ASAM Expands its Business Activities towards Professionally Developed Open-Source Software with ASAM XIL 2.0
Open-source software has become increasingly popular in the B2B area in recent years. The development work is typically carried out by a community of corporate volunteers. This model saves cost but professional support is not always guaranteed, quality of the developed software varies and documentation is typically of lesser concern.
With ASAM XIL V2.0, ASAM refines this model by offering open-source software without jeopardizing quality and professional support: ASAM contracts out the software development to a professional software firm, which also provides technical support to its users. Software quality assurance is carried out by the firm according to industry standards and verified by the experts of the standard development group. ASAM bears the costs and makes the software publicly available together with the standard. The standard serves as comprehensive documentation for the API. Simon Preis, Executive Director of ASAM e.V. states: “Offering open-source software creates substantial savings for our members and the users of our standard. Our concept for open-source makes sure that the software is kept stable and synchronized with the standard over a long period of time. All this secures the investment that users make when integrating the software into their products.” ASAM intends to further pursue this concept of professionally developed open-source software for other standards in the future.
The ASAM XIL standard decouples test automation tools and test benches through setting an API standard, which allows users to select tools and test hardware from different vendors without major system integration efforts. This is achieved through a sophisticated API that provides port-based communication to the simulation model, ECU data (parameters, variables and diagnostics), electrical error simulation and the ECU network. The API is capable to map and convert different physical dimensions, units and data types of signals within a XIL-system, so that tests can be reused without major migration efforts.
The standard comes with a C# source code library, which contains open-source software that can be used by tool vendors to implement the ASAM XIL API. It covers 484 methods of the standard API, mostly methods that are not hardware-dependent and are considered as non-competitive by tool-vendors. Provided methods are data access functions, unit and data type conversion, reading mapping files, mathematical operations and more.
The source code consists of 8662 lines of code and has been professionally developed by M&K GmbH under the supervision of ASAM and the standard development group. The source code constitutes a standard-compliant implementation of the API. Members of ASAM can download the standard with the source code and integrate it into their products and projects. Non-members may purchase the standard. In both cases, the use of software is royalty-free.
XIL-systems provide a simulated, external environment for the unit under test. They are typically used in the automotive industry to test controllers in the loop with the controlled system. Most frequent implementations of XIL-systems are HIL (Hardware-in-the-Loop), which allow to test ECUs in a simulated environment in real-time. Other implementations of XIL-systems are PIL (Processor-in-the-Loop), SIL (Software-in-the-Loop) and MIL (Model-in-the-Loop).
Main contributors to the standard are (in alphabetical order):
AUDI AG, AVL List GmbH, Berner & Mattner Systemtechnik GmbH, BMW AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, Continental Automotive GmbH , D2T, Daimler AG, dSPACE GmbH, ETAS GmbH, HORIBA Automotive Test Systems GmbH, M&K Mess- und Kommunikationstechnik GmbH, MBtech Group GmbH & Co. KGaA, National Instrument Corporation, RA-Consulting GmbH, Softing Automotive Electronics GmbH, TraceTronic GmbH, Vector Informatik GmbH.
ASAM e. V.
ASAM e.V. coordinates the development of technical standards. These standards define protocols, data models, file formats and application programming interfaces (APIs) for the use in the development and testing of automotive electronic control units. A large amount of popular tools in the areas of simulation, measurement, calibration and test automation are compliant to ASAM standards. Compliance shall guarantee interoperability of tools from different vendors, allow data exchange without the need for converters, and facilitate the exchange of unambiguous specification between customers and suppliers.
Founded in 1998 as a German association, ASAM has today more than 140 international members, including major OEMs in Germany, France, USA, Japan, and China. ASAM has a portfolio of 22 standards among them the well established MCD (measuring, calibration, diagnostics)-standards with a market distribution of up to 80% worldwide. The infrastructural standards of ASAM are used by many of the big international OEMs.