Saber for Automotive Systems: Advancing Robust Design Flow

Synopsys Editorial Staff

Aug 07, 2023 / 4 min read

Saber Accelerates Robust Design

Successful automotive designs require systematic methods to meet aggressive performance goals and compressed schedules.

saber accelerates robust design

Saber is used to design and verify the interaction of multiple technologies (electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, magnetic, software, etc.). Designers create virtual prototypes of the system, including the wire harness, to reduce the number of design iterations and hardware prototypes. Far more tests and design variations are possible in this environment compared to hardware prototyping. Through a Robust Design methodology, system performance is immunized against variance in parameters. These methods have proven to reduce design cycle time and maximize performance and reliability. 

Hybrid-Electric Vehicle

Reliable vehicle operation depends on successful integration and verification of all drivetrain component interactions under varying operational and environmental conditions. Given the extraordinary complex nature of hardware and software controls in drivetrain design, engineers use Robust Design methods to characterize and verify the interaction of mechatronic systems. Saber's comprehensive modeling, simulation, and analysis capabilities are applied to improve system performance, reduce cost, and maximize reliability of these critical systems.

SAE Technical Paper: Modeling and Simulation of Hybrid Electric Vehicle Power Systems

Saber Advantages:

  • Improve the complete design by analyzing at the system, sub-system, or vehicle level
  • Save time and eliminate errors by using models from an industry proven components library
  • Optimize cost, performance, and reliability with advanced stress, sensitivity, and statistical analyses
  • Model complete mechatronic systems using industry standard VHDL-AMS & MAST® languages
  • Test the complete system earlier with hardware/software co-simulation
  • Increase analysis throughput with distributed simulations across multiple CPUs

Wire Harness / Electric System Design

The wire harness forms the backbone of the entire electrical system of automotive and aerospace vehicles. The correct and reliable implementation of the wire harness represents one of the most expensive and technically challenging aspects of vehicle systems design. Saber Harness provides proven design and verification capabilities in conjunction with the Saber Simulator to create correct-by-design wire harnesses. Designers can create schematic drawings and connectivity diagrams, export component and wire data, import geometry information from MCAD tools, simulate electrical functions, create bundles with connector positions and generate data for manufacturing – all within an easy-to-use design tool.

Article: Volvo Adopts Synopsys' Saber Harness for Automotive Platform Designs

Saber Advantages:

  • Analyze electrical systems before layout and manufacturing to avoid system failure in production
  • Provides an integrated data flow for electrical system design from concept to manufacturing
  • Minimizes data entry and manual checking tasks, automates data processing steps while maintaining data integrity
  • Integrate with popular 3D CAD tools (Catia V5, UGS, Pro/E)
  • Supports team and concurrent engineering working methods, saving valuable design time and maintaining data integrity
  • Verify hardware/software interaction with co-simulation
  • Provides an easy-to-use design editor

Functional Safety/ISO 26262

Saber’s Functional Safety solution enables engineers to investigate thousands of fault-effects which can’t be handled using traditional methods such as prototyping. The high-level fault-effect coverage and efficiency in fault-effect simulation are achieved by automating the analysis and result validation in the Saber-products.

ISO 26262 strongly recommends simulation for system-level and hardware-level verification. SaberRD and SaberES Designer are ISO 26262 certified and support Functional Safety by Fault Effect Analysis. 

Saber Advantages:

  • Investigation of fault effects and fault mitigation in a virtual way
  • Automation of simulation and validation of fault-behavior
  • Boost simulation throughput by Multicore- and Grid-computing support
  • Enables the development/verification of safety mechanism
  • Proving robustness of safety mechanism by taking into account of component tolerances, temperature dependencies, aging-effects, parameter-drifts, stress-levels


As electronic content in vehicles increases, so do the challenges in meeting this rising energy demand on the power network. Designers must create efficient power generation and distribution systems that perform with flawless reliability.

Design teams use Robust Design methodologies to manage complex energy generation and distribution problems, such as designing an alternator charging system or taking into account system and environmental variations that affect performance. Saber's comprehensive simulation, modeling resources, and analysis capabilities enable design teams to deploy Robust Design methods to meet the challenges of powernet design.

SAE Technical Papers:

Software Test and Calibration Using Virtual Manufacturing (General Motors)

Model Based Design of Robust Vehicle Power Networks (Jaguar Land Rover)

Saber Advantages:

  • Accurately size system components to match energy generation with corresponding consumption
  • Eliminate surprises in power network loading and distribution through early verification
  • Test the complete system earlier with hardware/software co-simulation
  • Save time and eliminate errors with industry-proven power model libraries
  • Enable design portability using industry standard VHDL-AMS and MAST languages
  • Maximize reliability with advanced sensitivity, statistical, and fault analyses
  • Increase analysis throughput with distributed simulations across multiple CPUs

In-Vehicle Networking

Advances in automotive design have been propelled by dramatic increases in electronic systems content. Numerous electronic systems must communicate with each other over a complex network which often contains multiple communication protocols, such as CAN, LIN, and FlexRay standards. These complexities add significant challenges to verifying the physical network layer.

With a traditional prototyping approach it is impossible to build enough prototypes to adequately test even the most important variations of a network design. Virtual prototyping through simulation has become the proven solution for verifying data network reliability. Saber provides the comprehensive simulation and analyses capabilities needed to apply Robust Design methodologies to in-vehicle networks and ensure reliability.

SAE Technical Papers:

An Automated Model Based Design Flow for the Design of Robust FlexRay™ Networks (C&S)
Development of the Physical Layer and Signal Integrity Analysis of FlexRay™ Design Systems(U. of Applied Sciences)

Saber Advantages:

  • Verify network concepts and topologies early in the development cycle
  • Analyze specific network variants (min vs. max number of ECUs)
  • Save time and eliminate errors with industry proven IVN libraries
  • Include wire characteristics to analyze possible topology extensions
  • Enable design portability with VHDL-AMS & MAST language standards
  • Maximize reliability with advanced sensitivity, statistical, and fault analyses
  • Increase analysis throughput with distributed simulations across multiple CPUs (grid computing)

Scalable SoC Verification

Verify the entire SoC with industry-leading VCS® simulation, Verdi® debug, VC SpyGlass™ RTL static signoff, VC Formal™ Apps, and silicon-proven Verification.

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