242 posts categorized "Embedded System Engineering"

07/21/2014

VDC Embedded Jama Software Webinar

How to Understand Requirements Management to Develop and Deliver Faster

For Embedded Systems Developers, Time to Market is Critical. Learn the No. 1 Strategy to Develop and Deliver Faster.

During this free webinar on Wednesday, July 23 at 1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT, VDC Research analyst André Girard and Jama Software co-founder Derwyn Harris will present on the growing necessity for requirements management (RM) tools in the face of today’s increasingly complex code bases, distributed development teams, and stricter budgets.

OEMs are facing constant pressure for innovation even with tight budgets, and they are dedicating more of their resources towards software development. Despite the importance of well-written requirements in the software development lifecycle, usage rates of RM tools are still dangerously low, with only 23% of embedded engineers polled by VDC in 2014 indicating they were using a formal RM solution on their current project. To meet demands for an accelerated pace of software content creation, developers will need to better utilize RM tools to monitor and manage the development lifecycle from beginning to end.

This webinar will explore: 

  • How has the software development process changed? 
  • What challenges are OEMs facing today? 
  • How do RM tools help deal with these challenges? 
  • How can RM tools save time and money for OEMs?

Tune in to this webinar to learn the answer to these questions and more. Those who register for this webinar will also receive a free copy of VDC Research’s report, “Pinching Pennies on Requirements Management is Too Costly”, by André Girard.

Click here to register for the webinar. To learn more about the research and products offered by VDC Research’s Embedded Software & Tools practice, click here.

 

Patrick McGrath

Research Associate, VDC Research

06/18/2014

IoT Necessitates Changes in Both People and Technology

The requirements of the devices composing the Internet of Things are changing rapidly. The embedded market no longer consists of dedicated-purpose devices that may or may not be connected. Engineering organizations and deploying enterprises must now design scalable system topologies that can integrate new devices and adapt to the IoT’s evolution. While these next-generation systems are required to facilitate downstream device/node management as well as efficient upstream data transfer and analytics, they must also do so dynamically, allowing for more intelligence and flexibility in node role and workloads within sub-network architectures.

This recognition of a need for change in legacy technologies can already be seen in the shift in programming languages used by embedded engineers. In the past five years, the percentage of engineers using Java in the embedded market has more than doubled. Embedded industry stalwarts such as C will certainly maintain a substantial footprint going forward given the existing software assets and expertise at OEMs, but the results confirm that the market is rapidly looking to new and/or multi-language development to satisfy the requirements of next-generation projects.

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IoT Skill Set Gap Exacerbated by Existing Embedded Resource Gap

The existing embedded engineering resources unfortunately cannot keep pace with the IoT’s time-to-market and content creation requirements. Already this community has been struggling to meet the needs of pre-IoT development projects. Now, the industry is faced with a dynamic in which not only does it need more efficiency, but the existing population of embedded engineers also cannot scale organically to meet the new software content creation requirements. Today, there are just over 1 million embedded engineers globally, with only 35% of that community holding software engineering-specific primary roles. In order to adapt to the new IoT development demands and respond to this dearth of traditionally skilled resources, OEMs must look to new labor pools.

The global Java community, which is estimated to consist of approximately 9 million developers, offers an opportunity to draw upon an increasingly relevant labor and expertise pool. The value of traditional embedded engineering skill sets has already been partially devalued due to IoT system evolution. Now, knowledge of connectivity stacks and UI development often must be placed at a premium over skills such as footprint optimization. Furthermore, technology like Java’s virtual machines create an abstraction layer that can reduce hardware dependencies and the subsequent rework and optimization that would have previously required more traditional embedded firmware engineers. Despite the already rapid adoption of Java (by embedded standards), we believe that the impending blurring of the distinction between embedded and IT Java developers will reinforce the technology’s adoption and relevance going forward. The wide access to the existing ecosystem of Java tools and third-party software, combined with a growing embedded partner ecosystem spanning semiconductor/IP companies, tool, and hardware/system manufacturers will no doubt further reduce switching costs and any lingering reservations held within many embedded industries.

