Through its acquisition of Esterel Technologies, ANSYS adds the SCADE Suite to its simulation portfolio, a design environment that enables software and systems engineers to design and simulate embedded software within a seamless workflow. (Source: Esterel Technologies)
Beth, it looks like Esterel's SCADE Suite may include an IDE (integrated development environment) for embedded software, is that right? And it also looks like ANSYS wants to combine that with its simulation capabilities. Is this the first such combination?
That appears to be the case, Ann. I know of a lot of CAD vendors buying embedded software platforms (PTC's acquisition of MKS Integrity) and others adding embedded software capabilities and integration of such programs into their suites, but this is the first time I've seen a similar step by a pure CAE vendor. Perhaps I'm missing something so if I am, someone feel free to set me straight.
I've written about embedded software (and hardware) before, but I'm sure not the expert in this area. I wouldn't be surprised if this combination is a first, yet you'd think it would have happened by now, considering how long IDEs for embedded have been around and how long ago embedded hardware became ubiquitous. Anyway, it sure makes sense!
The embedded market is sorely in need of this. Today, it's said that embedded software development accounts for 70-80% of the development cost of a project. Also, it's said that the costs are $20-$40 per line of code. That means the development cost of an embedded product with a million lines of code could be $20 to $40 million. Given those numbers, anything that streamlines embedded software development is going to be welcome.
The bigger picture reason for all this, beyond a big market opportunity and beyond more tools to facilitate embedded software design, is systems engineering. As Chuck says, more and more products (not just cars--but they're the poster child for this) are incorporating code. Some have more software code than mechanical parts. That said, engineers can no longer afford to do embedded software design in systems that aren't connected to their other core development tools like MCAD and its related CAE stuff. ANSYS' move is designed to address that need for integrated systems, not siloes, and to foster a broader systems engineering approach to product design, particularly when it comes to simulation.
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