Altair Embed: Embedded Software Development Toolset

References Cited

Altair

The amount of embedded software going into modern products is exploding. And while schools are cranking out software developers as fast as they can, there is a strong case for democratizing the coding effort with controls engineers. That’s the context for this review on Altair’s Embed solution.

Note that this post is one in a series of reviews on Altair’s solutions. The overarching post is Altair’s Vision: Solution Breadth Surprises, which links to reviews of other Altair solutions. Furthermore, note that Altair Embed works in conjunction with Altair Activate, which models the physical aspects of a product for Model-Based Development activities. To learn more about Altair Activate, read our review in the post titled Altair Activate: Systems Development Solution.

Democratization through Graphical Programming

Ultimately, this set of tools is meant for the controls engineer. The idea here is to democratize the development of embedded software to non-coders. The capability set of this solution is a good fit in that regard.

To that end, this tool was developed to be an easy-to-use graphical environment. Engineers can simply drag and drop components representing functions from a library into something akin to a logic diagram. They then connect those blocks to one another, driving the output of one block as the input for another block. Ultimately, this software model can auto-generate embedded software code. These capabilities are a big enabler for the democratization of control code for non-programmers.

Model-Based Development Support

Once the model is set up, you can run simulations that line up against the Model-in-the-Loop validation process. Once your software model is complete and you’ve generated software code, you can then run against a prototype processor as part of the Processor-in-the-Loop process. Likewise, you can run that code against your target electronic hardware as part of the Hardware-in-the-Loop process.

Note that supporting the Model-Based Development process means connecting these software representations to some model of the physical side of the product, which is enabled by Altair Activate. To learn more about Altair Activate, read our review in the post titled Altair Activate: Systems Development Solution.

Takeaways

The rate at which companies are putting software into products is outstripping their ability to hire programmers. That means you have to democratize the effort, at least to some level, to control engineers. Tools like Altair Embed provide the right capabilities to empower engineers to generate code in an automated way and validate their work with target electronic hardware by supporting Model-Based Development. Take a look here if your company is adding software to products quickly.

Chad Jackson is an Industry Analyst at Lifecycle Insights and publisher of the engineering-matters blog. With more than 15 years of industry experience, Chad covers career, managerial and technology topics in engineering. For more details, visit his profile.

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