FMI Version 1.0 released: a standard for exchange of simulation models
Jan 28, 2010. Version 1.0 of the “FMI Standard for Model Exchange” has been relased today. FMI lets simulation models be exchanged, configured, put-together, and simulated without access to the source code of the models, and without enforcing any one specific tool for producing or simulating the models. As such, FMI is a help for building cross-organization system simulation models. FMI will reduce the cost of simulation driven engineering by standardizing the model exchange format, for instance among suppliers and OEMs.
Standards for putting together industrial components and sub-systems had (and have) a crucial impact on low-cost and reliable engineering and production. Why not have standards for putting together also simulation models of those components and subsystems? Currently models developed with differing tools, e.g. by differing teams and organizations, are difficult, if not impossible, to exchange – the costs of building system simulations are often very high… This affects not only the costs of simulation-driven engineering, but the costs of egineering itself, because existing potentials cannot be exploited.
Using the FMI, simulation models can be developed using one tool, and exported as binary (DLL) or as C source to any other tool that supports the FMI standard. This is expected to greatly simplify the creation and use of ‘virtual product models’ used to develop and validate software-controlled aggregates, such as hybrid drive trains or driver-assistances systems.
To give an example: tire models from a tire supplier (developed with their preferred tool T), put together with hydraulic models from hydraulic sub-system supplier (developed with their tool H), power-train models developed in-house and / or controller code, etc. can be put together in a system simulation done with some other tool. This is what FMI should enable.
The specification has been defined by a team of experts from DLR, Dynasim, ITI, and QTronic as part of the ITEA2 project Modelisar. The FMI will be supported by forthcoming releases of AMESim, Dymola, SimulationX, Silver, and SIMPACK. We hope, other simulation tool vendors will follow and support the initiative.
Silver 2.0, to be relased in May 2010, will implement the FMI standard: models that implement the FMI can be simulated and tested in Silver together with other models and / or controller code from Simulink, RTW, TargetLink, ASCET, C, Python and others.