ESI Group EMPHYSIS – The Missing Link Between Digital Simulation and Embedded Software
ESI Group (Paris:ESI):
The research project EMPHYSIS led by Bosch has delivered the new “eFMI standard” for model exchange to accelerate the model-based development of embedded software. On the 15th of September, this international collaborative project gathering 25 industrial and academic partners from different fields (like automotive and information technologies) situated in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, and Sweden received the ITEA Award of Excellence for this unique achievement.
Better code with less effort through “eFMI” - the new model-exchange standard for embedded devices
When developing a new function, many engineers learn the hard way that their outstanding knowledge about the physics of their products is not enough by far to develop a function for an embedded target, due to the demanding requirements of safety-critical software, weak CPU magnitude and less memory than expected. While this might result in a never-to-be-realised excellent initial idea of operating and controlling their product in a much smarter way, at the same time it reveals the need for a link between digital simulation of physical processes and embedded software.
The aim of the EMPHYSIS project (Embedded Systems with Physical Models in the Production Code Software), led by Bosch, was to jointly come up with a new open standard that lays the foundation to develop new innovative tools. This that allows model-based functions to be realized directly in embedded software with better code and less effort. For this purpose, the project carried forward the idea of the very successful Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) model exchange standard for simulation to develop FMI for embedded systems - the new “eFMI standard”. This enables a wide variety of advanced model-based approaches for control and diagnosis, such as solving a set of differential equations to compute a signal instead of measuring it via a sensor. By allowing a hardware sensor to be replaced with a piece of software, we significantly reduce the total cost.
« The EMPHYSIS project has achieved several outstanding results such as the automatic generation of efficient code for embedded devices. It shows the power of collaborative research projects to drive the adoption of a new standard and to generate significant productivity gains for the industry. »
– Jean-François Lavignon, ITEA Vice-chairman
The technical deep dive and benefits
Technically speaking, eFMI is innovative in that it provides a target-independent intermediate format defined by an entirely new language, the Guarded Algorithmic Language for Embedded Control: GALEC. This new programming language is able to guarantee that an algorithm described in this language can be translated into code that has: