16 posts categorized "Third-Party Outsourcing"


Embedded World Bulletin – March 2010

VDC attended the 2010 embedded world Exhibition & Conference in Nuremberg, Germany March 2nd and 3rd. This bulletin presents a summary of the event.


This is the first time VDC Research has attended embedded world and according to the show closing report, there were 730 international exhibiting companies and 18,350 trade visitors. Both represent a record number of exhibitors and visitors participating in the exhibition and conference over previous years.


The show floor consisted of four interconnected halls with exhibitors logically grouped by the type of products offered. Over the course of two days VDC met with over 20 exhibitors and stopped in to chat with a number of others.


Wow! What a high energy event! The exhibitor halls quickly filled up with attendees in the morning hours. Many booths were filled with engineers presenting opportunities for exhibitors. Most exhibitors had big broad smiles when asked about the potential for quality leads. All and all, an exciting show for all participating in the conference!


However, these types of shows also offer an opportunity for exhibitors and non-exhibiting companies to examine their strategic partnerships including strengthening, expanding, and establishing new alliances. It also serves as a checkpoint for scoping out your competitors as well as new potential entrants. 


The 2010 Embedded Systems Conference/Silicon Valley is just around the corner. We hope that embedded world is a prelude to the type of energy and interest to be expressed by attendees at ESC/SV. If so it could just be the medicine that the embedded market needs for growth in 2010!


The complete press release and more information & downloads for embedded world can be found here.




Atego announced that it had acquired Blue River Software, a provider of embedded software development tools and related services based out of Nuremberg, Germany. This is just the latest in a recent spree of M&A activity undertaken by Atego/Artisan’s leadership.  To see our coverage of this and their previous moves, including a Q&A with Atego Chairman James Gambrell, please visit the links here.


Auriga, Inc. was co-located in the Birdstep Technology booth and was demonstrating with their partner the Raima Database Manager Embedded on Android. Auriga is an IT outsourcing services provider with operating software development centers in Russia since 1990 and was incorporated in the US in 1993.


dSPACE announced that the company is cooperating with Elektrobit in offering a coordinated AUTOSAR tool chain for developers of automotive electronic control unit software. In addition the company announced that they are also working NAVTEQ to create an integrated development platform for digital map-enhanced driver assistance systems.


Enea announced their hypervisor that implements multiple high performance computing environments on top of multicore processors. The hypervisor is based on OSE micro kernel technology and runs OSE applications at native speeds. In addition the company announced that they had been selected by FatSkunk, a supplier of anti-malware technology for mobile phones, to ensure delivery of its Android proof of concept.


Esterel Technologies featured announcements around their upcoming release of SCADE, version 6.2 which will incorporate enhancements to both SCADE Suite and SCADE Display with respect to integration with other tools in the development tool chain. The release features support for the SCADE Suite Rapid Prototyper and enhancements to the SCADE Suite Model Test Coverage. In addition the company announced that it is launching the Aerospace and Defense DO-178C Readiness program where Esterel will assist companies in their preparation for development of safety critical software under the pending DO-178C standard.


ETAS, a subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH, conducted a number of product demonstrations at the conference including a prototype of their RTA operating system for multicore CPU’s and AUTOSAR.


GrammaTech, Inc. announced that CodeSonar, the company’s flagship source code analyzer, has been selected by major U.S., European and Asia/PAC medical device manufacturers.


Green Hills Software had several announcements at the conference. On the first day the company announced that the INTEGRITY RTOS received CENELEC EN 50128 (railway industry standard) SWSIL 4 certification. This press release was complemented by an announcement that Bombardier had selected the Green Hills Platform for Industrial Safety which will be used in the development of their next generation train control management system. Other announcements at the show included a partnering agreement with IS2T to provide their hard real-time Micro-Jvm for use with the INTEGRITY RTOS and the availability of the INTEGRITY RTOS for the CPU Tech Acalis CPU872 secure processor.


IAR Systems had several announcements at the show including commercial-grade integration of Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS and IAR Embedded Workbench IDE with support for 32-bit architectures, including ARM’s ARM7, ARM9 and Cortex-M3, Freescale’s ColdFire, NEC’s V850, and Renesas’s H8. In addition the company announced that their integrated development environment IAR Embedded Workbench has been selected as a part of Fujitsu’s SK-86R03 'Jade-L Starterkit' package.


IntervalZero announced that Acontis Technologies GmbH released its EtherCAT Master Stack AT-EM for IntervalZero’s RTX hard real-time software for Windows.


Keil, an ARM Company announced the release of MDK-ARM v4.10 which is the first software development tool to support the ARM Cortex M4 processor.  In addition the company announced the C51 V9.01 Professional Developer’s Kit with support for the Infineon XC82x and XC83x series. The XC82x and XC83x series expands Infineon's 8-bit XC800 microcontroller family to provide more scalable performance for cost-sensitive automotive applications.


LDRA and Visure Solutions announced the release of Embed-X, an end-to-end application lifecycle management (ALM) system for the embedded space. Embed-X, like other ALM solutions, merges product requirements, business objectives and metrics in a uniform actionable perspective. Embed-X also delivers these ALM objectives with full certification support for critical development standards in the avionics, defense, automotive and medical markets.


