A Unique Notation to Specify Software Behavior
Esterel had its beginnings in 1984, when Jean-Paul Marmorat and Jean-Paul Rigault — two French researchers in Control Theory and Computer Science at the Ecole des Mines de Paris — were designing a robotic car. Marmorat and Rigault were frustrated in their attempts to express control algorithms in a natural and powerful way, so they invented an original, mathematically defined formal notation that would allow them to control the car.
Soon this naturalistic control language, named for a mountain in France, attracted the attention of other academics and research organizations. The Esterel programming language began to evolve into a rigorous discipline, with formal semantics and a first generation of code generation and formal verification tools that were created by Gérard Berry. Simulog, a French software company, developed a prototype version of the Esterel toolset for commercial use and, by 1998, these programming tools had been used by AT&T Bell Labs, Bertin, Dassault Aviation and Thomson CSF (now Thales). In 1999, Esterel Technologies was formally launched as a spin-off of Simulog.
Bringing Together World-Class Solutions
After the launch of this first-generation software, Esterel executives began a process of strategic acquisitions that added critical capabilities to the company’s increasingly robust software modeling toolkit. In 2001, Esterel acquired the SCADE business unit from Telelogic and incorporated SCADE® software into its growing product family. Telelogic had developed SCADE for its safety-critical accounts, and the software had its roots in nuclear plant design and flight control systems design. By 2005, Esterel had expanded the SCADE branding to encompass all of its model-based development tools dedicated to critical embedded software.
In 2006, Esterel acquired new software from Thales Avionics that was branded SCADE Display®. This technology acquisition would enable engineers developing graphical displays to design, verify and automatically generate code for cockpit and dashboard display systems, as well as other display-based systems for industrial applications.
In 2009, Esterel created a joint laboratory with the French Atomic Energy Commission Laboratory for Industrial Systems, called LISTEREL. This collaborative laboratory developed new system architecture modeling tools that were branded SCADE System®.
In 2011, Esterel introduced its SCADE LifeCycle® product line to help system and software developers manage the produced artifacts — including certification plans, documentation and metrics — across the entire life cycle of smart products. Managing this life cycle, which can span up to 50 years in some industries, represents a key challenge for many organizations.
With these strategic acquisitions and technology transfers, Esterel Technologies established itself as the leading provider of critical systems and software development solutions for a diverse range of customers in the aerospace, defense, rail transportation, nuclear and manufacturing industries. Headquartered in Elancourt, France, Esterel includes eight direct sales offices around the globe in the USA, UK, France, Germany, China, Russia, India and Brazil. Esterel also has a large network of channel partners.
Today, more than 230 top-tier global companies in 27 countries rely on Esterel’s proprietary SCADE solutions suite to capture systems architecture and model embedded software in an extremely high-fidelity virtual environment.