In recent years, the automotive industry has seen a rapid increase in the “on-board electronics content” of vehicles. Such technology has given rise to ever increasing levels of safety, comfort and performance in this high production-volume industry. Cost considerations require that most on-board electronics be implemented on fixed-point processors. As companies look to extract more (performance) for less (implementation costs & lead time) the job of designing on-board fixed-point application software is becoming more and more challenging.This paper discusses the use of fixed-point design tools that were recently introduced in the MATRIXx® product family. These tools feature a high-performance fixed-point simulator, and a kit of interactive tools that enable engineers to study signal ranges and overflow/underflow conditions. Tools to perform trade-off studies between performance and fixed-point attributes are also discussed. The design example also illustrates the use of the MATRIXx/ AutoCode™ product to automatically generate target specific fixed-point application software.