Automotive Electronics

Softing TCS – The Configurable Diagnostic Simulation

Configurable diagnostic simulation as a replacement for real ECUs or vehicles. 

Softing TCS is the diagnostic simulation for all cases where no ECU or vehicle is available, for example for test preparation, regression testing or in training and teaching facilities.

Areas of Application

  • Test preparation in engineering, testing and manufacturing
  • Tester and production system release test
  • Tester regression tests
  • Recording of bus traces

Functions & Advantages

  • Development of tests even before the ECU is available
  • Clear management of variants with archiving of simulation files
  • Verification of the entire communication path
  • High test quality thanks to various configuration possibilities
  • Best-case and worst-case tests
  • Modification and exchange of the simulation via programming interface


Frontloading in test preparation 

Creating test sequences is often challenging along the entire value chain: The ECU required as a test counterpart is missing. But particularly in the test environment, the test methodology should be developed at an early stage to run function tests as soon as the ECUs are available. Which means it is useful if the test sequences are already available and tested. This is simple with Softing TCS because test sequences can already be verified during ECU development. The entire communication path, including VCI and cabling, is tested to exclude all sources of error. 

Tester regression tests – without changing ECUs 

Software updates at regular intervals ensure that diagnostic testers are assigned all the latest functions. The ECUs required for a regression test must be available in entirety and in all variants to be able to ensure sufficient test coverage. As this is usually impossible, a simulation is the required solution. With the simulation, it is easy to select ECUs and ECU variants: All you have to do is exchange simulation files in the unit. You can take care of this manually using the intuitively operable graphic user interface or conveniently in test automation with the automation interface. 

Teaching resources 

Training employees is important – within the setup at OEMs, but also and especially for repair shop employees. Various vehicles of different brands are regularly required for this purpose. A simulation is a great help when it is difficult to obtain such vehicles or keep them on hand. A simulation file matching the desired model is simply imported into the simulation and the diagnosis can then be studied – in the training room and without having to use a car hoist.


Manual Creation 

For all use cases, there are suitable methods for creating simulation files fast and easily. The full range of functions can be accessed via manual creation with the help of the integrated simulation editor. Expected tester requests are assigned the correct (simulated) responses in each case. Wildcards can be used in the request to be able to deal more easily with structurally identical requests. The timing of the respective replies can be set for the responses. In addition, simple chains of reaction are possible. For example, responses can be sent multiple times to represent cyclic services. It is also possible to send the first set response when sending a request for the first time, the second one when sending the second request, and so on. This makes it possible to simulate many special cases of diagnostic communication, even with negative responses, in a simple way. 

Creation from ODX 

In test preparation, creation using ODX data has proven to be an efficient way to simulate. ODX represents the diagnostic specification so that matching pairs of request and response can easily be compiled using service parameter values. Input errors are thus prevented. However, in Expert mode, the input of non-specified variables is allowed in order to be able to test how the tester reacts to incorrect responses from the ECU. The automatic creation of simulations from ODX data is also possible. The services to be simulated are selected and the way in which the simulation is to be created is specified for requests and responses. Generation then takes place at the touch of a button. 

Importing Traces 

For regression tests, it has proven useful to record the real communication between the tester and the ECU or vehicle whenever you have access. It is then simple to generate the simulation from the stored traces using Softing TCS.admin. The generated simulation files can be activated manually via the user interface as well as via the automation interface in the simulation. The trace can be recorded with an external application – such as Softing DTS or Softing TDX. It is also possible directly in the TCS user interface. 


All creation methods can be combined and flow into a simulation. This is how it is possible, for example, to take an existing simulation from TestCUBE as a basis, integrate the trace of a diagnostic session and then add the diagnostic services not used in the process via the ODX Editor . 

Softing TCS.adminConfiguration and management application for diagnostic simulation
Softing TCS.deviceHardware for diagnostic simulation as a replacement for real ECUs or vehicles
Softing TCS.testbenchProgramming interface for integrating Softing TCS.device into automation solutions