IBM and General Motors put on a dog and pony show to demonstrate how IBM's software powers the new Chevy 2011 Volt electric cars.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.-IBM and
General Motors have announced that IBM's software and simulation tools helped
GM engineers design and develop the software
in the advanced control systems on the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, which was designed and engineered in
just 29 months.
According to a press release describing the
collaboration, GM is
usingIBM's sophisticated design and simulation software as part of its suite of
product development software tools, allowing GM to improve time to market by
responding to ever-changing consumer demands.
GM engineers used IBM products to develop some of the electronic
controls for the vehicle's battery system, electric drive unit and cabin
electronics. The Volt's propulsion system required the design of an
unprecedented "system of systems,
centered on software that seamlessly integrates the Volt's 16kWh lithium-ion
battery pack with its highly sophisticated electric drive system."
Daniel Sabbah, general manager of IBM's Rational tools division, has long
talked about IBM's ability to deliver "a system of
systems" to help its customers deliver more complete solutions.
At an event demonstrating the new Volt's capabilities here, IBM officials
said Big Blue is helping GM standardize its vehicle design on fewer
software tools and a common, collaborative design process, further enabling
global engineering teams to work more effectively and seamlessly. IBM Rational software tools were used
to help GM engineers model the interactions of the Volt's embedded systems,
helping to increase the quality and efficiency in developing this unprecedented
systems approach. IBM software is also used by GM engineers around the world to
help manage change throughout the product development process, enabling
"IBM is focused on providing our clients with higher value
capabilities that enables them to transform the way they develop and design not
just the products they deliver, but innovate in the markets in which they
compete" Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of Middleware Software at IBM, said in a statement. "The
Volt represents the convergence of the manufacturing and digital environments
that are at the core of building smarter products."
addition, IBM supercomputers and simulation software were used to put the Volt
battery packs through the paces, proving their safety and durability over
nearly three years of validation testing of their nine modules and 288 cells, IBM said. The supercomputers and simulation
tools provided the high performance computing needed by test teams to meet
thousands of specifications and validate each of the Volt battery's 161
components, while supporting tests in several areas, including short circuit,
corrosion, dust, impact, water submersion, crush and penetration, and extreme
and controls are a key differentiator, and have significant value in driving
vehicle development and providing unique solutions to our customers, especially
in vehicles as advanced as the Chevrolet Volt," said Micky Bly, GM's executive director
of Global Electrical Systems, Hybrids, Electric Vehicles and Batteries, in a statement. "We must have the ability
to deliver innovative electronics and software faster than our competitors, and
that requires us to develop our vehicles with a set of world-class software
processes and tools."
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.