We will be exploring the business and technical impact of the IoT in a webcast tomorrow with Oracle:

Date: Thursday, June 19, 2014 

Time: 9:30 AM PDT, 12:30 PM EDT, 17:30 GMT

Join this webcast to learn about:

  • Driving both revenue opportunities and operational efficiencies for the IoT value chain
  • Leveraging Java to make devices more secure
  • How Java can help overcome resource gaps around intelligent connected devices
  • Suggestions on how to better manage fragmentation in embedded devices

Register here:

http://bit.ly/1oOuuS9

05/16/2014

Agile in Embedded: Slow to Adopt, Fast to Spread

VDC just recently completed an in-depth analysis into the use and trends around Agile and DevOps methods in the embedded systems market. It is an exciting space with a number of dynamic changes underway as OEMs investigate new ways to improve the overall efficiency of systems development in the face of pressing time-to-market, process standard, and complexity challenges. We have a lot of compelling findings that demonstrate the growing use of Agile, DevOps, and other collaborative approaches across the embedded landscape.

As we dug deep into the data an interesting theme kept linking the findings…collaboration is contagious.

Challenges unique to the embedded market impeded early Agile adoption and, in many cases, will preclude full adherence to the methodology. Nevertheless, once iterative software development practices are successfully introduced, embedded engineering organizations are soon looking into additional ways of improving efficiency through expanding collaboration. Time and again, the initial taste seems to spur more interest. 

Importance of scaling Agile within organization, by use of Agile

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The same spirit of reflection and refinement of processes that are central principles in the Agile methodology are encouraging users to investigate new approaches like scaled Agile, cross-domain integration, and DevOps. Many organizations that introduced Agile on a limited basis are now focused on scaling it to more of their organization by implementing the processes more deeply in existing projects, and expanding use of Agile methods to more teams and projects.

More insight:

Findings from VDC’s 2014 Software and System Development survey helped guide the above analysis. This year, over 500 engineers from a wide range of industries provided invaluable insight into their development and tooling plans, preferences, and pain-points. The full data set from this extensive, global end-user survey is provided to clients of VDC’s Software and System Lifecycle Technology and Engineering Trends Analysis reports. For further investigation and analysis about these trends, please see our most recent report, Agile and DevOps for Embedded Systems, which is available now. 

12/12/2013

Cross-domain integration: the new look of engineering

The benefits of enhanced integration and collaboration between different engineering disciplines are undeniable. A cross-domain integration approach is becoming more important and beneficial as products become more complex. To ensure that products function properly, it is imperative that developers understand how the software, electrical, and mechanical components work together. Using cross-domain integration, product developers are more efficient while also addressing the concerns of both managers and end users, helping ensure that the product is the best it can be.

In VDC’s 2013 Software and System Development Survey, 45% of the respondents indicate the biggest advantage of cross-domain integration is an improved overall design, followed by improvement in the overall product management at 38%. Increased communication and collaboration among different engineering disciplines leads to organizations better connecting the separate silos of knowledge from each domain. This leads to better coordination of the software, electrical, and mechanical components, as well as a greater awareness of the impact changes in one domain will have in another. As a result, organizations are able to see improved product quality and less product failure. Another main advantage is improved traceability (35%), which is becoming more prominent as the number of process standards increases in industries such as automotive and medical.

Despite the benefits and increasing use of cross-domain integration, universal adoption is not right around the corner. Overcoming companies’ current organizational structures is extremely challenging. Many organizations have been working in separated engineering teams for years, with each team having formed distinct policies and procedures.  However, the possibility of greater engineering synergies and improved product quality is enough for most organizations to realize the potentials of cross-domain integration.

By Sarah Foreman

Research Assistant, M2M & Embedded Technology

10/24/2013

Android to Transform Medical Device Market

In an increasingly mobile environment infused with continual technological innovation, OEMs are considering new platforms to develop embedded systems. While there are various platforms to choose from, Android has emerged as the foundation of many new embedded systems. It boasts natural advantages compared to other operating systems – iOS, Blackberry, and Windows to name a few – such as its robust open source user-interface, integrated connectivity, and royalty-free licensing, which can minimize cost and provide OEMs flexibility as they try to fit technology to specific industry needs.

Emerging tools in the medical space mark the potential innovation Android can bring to health care. New diagnostic methods and software systems in mHealth (mobile health) help medical care become more accessible to consumers. Android provides a flexible environment for developers and integrated connectivity between devices, making it a preferable tool in mHealth. Android-based applications can perform various functions, from simple tasks such as keeping track of medication schedules to more advanced measurement capabilities. Consumers can attach different add-ons to their Android devices and track vitals in real-time, from blood pressure and glucose level assessments to even ultrasound imaging.

OEMs can further streamline healthcare by creating embedded systems that perform multiple functions. Rather than switch between individual add-ons to test blood pressure and glucose level, doctors would be able to use a single device and even track results that can be shared to all of the user’s Android devices. Android systems provide great user interfaces and connectivity, two key parameters OEMs are considering in developing new medical devices. Although smartphones and tablets comprise of most of the current Android market share, medical devices exhibit the highest predicted growth at 71.7% annually.

