Software Development

Pathway has worked on numerous software development projects, both in the Embedded domain as well as related to applications for the desktop, web, web services etc. Most of our projects have utilised resources on-and off-shore. Pathway has been involved in complete SDLC: from the requirements gathering, software architecture, design, development, and deployment to testing. Pathway has used tools appropriate for a given microprocessor. Some microprocessors support IDEs, while others provide a command line tools. Pathway has successfully used Gnu based make files for projects where the hardware was based on an Atmel microprocessor. Pathway has also used IDE's when appropriate to generate specific microprocessor based assembly code based on project requirements, and to build and debug custom hardware developed by Pathway or a third party.

Other Powertrain Program Experience

Pathway Engineers have worked on a several powertrain programs for conventional, Hybrid and Plugin-Hybrid vehicles over the last 11 years. Pathway has worked on these programs for both automotive passenger car segment and commercial vehicle/truck segment. Pathway's work in this area has resulted in 4 US Patents (approved) and 1 foreign patent (pending) in the area of controls for powertrain application for their clients.

All powertrain programs the Pathway team was involved in were executed for automotive Tier1 suppliers. As such, the standard V-model of embedded software development process was followed in most of these programs. Pathway has contributed to multiple stages of the V-model development process in most of these programs where some responsibilities were owned by the Tier1 supplier. Pathway's other powertrain experience spans work done in the following areas:

  1. Requirements analysis/development
  2. System modeling and simulation
  3. Optimization
  4. Control system design
  5. Rapid control prototyping using industry standard tools
  6. Embedded software development (Autocode generation and Handcoding) for production application
  7. Hardware-in-the-loop simulation and testing

Tools and Tool chains

    • Advisor, MATLAB/Simulink tool-chain
    • AMESim, MATLAB/Simulink/Stateflow/Optimization Toolbox, AnSoft
    • MATLAB, Simulink, Stateflow, Control System Design Toolbox, Simulink Control Design, Parameter Estimation Toolbox, System Identification Toolbox
    • MATLAB, Simulink (including C s-functions), Stateflow, Real-Time Workshop, xPC Target, xPC Target Embedded, Fixed Point Toolbox, OpenSim, RT-LAB
    • CANalyzer, OpenSim
    • MATLAB, Simulink, Stateflow, Real-Time Workshop, Embedded Coder, Embedded Targets for 32-bit ECUs (MPC5xx), Embedded Target for 16-bit ECUs (Infineon C16x), Fixed Point Toolbox
    • Pathway has worked with both 16-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers for powertrain applications. Some of the microcontrollers used and the associated IDEs and compiler used for production code development are listed below:
      • Freescale MPC555, MPC565: Windriver Codewarrior 8.1 for MPC5xx
      • Infineon XC16x, XC164CM: MacroVision IDE and KEIL 7.0 compiler for Infineon XC16x
      • Melexis MLX81200: GCC
    • Hardware-in-theLoop (HIL) testing using MATLAB/Simulink/Stateflow, xPC Target, OpenSim, HIL testing using RT-LAB & TestDrive with Python based scripting for test automation, etc

In addition to the above compilers, Pathway also develops a GCC based compiler toolbox for MATLAB/Simulink for use with MPC5xx family of processors. This product is called CompLink. Pathway is a MathWorks product partner for CompLink. CompLink is extensively used by Pathway customers with Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder and Target Support Package for FM5.

Matlab/Simulink Experience

We have developed and worked with hybrid powertrain vehicle models that have more than 2000 blocks for powertrain ECUs for hybrid vehicles. In addition, we have also developed version control software to manage powertrain ECU development processes for Tier 1 suppliers. In addition Pathway has contributed to several patents that were developed to improve power train control performance and vehicle performance. Pathway also has products OpenSim: ModelPartition and CompLink based on Matlab/Simulink toolboxes for Rapid Prototyping. Customers for our products include Eaton, Borg Warner, Boeing, Sikorsky, Phillips, Textron etc. The tool provides a monitoring interface for multiple xPC Target / and MPC 5xx systems where the applications were built using Matlab/Simulink models. The toolbox are part of the Matlab/Simulink installation. Pathway has current licenses for RealTime workshop, Embedded Coder, Target support Package, and xPC Target. In addition, Pathway has been involved in building a demo system for Mathworks using SimMechanics. In this demo pathway provided the hardware for controlling a robot arm demo system where the model was built using SimMechanics. We have multiple licenses with various toolboxes for product development and consulting.

Software Testing for Embedded Systems

Pathway SW testing strategy is based on multiple factors. For example, some projects that have CAN as one of the interfaces, Pathway would use CANALYZER to send and receive CAN messages. However, for one particular project using CAN, Pathway had developed a custom application in C# that uses Vector CAN hardware to test the very specific functionality of the device which helped reduce the cost of production testing. In testing ECUs based on the Motorola MPC5xx series, CANAPE was used for calibration when required by the client. Pathway also has a product that can be used for calibration/ and monitoring of signals based on CCP and other protocols supported by Matlab. In some of the projects, 5 simulators were built using C# for performing the complete testing of the system when some of the parts of the system were not available. If a new protocol/ methodology was involved, tools were built and used to test the functionality of the system, and these tools were reused to test the individual modules of a complete system. For example, the JCI RFID system required individual readers and a centralized system to collect all the information. A RFID device simulator and a central system simulator was built to test the concepts. Once the concept was successful, and the protocol verified, hardware and firmware was built. The RFID hardware and firmware was tested against the central system simulator, and the core application was tested with the device simulator. Once these tests passed successfully, the complete system was put together and tested.