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Can COTS OS Use Improve Time to Market?

Development Projects Using In-house Developed OSs more likely to be behind Schedule


Embedded designs based on the use of in-house developed or roll-your-own (RYO) operating systems are faced with market forces that include increased sophistication and complexity of software and hardware, time-to-market pressures, lack of manpower, and changing requirements. These market forces are similar regardless of the operating system platform in use. However, projects that use RYO are more likely to be behind schedule and late for product delivery.


Project Schedule Modified 

Technology advances have enabled OEMs to introduce a wide variety of functionality and features that have increased the complexity of software that needs to be developed for their embedded system/device designs. As requirements have changed, OEMs face increasing levels of complexity from integrating new silicon architectures to the development and integration of in-house developed, commercial and open source software. All of these issues present unique challenges to OEMs that demand a disciplined approach to developing, integrating, and rigorous testing of their designs.


For RYO based designs, project teams take on the added responsibility of developing, supporting, and testing their own OS. The most likely reasons for continuing to use their own OS platform are:

· Significant investments in legacy code

· Cost and time associated with retraining

· Commercial software licensing costs

· Insufficient control over the OS internals


However the bigger question is what is the cost of continuing to use RYO if product development is more frequently late to market? Well, some of the significant implications are budget and profitability, missed market windows, and time-in-market amongst others. Does it continue to make sense for engineering organizations to allocate scarce resources to developing software that is transparent to the end-user or to concentrate their core competencies on developing discriminating features that will be attractive to the end user?


VDC explores these and other critical issues within the market for solutions in the recently released report, Operating Systems, Volume 1 from Track 2 Embedded System Engineering Survey Data of VDC’s 2010 Embedded Software and Tools Market Intelligence Service. This report includes over 100 exhibits based on VDC's 2010 Embedded Engineer Survey offering detailed insight into current development and future project trends and an understanding about the dynamics of embedded development projects. Interested in learning more? Please give the practice a call.



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