While medical devices are a prime use-case for Android, the market is still in its infancy. OEMs remain reluctant to redesign systems to run Android (or any new OS) as it often requires considerable customization. Decisions by Google and other key market participants will also hold an influence and shape the growth of Android as a software solution.

Beyond the medical space, Android OS is expanding into other markets such as connected car systems and situational awareness systems. To better understand more specific drivers of Android adoption in the medical space and others, please read through the report's executive brief. The full report, Android in the Embedded Systems Market, discusses global market trends, device class forecasts, and important insights about ecosystem participants and end-users.

by Howard Wei

10/22/2013

Outsourced Code Development Driving Automated Test Tool Market

The M2M embedded software team here at VDC Research just published a new report, 2013 Automated Test & Verification Tools (ATVT), volume 3 of our Software & System Lifecycle Management Tools intelligence service. The report looks into the most critical trends and market drivers impacting the rapidly evolving use of dynamic test and static analysis tools in the embedded and enterprise/IT markets.

We expect revenues for several product segments within ATVT to expand at a double digit growth rate over the next several years, fueled by a number of factors.

One of the primary challenges fueling ATVT use is that code bases are expanding in size and complexity as software comes to account for an ever greater percentage of system value. Companies face increasing pressure to deliver more advances through software, and to do so faster. These organizations are looking to several strategies, such as off-shoring to accelerate the pace development while remaining within budget. This outsourcing of embedded systems development enables the use of skilled engineers available at considerably lower labor rates found in the international labor market.

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The challenge of coordinating geographically distributed development teams is one of the factors that we continue to see as a major driver for increased use of formal lifecycle management tools. Our research shows project teams with geographically distributed team members are more likely to use automated test tools than those all sharing the same location. We expect it will become increasingly critical for vendors to ensure their test platforms provide the reliable, scalable performance required to execute and manage tests for large installations across distributed geographic locations. There is opportunity for ATVT suppliers to increase revenue and gain market share by providing solution suites with the functionality these customers demand. Many of these organizations will need broader solution suites that enable creation of software code governance, policy definition, testing against those policies, and enforcement of quality, security and efficiency metrics.

More insight

For further investigation and discussion about these trends and others, please see our recently published report, 2013 Automated Test and Verification Tools, volume 3 of our 2013 Software & System Lifecycle Management Tools Market Intelligence Service. This report analyzes the emerging trends for commercially available testing tools, including static analysis, dynamic, and model-based tools. It also covers the previously mentioned tool types used for general software quality testing and defect detection as well as those used for application security testing and vulnerability management.

Please contact us for more information.

09/16/2013

Controlling Complexity with Automated Testing

The increase in the volume and complexity of software code in recent years is indisputable. Software has now become the most critical component for end product differentiation. It is likewise intuitively understood that it is, therefore, the most critical path within the product development cycle. Unfortunately, the larger, more complex software projects of today inevitably result in higher volumes of defects within these code bases.

More and more organizations are recognizing the need to identify critical quality, safety and security issues early in the lifecycle where they are the least expensive to fix. The use of automated test and verification tools (ATVT) are a key part of the remediation solution.

Test tool use

VDC’s research verifies that automated testing tool use increases the frequency of defect detection in current projects. More importantly, the findings confirm that engineers using testing tools are more likely to find vulnerabilities and defects earlier in the development cycle than nonusers of the tools.

Interested in learning more about the trends impacting software engineering today and best practices for quality software development?

 

Listen to our webcast with Coverity Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 17th at 8:30 AM PT / 11:30 ET

Register here

07/29/2013

Agile2013: VDC Research is heading to Nashville - Music City!

The M2M Embedded Software team is excited to be heading to Nashville to attend Agile2013 (#agile2013). The growing adoption of Agile methodologies is one of the most important developments in the software lifecycle management solution market since VDC started covering it in 2000.

Agile2013 banner
Despite origins in the enterprise/IT software development world, iterative software development methods have also taken hold in the embedded market. In fact, nearly 50% of embedded engineers we surveyed in 2012 used Agile and Iterative methods.

As embedded systems continue to evolve, organizations still relying on traditional development methodologies are struggling to keep pace with their software content creation demands. Many of these OEMs are accustomed to the traditional, serial development workflows especially common within safety-critical application classes. However, updates to several software standards, such as DO-178C, have provided the embedded industry with better clarification and more guidelines around the new development techniques. As a result of these pressures and advances, we expect iterative development methodologies will continue to gain new adherents in the embedded market.

