Feasibility of MCU simulators for the qualification of safety critical code
Software testing by MCU simulation is not a mainstream technology in Europe. Possible reasons which are mentioned by e.g. automotive TIER1 companies include:
· Not all tests can be carried out on a simulator. If a real target has to be used anyway, an additional simulator test is usually not required.
· The companies already have powerful processes and tools in place, many of them based on agile methods, e.g. continuous integration and nightly build. It is not clear, how a tool like a MCU simulator can fit into such a scenario
Therefore, the main challenges seem to be the following:
1. Process related:
a. Show, if and how the such a tool can be integrated into a modern test environment.
b. Show, if and how the automation capabilities of the tool can be applied to bring added value to different test strategies, i.e. PC based, target based or MCU simulator based, e.g. by automatically creating new testcases after code modifications
2. Technology related:
a. Proof the validity of the core simulation
b. Show, how unit tests for complex safety modules using hardware safety support (e.g. MPU, SMU,…) can be performed.
c. Show, how special hardware features like trap-handling and hardware units like the SMU can be simulated