By John Mills
There had to be a better way to more efficiently develop software. As a software manager at a Tier 1 in the late 90’s, I led an effort to transition from hand-written software to model-based design (MBD) with Stateflow and Simulink, and code generation with Embedded-Coder, for a Ford memory seat module. Ford was a happy customer: development time cut by at least 30% with a dramatic reduction in defects. This early success was followed with even better results on a complex Ford body control module.
But even with these good results …software defects continued to occur in various error-prone manual aspects of development such as:
These challenges shackle the evolution toward generating defect free software and leave room for hand-coding and integration errors that are not discovered until testing on hardware. Just as in the late 90’s, stressed engineers work overtime and weekends all too often, in order to deliver on time.
… to have higher confidence in the software. Back in the 90’s, I imagined tools that would solve these problems, and about engineers spending a lot more time innovating and much less time on the drudgery of traditional manual software development. So SimuQuest was founded in 2001, with a mission to develop tools to solve these challenges.
…has arrived. SimuQuest is excited to announce a suite of intelligent tools whose mission is to prevent defects throughout development, freeing up engineers to focus on algorithms and innovation.
Imagine an intuitive tool that allows for easy configuration of all of your device drivers, not having to risk writing error prone drivers and never having to study a complex reference manual. Further imagine that this tool automatically optimizes or configures the micro’s settings and continuously validates that your entire configuration will work on hardware. Any error or conflict is immediately detected and resolved. We have built this tool.
Imagine another intuitive tool that can provide consistent collaborative development from beginning to end, with centralized management of system architecture, interfaces and data (signals, parameters, constants); a tool that continuously validates architecture and data against specifications, standards and custom rules. Imagine that any error or inconsistency is detected and the user immediately notified with optional resolutions. We have built this tool.
The UniPhi and QuantiPhi tools facilitate a breakthrough solution to confidently develop error-free, safe and reliable systems at any level of complexity. Numerous levels of intelligent automation work together to provide an intelligent safety net throughout development.
Since the founding of SimuQuest in 2001, this vision has come a long way, providing a disruptive change in the way embedded systems are developed. Intelligent automation, finding and fixing errors during development, results in dramatic quality improvement, rapid development, and huge cost savings.
When we first proposed these ideas, many people looked at us in disbelief. It has been a long road, but over time, a growing number of OEMs and suppliers have begun the adoption, realizing development efficiencies they would have never dreamed possible.