Embedded Systems IoT Manufacturing

The crucial pillars of robust embedded systems

Publish Date: March 2, 2021

The incredible leap in our ability to control, communicate and interact within the consumer-centric ecosystem became possible when human-centered design techniques combined with leading-edge technologies and new interfaces mechanism, including keyboards, touchscreens, voice commands, and beyond.

With diverse applications transforming the way we engage with machines, data, and each other, embedded systems

will play a significant role in revolutionizing how we interact with (and benefit from) technology in our everyday lives.

Raising the value quotient of a product

Human interfaces in embedded systems are traditionally simplistic, though it has been a staple technology in various industries for decades. But with the evolution of processor architectures and enhanced embedded computing power in devices, the intelligence and capabilities of these systems have increased exponentially. More than 38 million embedded devices are used worldwide in cars, cell phones, digital cameras, dishwashers, refrigerators, telecom, data communications, and industrial controls. Today, embedded systems are the not-so-visible computing power hidden within products we use every day, from anti-lock brakes, car airbags to pacemakers. All of this is possible thanks to embedded software that “comes alive” in various devices and dramatically increases the product’s value quotient.

Managing the costs of a broad spectrum of niche expertise or maximizing the performance, quality, safety, and compliance is not a simple task. In addition to mechanical ingenuity, manufacturers also need to focus on critical software quality, development, testing, execution, and integration.  Manufacturers looking to make the most out of embedded systems would also need to deal with a maze of complexities. This blog aims to list top considerations, or ‘pillars’ if you will, to create robust embedded software and systems.

Pillar ONE: Embedded firmware

Hardware makers use embedded firmware to control various functions, including connecting to other devices for added functionalities. The firmware is mainly enhanced by architectural design implementation, system testing, and coverage analysis, furthered with industry protocols and safety designs for the required functionality and optimization. Embedded software varies in complexity as well (and as much) as the devices it is used in. If you are out to create complex solutions for enterprise-grade systems, you must also ensure thorough testing, validation, and personalization of the solution.

Pillar TWO: Platform software design

There is a need for rigorous processes and methodologies to develop the software needed for enabling performance from real-time embedded systems. This is where you may need experts who can effectively bridge the gap between hardware and software with stable, optimized, and scalable designed knowledge frameworks. Leveraging the pre-tested BSP designs, device drivers, board bring-up offer the much-needed refinements in specifications of potential implementations in the platform’s elements.

Pillar THREE: Wireless design

The complexity in demands of modern telecommunications systems, particularly in the ‘wireless’ domain, is growing dramatically, especially with the upcoming rise of the 5G’ technologies. Such high rates of complexity, security considerations, and customization can also lead to loss of design productivity (or ‘design gap’). This is also where you may need experienced professionals who can advise and consult on accelerating the design processes while keeping your strategic business goals unaffected. State-of-the-art communication technologies like BLE, LTE, Bluetooth, 4G, 5G, LoRa, Zigbee, GPRS, etc., and further MQTT, CoAP, XAMP in an end-to-end IoT application help us elaborate our technical choices to fulfill the contradicting communication requirements.

Pillar FOUR: Embedded testing, modeling & automation

Validating real-time embedded systems or RTES is, in many ways, challenging. Not only do you have thousands of test cases to be executed, but there is also a wide variety of mundane complications to address as well before the roll-out occurs. This is where embedded testing, automation, and structured modeling of embedded systems in the form of tool-based automation, framework development & migration, state-of-the-art COTs based Embedded system product-based test fixtures & custom data acquisition, etc., can help validate test cases at scale.

Pillar FIVE: Hardware platform design

When designing embedded systems, you can choose from a wide range of hardware platforms based on various innovative, reusable reference/ validation/ evaluation board designs, development platforms, and much more. However, how does one determine the most suitable hardware platform for a specific application? Your hardware platform must allow you to perform the functions expected seamlessly. It should also meet non-functional requirements ranging from reliability, testability, compatibility, maintainability to marketability and power consumption.

Pillar SIX: Device Management (Managed Services)

The software architecture of embedded systems serves as a blueprint of your digital capabilities and how they interact with each other and their environments. It needs continuous firmware upgrades, maintenance, and testing so that your infrastructure and devices are up to the code – with everything from application, up-to-date firmware/bootloader, patch to library management.

IoT, Connected Solutions, Industry 4.0 is a unique maturity journey

Without embedded systems, our world will be vastly different (and possibly far more complicated) than it is today. Unlike the previous industrial revolutions, the ‘Industry 4.0 revolution’ is focused on unique, ’embedded systems’ value delivery systems. The same will be applicable in end-to-end “sensor to cloud” IoT systems and connected solutions. One size does not fit all, and hence everyone’s journey will also be unique.

In this regard, YASH Technologies uses a ‘consultative solutioning’ approach to help manufacturers achieve faster time-to-market and the confidence to build impactful combinations of the ‘physical’ and ‘digital.’  Our Embedded Systems CoE (Center of Excellence) and competencies can help you capitalize on a data-driven ecosystem with a vast repository of tools, templates, accelerators, proven frameworks. Instead of a piecemeal approach, you get a comprehensive set of tools and strategies that not only help sustain innovation but scales them while keeping up with current demands.

Be sure to check out YASH’s portfolio of IoT and Embedded Systems services

Sacheen Patil
Sacheen Patil

Vice President & Global Head - IoT & Embedded Practice & CoE

Sacheen has over 26+ years of experience in the Engineering/Industrial services & IT services company and predominantly worked for Manufacturing, Transportation/Automotive, Healthcare/Medical Devices and Energy & Utilities Industry Verticals sectors.

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