Electronic Design

Modeling/Simulation Tool Gets Physical

Released in a pilot version, Maplesoft’s MapleSim is a high-performance multi-domain modeling and simulation tool that’s expected to reduce the time taken to bring products to market by using physical modeling techniques.

In MapleSim, a high-end symbolic computing engine, Maple, comes together with traditional numeric solvers to enhance the simulation and modeling process. While traditional techniques can make modeling of even simple systems arduous and time consuming, MapleSim enables users to simply recreate a system diagram on a screen; the equations of the model are automatically generated. This can result in savings of anywhere from weeks to months in the modeling process, it’s claimed.

MapleSim is said to offer numerous advantages over traditional tools. Specifically:

  • MapleSim allows users to mix physical components with traditional signal-flow blocks
  • The model diagram looks like the real system being modeled
  • Multi-domain models are easily assembled from pre-built components
  • Units management removes potential conversion and consistency errors
  • Live design documentation captures the analysis behind the model
  • Systems of equations representing the model are automatically generated
  • Complex models are automatically simplified using sophisticated symbolic techniques

Physical modeling, or physics-based modeling, is the process of modeling the dynamic behavior of a system mathematically. Traditionally, this task required significant manual effort to derive equations and manipulate them into a form that could be used by signal-flow simulation tools that employ a block-diagram paradigm. The block diagrams are more complex, harder to produce, and do not resemble the original system representation.

With the physical modeling techniques in MapleSim, users can recreate a system diagram on a screen using compact and intuitive components that represent a physical model, making it easier to build and understand. MapleSim has more than 500 components from over 10 domains such as electrical, mechanical, control design, and thermal, organized into easy-to-navigate palettes.

With MapleSim, mathematical equations that represent a model are automatically generated, saving weeks, sometimes even months, on complex applications. The equations are also simplified automatically, yielding concise models and high-speed simulations of sophisticated systems.

Maple’s symbolic computation technology is at the core of MapleSim. Unlike purely numeric computation, symbolic technology can convert a physical system representation directly into mathematical equations. Models created in this way are very concise and do not rely on iterative numeric routines to solve. This provides the best simulation performance without generating errors typical of manual derivations.

MapleSim is now available in its pilot version. Pilot users test and provide feedback on product features. Users are encouraged to sign up for the pilot program at www.maplesoft.com/products/maplesim.


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