Mentor Graphics received the embedded award 2010 in the software category at the show for their Inflexion GUI Technology for Android. The Inflexion GUI is comprised of an embedded user interface (UI) engine and designer tool for the rapid creation and customization of visually rich, highly-usable GUIs for all types of Android devices featuring a graphical display.


QNX Software Systems, a Harman International (NYSE:HAR) company, announced its new smart energy reference, a pre-integrated software stack that makes it easier to design, deploy, and extend smart-home energy management systems. The company also announced that Texas Instruments is providing pre-integrated hardware support for the QNX CAR application platform. The collaboration will allow QNX CAR participants to take advantage of TI’s AM3517 and OMAP3530 processors, both of which are based on the highly popular ARM architecture.


Real Time Systems GmbH recently announced an alliance with QNX Software Systems and demonstrated their recently released RTS Hypervisor version 2.2 running the QNX Neutrino RTOS on the same hardware as Windows, and is also capable of running Linux and other operating systems.


SYSGO AG announced that B. Braun selected the company to develop the software application related to SpaceCom, one of the key components for its automated infusion systems. The company also announced the version 3.1 of their PikeOS that integrates multi-core support which is part of the DO-178B certified code base.


TenAsys announced the availability of eVM for Windows, an embedded virtualization manager that enables different RTOSs to run alongside Windows on the same multi-core processor platform. The eVM for Windows’ embedded virtualization technology utilizes hardware-assisted features built into Intel processors to allocate hardware resources and is available for download from the company’s new online store. In addition the company announced support for new Intel Atom processors with their INTime RTOS.


ULMA Embedded Solutions was present at the exhibition with their manufacturing partner Trelec. The company was founded in 2009 from the ULMA Group Business Incubator and focuses on providing embedded systems engineering services.


Wittenstein High Integrity Systems, a subsidiary of the German industrial technology group, Wittenstein AG, announced OpenRTOS support for the Renesas SH7216 microcontroller. In addition the company announced a SafeRTOS Design Assurance Pack for the SafeRTOS kernel that meets US FSA510 (k) Class III and European IEC EN62304 medical device certification requirements to run on Cortex-M3 and ARM7 based microprocessors.


Other leading embedded systems exhibitors included aicas GmbH, Altera, Analog Devices, Arrow Embedded Solutions, AvNet Embedded, Birdstep Technology, CMX Systems, CoFluent Design, Coverity, Datalight, DENX, eCosCentric, Express Logic, Freescale,  GEENSOFT, IBM, Intel Corporation, itemis AG, Klocwork,  Kontron AG, Lauterbach GmbH, LDRA, LynuxWorks, Marvell, McObject,  Micrium, Microsoft, MKS GmbH, National Instruments Germany, Nokia Norge AS, Parasoft, Perforce Software Europe, PragmaDev, RadiSys GmbH, Serena Software GmbH, SparxSystems GmbH, Target Compiler Technologies, TASKING by Altium, Texas Instruments, The MathWorks GmbH, Vector Software, Willert Software Tools , Wind River GmbH, Xilinx Europe,  and many, many others.


Outsourcing in the Embedded Market

OEMs turn to third-party engineering services for a variety of reasons.

A recently published industry brief by VDC Research examines OEMs’ use of third-party outsourcing for various embedded software engineering services including its benefits, drivers, inhibitors, and competitive landscape. The industry brief also includes various statistics around the use of outsourcing within embedded engineering development projects.

Engineering Tasks Most Frequently Outsourced to External Companies

(Ranked by Percent of Respondents)

Not outsourcing any engineering tasks


Software application/middleware development/test


Board level engineering test


Firmware development/test


Mechanical engineering


System integration/test/verification


Outsourcing in embedded software development is driven by OEMs seeking decreased costs and/or improved product quality and by vendors supplying the market with complex, customized combinations of services. Today’s embedded products have become increasingly sophisticated and software development comprises a growing proportion of the product development lifecycle, leading many OEMs to turn to outsourcing to leverage the experience and efficiencies of third-party providers.

Outsourcing vendors that compete in the embedded software space are located throughout the world and include large multi-national companies as well as smaller, boutique firms that focus on specific geographies and/or vertical markets. These vendors seek to differentiate themselves by leveraging alliances, partnerships, acquisitions, and/or experience. They also look to emphasize the talent and global reach of their engineering work force as well as the completeness and flexibility of their service offerings and pricing models.

VDC examines outsourcing in greater depth in the recently published Third-Party Outsourcing of Embedded Software Development Services – An Industry Brief. The brief also includes profiles of several competing vendors as well as an examination of how OEMs should approach the outsourcing decision and what vendors should consider when positioning their service offerings. To view a complimentary executive brief highlighting additional findings from the report, click here.


2010 Embedded Software & Tools Market Update & Outlook - Webcast Available

We want to thank everyone who attended our webcast, "Embedded Software and Tools Market Update & Outlook."  We hope you found the content both useful & interesting.  

