Chad Jackson

CATIA Stimulus and The Value It Provides To Embedded Systems Developers

May 23, 2022

To talk about CATIA (computer-aided three-dimensional interactive application) stimulus, it’s important that we have context. Let’s start with the basics. A product or sensor is instrumented with sensors. These sensors provide readings to the embedded systems developers feeding the control software, it is processed. Certain commands are then sent to the physical actuator components based …

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CATIA Stimulus and The Value It Provides To Embedded Systems Developers

To talk about CATIA (computer-aided three-dimensional interactive application) stimulus, it’s important that we have context. Let’s start with the basics. A product or sensor is instrumented with sensors. These sensors provide readings to the embedded systems developers feeding the control software, it is processed. Certain commands are then sent to the physical actuator components based on interaction with the sensors. This represents the most fundamental aspect of an embedded system, it’s a closed loop. A good example would be an antilock braking system.

You have sensors that ask, “is the car skidding?” Then there is the control software that processes the information and triggers a response. If it detects that there is skidding it actuates the breaks to pump them. To bring the car back to its operational model the sensors re-ask and continue tracking the response. What role does CATIA stimulus play in this process?

Let’s talk about that in general, these embedded systems progress through states. First there is a logic model. The basic if/then statements represent the logic of the software that you want to develop. Then you develop the code. You compile it and run physical tests.

Now going from one phase to another, in this development process, there typically isn’t carry-over that can be reused. It is a process of throwing things over the wall and starting over. This process could take two weeks.

Today’s schedules are so compressed, especially on the software end of things. Developers don’t have real hardware a long time to use for testing, Developers have time-limited with the target electronic hardware.

That’s where the pain is in this process. It’s where CATIA stimulus can help address the fundamentals of development. What the CATIA stimulator does is provides stimulus into your control software. Observers to actually watch the commands that come back out of that software can be set up and watched.

There are two components in the CATIA stimulus on the input. The sensor readings and watching what comes back out of that control software. Now here’s what is interesting about CATIA. The stimulation or perturbation, and the observation capabilities are reusable.

You can apply them against a logic model. You can apply them against compiled code and sensor readings. During a physical test, you’re going to be coming from the actual physical sensors. So you don’t need that perturbation, but you can have an observer that watches the commands that are coming out as the sensor readings change.

The capabilities of CATIA stimulus help to identify problems and debug them. That is significant. We talked earlier about throwing things over the wall and starting over during each of these phases. If you’re able to reuse capabilities, then observe, it helps you debug in each phase without starting over.

You can reuse the same thing in each of these other phases and that accelerates the cycle. It lets you identify problems earlier so that you can fix them. That’s a big part, making sure embedded control systems work properly. That is a major advantage that comes with CATIA Stimulus.

It is different from TM magic, which is their MBSE solution. It is completely separate, and it has its own value proposition, and it’s a pretty strong one. We’ll explore more soon.

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