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Automotive Journal Authors: William Schmarzo, Valeriia Timokhina, Scott Allen, Shelly Palmer, Jyoti Bansal

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Virtualization: Article

Freescale Delivers VaST Virtualization Models

Latest Virtualization Tools Designed to Help Automotive Developers Manage Escalating Software Complexity

Freescale is expanding its development ecosystem to include virtual prototypes for its automotive Power Architecture microcontroller (MCU) portfolio using modeling technology from VaST Systems. These virtual prototypes will enable automotive developers to tackle growing software intricacies and speed their time to market.

Powertrain management systems have grown in complexity and performance to meet emissions and fuel efficiency standards, while industry demands for quality, reliability and faster time to market continue to increase. The automotive ecosystem is responding to these challenges, and virtual platforms have emerged as a compelling solution.

VaST Systems technology enables high cycle count accuracy, fast simulation speed and the functional accuracy required by many electronic control unit (ECU) suppliers. These automotive system suppliers use simulation and modeling strategies as an effective substitute for the target hardware.

"Automotive suppliers operate in a high-pressure environment where speed and zero defects are paramount, and developing highly complex software adds to the challenge,” said Peter Schulmeyer, Freescale’s director of strategy for automotive MCUs. “Virtualization addresses these requirements by providing automotive developers with early access to pre-silicon development, key technology and validation capabilities. Market realities are driving the need for higher-level software solutions, and Freescale is responding with virtual platforms that can help customers save valuable development time and resources.”

“The automotive industry faces steep software complexity challenges driven by more stringent safety, emissions and fuel economy requirements,” said Jeff Roane, vice president of marketing at VaST. “Working together, VaST and Freescale deliver leading-edge virtualization solutions that help our customers meet these design challenges with greater efficiency and lower cost.”

The 32-bit MCU architecture for automotive powertrain management systems, Power Architecture technology offers developers the combined benefits of cost-effective performance, advanced features and functionality, and extensive third-party tool support that now includes virtual system prototypes (VSPs).

VSPs are available for Freescale’s MPC5554, MPC5566, and MPC5565 Power Architecture MCUs. These modeling solutions are built on VaST Systems’ Virtual Processor Models (VPMs) for the e200Z6 core and the enhanced timer processing unit (eTPU). The solutions also are integrated with System C based peripheral models to help ensure a virtual replication of the specific device. Using traditional tools, compilers, debuggers and integrated development environments (IDEs), powertrain system engineers can work with virtual hardware to develop software, test/validation suites and perform system architecture analysis before receiving silicon samples.

Freescale plans to add model availability to select current and future 32-bit MCU products for advanced safety, body electronics and next-generation powertrain applications.

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