System interoperability is a major issue and continual challenge in military and aerospace (mil/aero) applications. Electronic components and solutions from various vendors must all work together. The same is true of legacy versus modern systems.
Many industry pundits in the mil/aero community have long compared the challenge to trying to have a 50-year-old communicate effectively with a newborn—they just don’t speak the same language.
The downturned global economy brought with it the necessity for considerable budget cuts. Perhaps justifiably, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) turned sights away from multi-billion-dollar programs to bring about new platforms (such as Future Combat Systems, or FCS) toward reinvestment in currently fielded aircraft, vehicles, ships, and the like. Retrofits and modernization was and continues to be the focus; yet, the obstacle remains: How do you get electronics inside a 50-year-old tank or aircraft to talk to brand new, oftentimes commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components? Like grandfather and grandbaby, they generally don’t communicate easily—or at least, not without some effort or investment. The same is true of disparate electronics.
EDA technology firm Mentor Graphics provides SystemVision to ease this burden. Mentor and other EDA companies, thankfully, deliver tools that enable engineers from multiple disciplines and electronics from multiple decades to model individual and end-to-end systems virtually—and not only model, but test and verify.
Mentor’s SystemVision provides engineers with a virtual lab for the design and analysis of analog, mixed signal, digital, and electro-mechanical designs. This capability is not only effective, but also fosters an environment of “first-pass success,” according to Mentor Graphics. This geek loves the virtual lab–especially given the typical geek’s tendency to blow things up (expensive things) in the actual lab.