 

Hope to see you there

If you want to learn about the latest Agile approaches, methods, technologies, tools, leadership principles, management philosophies and processes, we hope you will attend Agile2013. Also, please check out some of our free research on Agile, DevOps, and software development tools.

Contact us ASAP to schedule a meeting

VDC will be attending the Agile2013 conference Monday, August 5th and Tuesday, August 6th.

Contact André Girard, Sr. Analyst, M2M Embedded Software & Tools at:

agirard@vdcresearch.com or 508.653.9000 x153.

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

 

ABOUT VDC RESEARCH GROUP

VDC Research is the leading M2M market intelligence firm that provides engineering leaders and technology suppliers with research-driven insights to help guide their product development and technology strategies. For over two decades, VDC Research has been conducting research and analysis of the global M2M market. Born out of its embedded engineering research practice, VDC Research surveys and interacts with thousands of engineers from all vertical markets including industrial automation, retail, manufacturing and medical devices, to gain insight into their project requirements, solution selection criteria, preferences and trends. 

Based on a unique blend of quantitative and qualitative analysis that offer granularity and breadth of coverage, VDC is organized around four practice areas, each with its own focused area of coverage. Together, they enable a unique 360-degree perspective of the opportunities and challenges resulting from The Internet of Things and M2M.

For more information visit: www.vdcresearch.com

06/26/2013

Controlling In-Vehicle Innovation with IVI Design

Automotive differentiation is no longer driven by gears and grease. Electronic systems now control most aspects of a vehicle’s operation and the software within those systems has risen to account for an increasing share of their functionality and differentiation. Today, software content growth in the automotive industry continues to outpace most other embedded device classes. In no automotive sector is this trend more acute than in IVI.

Ivi ibm

The culture of conservatism, rooted in automotive’s safety-critical requirements, that has traditionally characterized the domain must adapt. The recent financial crisis imposed an unparalleled catalyst for such change. Entire supply chains followed the OEM leads into bankruptcy. The remaining engineering organizations, many of which lacked the level of development resources they had prior to the financial crisis, are being forced to reevaluate their incumbent development processes and tools in an effort to keep pace with the unabated growth in consumer expectations. In many cases, OEMs must be prepared to adopt new software development solutions to adequately address the complexities of UI design and consumer device integration.

VDC will be conducting a live webcast with IBM and Jaguar Land Rover on June 27th to discuss this emerging trend. Attendees will learn:

  • How open source technologies will impact tomorrow's automotive ecosystem
  • Why OEMs need to revisit their supply-chain strategies to promote new levels of collaboration  and innovation
  • What new development solutions should be considered to adapt

When: June 27th, 11:00am ET / 2:00pm PT

Register: http://bit.ly/136NjqJ

06/11/2013

It’s Electric…Boogie Woogie Woogie!

As the world’s energy reserves continue to wane, there is an ongoing shift towards the use of renewable energy sources. Concurrently, developments in advanced electric power systems (EPS), more commonly known as smart grids, are catching the eye of utility and power companies worldwide. Using two-way digital communication technology, smart grids can generate and distribute sustainable, economic and secure energy supplies.

In response to advances in EPSs, an increasing number of renewable energy-based resource installations are taking place. As these installations occur, it is critical to ensure that these systems are properly engineered in accordance with relevant performance standards such as IEEE 1547.

IEEE 1547 was established to provide a standard set of requirements to address key issues such as voltage regulation, synchronization and isolation, the handling of abnormal grid conditions, and power quality, among others.

 However, the testing and validation of individual components within an EPS is no longer sufficient. In order to mitigate the associated operational risks of complex grids under dynamic situations, the testing must now encompass the entire system. Thus, there is considerable potential to reduce the time frame required for running such compliance tests by automating portions of the testing process using hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation.

The use of HIL in combining simulation with hardware experimentation is crucial in validating complex electric power systems in real-time. The technical integration of advanced EPSs will have a progressively more profound impact on grid stability, reliability, and availability as the penetration of renewable distributed energy resources increases. These developments will have more and more utility companies utilizing the simulation and testing benefits HIL has to offer.

 

More insight

For further investigation and discussion about the emerging trends in the HIL landscape, and other important shifts in systems lifecycle management, please see our 2013 Software & Systems Lifecycle Management Tools Market Intelligence Service.

 

Guest authored by Dan McGowan, Research Assistant at VDC Research