March 18th, 2013 by
By Andy The
Simulation is has been around for a long time and it’s getting a lot of well-deserved attention these days.
The axiom “measure twice and cut once” can be applied to both the simplest and the most complex of designs. In complex systems, software simulation is “measuring” and the hardware integration is the “cutting”. Whether you are using simulation tools to model complex mechanical systems, or using the simulators to generate starter code based on models, there are clear benefits from using a powerful simulation environment.
Simulation enables rapid prototyping and re-iterations without the risk of danger or loss of life. You also have the ability to speed up to show long-term effects or slow down to closely observe detailed interactions.
Of course, simulation is only as good as the models that are used to simulate. And building an accurate model can be difficult and time consuming because you have to measure all of the inputs, and understand how they affect one another.
Still, the effort is worthwhile because once you have a model; you can reuse it in all future designs. This allows you to focus on only the new portions of the design where all the unknowns exist.
Simply put, simulation mitigates risk by greatly reducing the number unknowns at the end of the design cycle. This mitigated risk helps insure an on-time or even an early product delivery.