Semiconductor Engineering’s Jeff Dorsch has penned a piece on hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation and testing, positioning it as having “a growing role” in the world of embedded system design.

“Embedded electronics are showing up nearly everywhere these days, in cars, smart appliances, medical devices—even fighter jets. Making sure those real-time embedded systems will work correctly is the aim of hardware-in-the-loop simulation and testing, which puts the systems through their paces in a virtual environment,” Jeff explains. “In effect, HIL simulation adds a mathematical representation of all functional areas within a system.

“HIL is just one piece of the testing that is required. There also is built-in self-test, system-level test, in-circuit monitoring, automated test for chips, testing of software, as well as an increasing amount of pre- and post-production simulation to ensure that systems such as the AI logic in autonomous vehicles continue to work as expected. Still, HIL has a growing role here, which may seem surprising considering that hardware in the loop testing and simulation are not new concepts. They have been actively deployed for at least a couple of decades. What’s changing is the complexity of the systems being simulated and tested is growing, there is an increasing focus on divide-and-conquer approaches, and the devices being used to test them are shrinking in size.”

The full article, which includes input from Astronci’s Anil Bhalla, National Instruments’ Doug Farrell, and Vector’s John Simion, can be found over on Semiconductor Engineering now.