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Embedded Computing Software Development & Programming
An embedded system is a computer system within a larger mechanical or electrical system with dedicated functionality and tasks. Embedded systems often include software, hardware and mechanical parts, and are part of a complete device.
The expanding application of embedded computers has created a demand for the skills required to develop and program these systems. Development and programming embedded systems requires skills that differ significantly from those required for writing applications for use in the desktop PC environment. Embedded system development and programming will continue to expand rapidly, as processors are embedded in wide range of products. Our expertise includes embedded controller software development and understanding of the underlying hardware aspects of embedded computing systems. Our work includes programming embedded controllers, practical real-time programming practices, and embedded operating systems. Our software engineers possess the techniques required to develop reliable, real-time, event driven programs that can run stand-alone or under a real-time operating system.
The development of embedded systems is becoming increasingly difficult as even a single error in the code can prove disastrous. Therefore, our embedded system developers apply efficient solutions that help them reduce the complexities of embedded system development. A few ways we use to reduce or eliminate complexities in the embedded system development process are:
Deploying a model-driven approach
Embedded system developers frequently use traditional programming languages such as C and C++ to improve reliability and reduce security flaws. However, model driven design (MDD) can be even more beneficial. Model Driven Design (MDD) considerably improves verification, testing, and synthesis of embedded systems. Major benefits of using MDD are reduced development time and cost, improved and robust design that is platform-independent. Model-based testing allows test engineers to focus more on the intellectual challenges instead of only on the manual test case design, manual test execution, and extensive scripting. Therefore MDD is less error-prone, and you can ensure better quality of the products.
Adopting an agile approach
Agile development is becoming increasingly popular in embedded systems development. Embedded system development using traditional approach does not offer businesses the required visibility to plan product releases and rollouts. Agile methods on the other hand are designed to improve visibility, predictability, quality, and productivity. In the case of agile development, small and self-organized teams work closely to ensure production of high-quality products. Some developers may believe that agile does not suit well with embedded system development since it includes designing hardware, but this is not always true: agile techniques such as extreme programming (XP) and scrum have been used in embedded system development for a long time. Here is how agile development can help embedded system development:
Continuous Communication: Communication among teams helps them stay abreast of developments and implement necessary changes effectively. Working closely with each other helps them maintain a sustainable pace to ensure the work gets done on time.
Working with software over comprehensive documentation: Breaking complex work into smaller segments makes it easier for developers to work on the project and ensure timely delivery. This can be implemented by software development teams as well as hardware teams. Hardware teams can work incrementally by adopting modular design and providing functional FPGA images (even if incomplete).
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation: Project failure often happens when the product/software does not provide the value that customers expect. Collaborating closely with customers ensures the end product meets expectations with fewer change requests. Embedded systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated thanks to rich user interfaces, wider interoperability, and configurable operations. However, the difficulty in capturing all the requirements is exponentially increasing. Therefore, close collaboration with customers is needed from start to finish.
Responding to change: In both software and hardware development, change is inevitable. Sometimes due to changing customer behavior, and sometimes responding to competitor’s releases or opportunities discovered during implementation, change needs to be embraced in a structured manner. This is true for embedded system development as well. With close collaboration within teams and timely feedback from customers, hardware teams can implement changes without increasing overhead costs significantly.
Focus on quality control
Since embedded systems find their application in critical missions such as industrial production machines, airplanes, vehicles, medical technology, their reliability is one of the most important aspects to take care of. Through a functional Quality Control we ensure reliability. Unlike traditional IT products such as PCs and servers, the hardware of embedded components is designed for specific tasks. Therefore, it must meet specific requirements in terms of reliability, interoperability, energy demand,…etc. The role of our quality control in embedded system development is to test the devices and discover flaws. The development team then fixes the bugs and ensures the product is safe for deployment. The testing team is assigned the task of designing an organized process to verify the behavior, performance, and reliability of the device or system against designed specifications. The easiest way to implement quality control in embedded systems is to break the embedded device code into small testable units and test each unit for its reliability. Filtering of bugs at the unit level ensures our developers do not have to face bigger problems at later stages of development. Using automated testing tools for embedded systems such as Tessy and EMbunit, our developers can skip time-consuming manual testing and schedule testing conveniently.
Why choose AGS-Engineering ?
With embedded systems gaining more and more popularity, companies need to be more careful when developing them as product recalls can have adverse effects on the reputation of the company as well as the development costs. With our proven methods, we are able to eliminate the complexities in embedded system development, we are capable to simplify embedded system development practices and ensure the development of robust products that perform under diverse situations.
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