In case you missed the live webcast, here is a link to its recording and slides.  Please note that registration is required to view the recording .

Please be sure contact us directly if we can help answer any questions you may have on the presentation or our thoughts on the 2010 embedded software and tools market in general.


2010 Embedded Software & Tools Market Update & Outlook - Webcast Today!

It is not too late to register for today's webcast!

During this complimentary webcast, we will discuss the challenges facing embedded device and systems manufacturers and their embedded solutions providers and offer our thoughts on how they will have to adjust given the current economic climate. Specifically, the webcast will address the following key questions: 

  • How have economic conditions affected embedded software solution suppliers?
  • What does the competitive landscape look like?
  • How will supplier consolidation affect the market?
  • How are multi-core requirements impacting embedded software development?
  • What types of tasks are being outsourced by OEMs and what are the opportunities for embedded software solution suppliers and partners?


Tuesday, December 8, 2009 1:00 pm
Eastern Standard Time (GMT-05:00)

Click here to register


2009 Embedded Engineering Survey Data ~ Available Now!

With the increasing complexity of embedded software and hardware designs, the 2009 end-user data books provide insight into the behavior, opinions, and demographics of embedded engineers, the degree to which embedded system engineering tasks are converging, and key system engineering trends likely to impact embedded systems manufacturers and solution providers over the short and long term.

This end-user data is based on detailed Web survey responses collected in the late May 2009 to mid September 2009 time-frame from over 780 embedded systems engineers worldwide and offer an understanding about the dynamics of the embedded market as they relate to current and future product development trends. This detailed end-user data provides access to VDC’s extensive knowledge of the embedded developer community and is intended to provide insight into specific embedded developer communities’ current development and future project trends based on the individual report topics.

The Embedded System Engineering Survey Data is available in reports offering segmentations by:

  • Operating Systems
  • Development Tools
  • Vertical Market
  • Region
  • Processor Architecture
  • Engineer Type

What’s new? different? the same?

  • Although these reports are organized into six volumes similarly to previous offerings, this year’s reports also include PowerPoint presentations, highlight key findings and offering some analysis around the results and broader market trends.
  • We continue to ask many of the same questions as previous years for year-over-year comparison.
  • For a full the Full List of Exhibits from the 2009 and 2008 Survey Data reports, click here and here.

Who should be interested?

Software (ESW, ESL, and EDA) and hardware (silicon and board) solution providers (whether currently engaged in the embedded market or not) should find this information of interest, as these reports provide valuable insight into the types of current and future requirements and methodologies that companies are using to engineer embedded systems.


This information can be used to assist companies in differentiating solutions, developing competitive strategies, and engineering products that better meet current and future customer requirements. In addition, the data can also be used to support key marketing and sales efforts.

Systems manufacturers and semiconductor suppliers will also find value in this data in developing an understanding of key system engineering trends that will impact their business in the short and long term, gaining a perspective on the embedded software and hardware market, and an understanding of the vendor options available to them.

What information are we collecting in 2010?


VDC will be launching an update to this Survey in the Q1/Q2 time-frame of 2010 as part of our 2010 Embedded Software Market Intelligence Service.


With the 2010 Service currently under founding sponsorship, early subscribers can provide input into what additional questions are asked of the embedded engineering community. 


We are also interested in your general feedback and suggestions, so please reply with comments!

For further information about VDC’s Embedded Software Market Intelligence Service contact:

Steve Balacco, Director, 508.653.9000 ext. 124, sbalacco@vdcresearch.com

Chris Rommel, Analyst, 508.653.9000 ext. 123, crommel@vdcresearch.com

Cyril Bernard, Senior Account Executive, 508.653.9000 ext. 142, cbernard@vdcresearch.com


Visit our website.


Do you know who wrote the software in your blender?

Outsourcing increasing the need for test automation

Nearly 50% of our respondents to our 2009 Embedded System Engineering survey reported the outsourcing of one or more engineering tasks to external companies for current projects.  This rate is a substantial increase over our 2008 survey results in which less than 40% of respondents cited engineering work being outsourced.   

Outsourcing test2   
Note percentages

Moreover, software application/middleware development/test – arguably the most important discipline for end product differentiation – was cited by our survey respondents as the most frequently outsourced engineering task, underscoring the importance of establishing and/or enhancing software testing practices going forward.

Well before the early signs of an economic downtown began tightening R&D budgets, leading embedded system manufacturers had begun embracing outsourcing in greater numbers and frequency as a means to tap into cheaper labor markets, reduce operational expenses, and improve organizational agility.

The sophistication and complexity of embedded software requirements have also continued to rise at the same time as these other cost and time-to-market demands already strain project teams’ available bandwidth and productivity.

The ability to effectively manage software component quality can only become more important going forward as a greater portion of engineering work is outsourced to third parties.  We expect that this continued growth in outsourcing will similarly augment growth in the commercial automated test and verification tool market as OEMs look to mitigate some of the risks associated with work performed by engineers unfamiliar with legacy code bases and dispersed across multiple geographies and time zones.

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