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System Modeling Blog

26 Sep, 2011

IESF 2011 Moves to Frankfurt

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen If you plan to be in Frankfurt, Germany on November 17, mark your calendars for Mentor Graphics’ Automotive and Commercial Vehicles Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum (IESF). You’ll enjoy 26 industry sessions planned specifically for E/E design engineers, engineering managers, and executives in the automotive and commercial vehicle industries. This IESF event will be particularly interesting if your … Read More


16 Sep, 2011

Simulation Troubleshooting

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen

I’ve spent a fair amount of time recently troubleshooting a system simulation from a prospective customer. It’s always an interesting, and sometimes frustrating, process. Fixing simulations can be slow going work. Simulation error messages are often cryptic at best, and the customer’s system is sometimes based on a technology that I know little about. Despite these challenges, however,

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22 Aug, 2011

Qualities of VHDL-AMS Quantities

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen One of the most important things I’ve learned during my 20+ years working with simulation tools is simply this: my simulation results will only be as good as my models. While not a revolutionary concept, it’s none the less a fact of system simulation that anyone using a simulator in their design process knows. But there is an equally important companion principle: my model will only give me the … Read More

Mixed-Signal, IEEE 1076.1, Modeling

11 Aug, 2011

Military & Aerospace IESF 2011

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen Mentor Graphics’ Military & Aerospace Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum (IESF) 2011 is coming up fast on the calendar – Tuesday, September 13 in Long Beach, California. This is a companion event to our Automotive IESF 2011 held in Detroit, Michigan in early June. And just like the June event, Military & Aerospace IESF will be chock-full of technical content. The September 13 event focuses … Read More

IESF, Military, Aerospace, System Design

3 Aug, 2011

Touring Johnson Space Center

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen There are times in each of our lives when preparation and opportunity come together in a single moment for once in a lifetime experiences. Then there are times when dumb luck rules the day but produces the same result. I would like to say that I am regularly prepared to open the door when opportunity knocks, but more often than not I stumble into worthwhile opportunities, some of which truly are once … Read More

space program, engineering

25 Jul, 2011

Engineering versus Science

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen It’s college season in my home. My oldest son is soon off to medical school. My younger son just graduated from high school and will be off to college by summer’s end. It’s an exciting time to see your kids make decisions about their field of study and, ultimately, their profession and future. My oldest son majored in Biology to prepare himself for medical school. He enjoys science, as does my younger … Read More

science, engineering

29 Jun, 2011

System Reengineering

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen I’ve written before about the benefits of visiting customers to discuss their design challenges. If nothing else, I get a brief introduction to some really interesting mechatronic system applications and often learn about new ways to use system simulation tools. I recently visited a customer site as part of a Mentor Graphics sponsored Technology Day. During a typical Technology Day, Mentor Graphics … Read More


31 May, 2011

Mike Jensen Many mechatronic system capabilities depend on software as well as hardware. Hardware and software development methodologies, however, are quite often seperated within a company despite the obvious advantages of an integrated flow. In some ways, trying to combine hardware and software design into a single, integrated flow is much like trying to make a great salad dressing using oil and vinegar: getting … Read More

Hardware/software co-design, Add new tag, SystemVision conneXion, SystemVision SVX

23 May, 2011

Engine Remote Start

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen A few weeks ago I wrote a post titled Pushbutton Cars in which I lamented my experience with a rental car whose ignition was activated by a pushbutton, rather than a key in the ignition switch. I still don’t understand all the reasons for using the pushbutton, but I suppose it met some marketing requirement or design specification. Since I don’t see pushbuttons in many cars, it appears the idea … Read More


16 May, 2011

Integrated System Design

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen

All EDA companies share a common business objective: convincing customers to buy their tools over the competition. Among other marketing tasks, we search for graphics that best express the value of our tools, graphics that customers can look at and immediately understand. Having worked on many charts and graphs myself over the years, I’ll admit it’s not an easy job to find or develop just the right

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Modeling, Add new tag

9 May, 2011

Simulation Experiments (Part 3)

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen It’s time to continue my short series on simulation experiments. In Part 1 and Part 2 I discussed the basics of simulation experiments and general features of Experiment Manager, the SystemVision application for simplifying, executing, and managing simulation experiments. In this post I’ll use a simple motor driver example to illustrate the basics of Experiment Manager operation. Here is the circuit:                         Setting … Read More

System sensitivity, Experiment Manager

25 Apr, 2011

Automotive IESF 2011

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen

The next installment of Mentor Graphics’ Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum (IESF) is scheduled for June 2 in Detroit, Michigan. As I’ve mentioned before, we typically host two or three IESF events each year in different cities around the United States. Topics vary a bit, depending on the location, but all are chock-full of technical content. The June 2 event focuses on automotive design and

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18 Apr, 2011

Pushbutton Cars

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen I’ve mentioned before that I travel some on business. My business trips are usually pretty routine: catch a flight to some “exotic” destination, land and pickup a rental car, visit a customer or attend a Mentor Graphics meeting, spend the night in a hotel, eat fast food, then press the “repeat” button until it’s time to go home. Sometimes I’m on the road for a quick day trip; sometimes I’m away from … Read More


4 Apr, 2011

Mike Jensen This week I intended to continue my simulation experiments discussion (see Part 1 and Part 2) by introducing an example using Experiment Manager. But last week I watched a web seminar collaboration between folks from Mentor Graphics and Infolytica and thought you might find it interesting, particularly if your company’s systems contain motors. In the engineering tools software market there is a continuum … Read More

Mechatronics, motors, MotorSolve

29 Mar, 2011

Simulation Experiments (Part 2)

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen In my last blog post (Simulation Experiments (Part 1)) I introduced the topic of creating and running simulation experiments. As I mentioned, experiments are a way to ask system performance questions and get corresponding answers – nothing new here, since system modeling and simulation were developed specifically for this purpose. What is new, however, are methodologies developed to ask the questions, … Read More

Experiment Manager


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