically use several interconnected embedded systems.
"In the past, we did our development by selecting hardware that was close to the target hardware that we wanted to build, and then we developed our software on top of that," said Ron Lau, software engineering manager for Foundry Networks, Inc. (San Jose, Calif.), which recently served as DoubleWide's first customer by using the software to create of its BigIron MG8 high-performance switch. "But the simulation model brings us very close to the real hardware."