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Since modern systems are getting more complex, especially on the software side, it has become more critical than ever to carry out comprehensive and reliable design verification activities. The solution to be developed for validation tests is expected to be comprehensive and reliable. It is also important to consider that it does not create any additional burden in terms of cost or running tests. The last but not the least, the solution to be provided in this way should have the flexibility to be updated in parallel with the project requirements.

Since traditional test methods have difficulty meeting all these expectations, new methods have been developed. Thanks to the solutions offered as Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) testing today, it is possible to verify control systems in real time without a need for the final product.

HIL test technique can be summarized as the verification of a controller with a test system, which is connected to the controller, including the embedded software and real signal interfaces; and the test technique simulates its operational environment over a model, including the relevant signal conditioning hardware.

What’s HIL? Why could one need it?
What’s HIL? Why could one need it?

Depending on the complexity of the hardware to be tested and the level of fidelity required to simulate the entire system, HIL simulators can vary in size, computing power, complexity and cost. A typical HIL system includes a rack-like structure containing a real-time target computer with I/O cards and signal conditioner cards, and a standard host PC with distributed I/O points connected by one or more communication buses.

The quality of the simulation software is extremely important for the HIL test to be a meaningful test. Simulation software must be paired with hardware that not only takes into account system features such as connector type, input-output interfaces, but also allows for the ability to add bugs and test real-world scenarios. This is where one will feel compelled to choose which hardware and software to use to ensure maximum test coverage while minimizing time spent on system setup and availability.

In addition, in order to keep up with changing requirements, a solution will often be needed that will also offer customizable and future-expandable infrastructure. HIL solutions can meet this.

What’s HIL? Why could one need it?