Embedded Software Development is a tough nut to crack – not just because of the development complexities but also for the safety concerns that underline it. Concerns like cost reduction and efficiency improvement are essential, but there are too many unresolved puzzles that outline the aisle the embedded software technology, more so because it is deeply associated with the automation, aviation, and the electronic product industry.
With the rapid growth of embedded software in the last 60 years, the complexities have increased immensely. Although there are certain hurdles while developing theses software as it needs skill and accuracy. Embedded software adds real value to engineering products. Businesses who grabbed its competitive advantage have gained pace over their competitors. We are addressing some complexities and tips to build software solutions for embedded systems.
As per the analysts, it is projected that the embedded market will foster much higher than $40billion by 2030.
What is an embedded system, and what are the terms related to it?
Embedded systems are the ones that are designed to perform a specific task in a pre-defined time. Devices that use embedded systems combine hardware and software to execute pre-programmed functions for the pre-specified needs. They are based on the micro-processors and microcontrollers to function.
Micro-processors are a single-chip device. It is a semiconductor device that encompasses CPU, ALU, a clock circuit, RAM, ROM, memory decoder, and several other ports.
Micro-controllers are single-chip VLSI units that require a bit of a memory and I/O interfaces to operate effectively. It is created to function on real-time control applications.
Embedded systems are widely used in automotive, aviation, medical science, electronics, manufacturing, etc. All the devices used in the fields mentioned above possess embedded software development.
What is embedded software engineering?
The processes of handling various devices simultaneously from traditional computers is termed asembedded software engineering. Using software engineering, developers integrate it with non-computer machines to create embedded systems. It takes many embedded systems to control functions of hardware such as microprocessors, OS, and embedded software programming tools.
When we talk about embedded software, we also speak of firmware and IoT for Embedded Systems. We already know the basics of embedded software engineering; it’s time we talk about IoT. IoT is a device where an embedded system is connected to the internet.
Let us now proceed with the features of embedded systems.
Common Features of Embedded Systems
Embedded systems work as a part of a much larger system with integrated softwares and a limited set of functions. They are smaller in size and work either through buttons or sensors.
1. Embedded systems are based on microprocessors and controllers to perform the specific functions on single-purpose devices.
2. Embedded systems usually don’t require many resources to operate, along with very little memory. They consume very little power to operate and are affordable.
3. These are not necessarily independent as they possess several assistive functions to various devices. They require real-time performance.
4. Embedded systems either have no user interface (UI) or complex GUIs. There’s no in-between. Embedding either of them depends on the kind of task that a particular device has to perform.
5. These are capable of working for an extended period without facing any difficulties.
6. Despite zero human intervention, embedded systems are highly stable and reliable.
7. Finally, embedded systems are designed to perform a particular task within a pre-specified time.
Apart from the challenges, here are a few embedded software development trends growing along with today’s technology requirements.
- Embedded security
- Cloud connectivity
- Artificial intelligence
- Augmented and virtual reality
Challenges of Embedded Software Development
Embedded software needs to be much precise than any ordinary software as errors drive the hairline difference between life and death, e.g., in the case of medical equipment or aviation. The complication can also be gauged by lines of code, which may run into millions. With the use of OS and middleware, you are liable to address obstacles as the industry is being flooded with embedded operating systems.
An Operating System may suit one application and may not do another. This has resulted in embedded code being written for a particular OS, microprocessor, and embedded environment. Writing software following the middleware, however, that’s another way which is being used. Middleware helps to overcome differences between OS and processors, which gives a single environment for all applications.
Practical aspects of ensuring safety in embedded software programming
Compared to application systems, the chances of system error are much higher in embedded software design. Increasing communication simultaneously increases the security concerns in the case of embedded software compared to other systems. In embedded systems, performance, safety and security are all inter-related and need to consider together. With the rise of IoT challenges – safety and security concern increases rapidly.
Note: One wrong code can result in a loss of millions or even worse, can be even life threatening.
Embedded systems need to clear some safety standard as it is way precise and needs to get safety certifications for which it needs to follow some procedure.
– Ask your clients who are using a similar product which you are about to launch the new one. They will guide you with the best improvements which need to. Indeed, if a customer uses such a product without any technical knowledge, you can skip this step.
– Referring to the safety standards of similar products
Each industry has agencies that can help you in determining how to begin. There are specific norms for each sector that have to be adhered to to ensure the safety of embedded systems being used.
What Radixweb Offers in the Embedded Software Engineering
Radixweb offers embedded software development services for a slew of industries. Our extremely versatile and smart engineers owe the necessary experience and knowledge which is required for deliberating your ideas to execution. Right from the concept, development to support, and maintenance our developers for embedded software solutions are adept in all. Owning 20+ years of experience in the IT industry, Radixweb can be your partner in growth for all your end-to-end embedded systems requirements. So let’s discuss your concerns over a cup of Coffee.