The path to a robust hardware and software platform

When developing complex embedded systems, the question arises at the beginning of the project: How do we start?

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Master complex embedded projects

When developing complex embedded systems, the question arises at the beginning of the project: How do we start? Multimedia and comfort operation are standard today, the complexity of certain features is often underestimated. This often causes the effort to explode very late in the development process. 70-80% of the total effort is not uncommon.

Marginal issues like licenses and standards are rarely questioned in the beginning. But only if all cost drivers are identified at the beginning, it is guaranteed that the project does not go beyond the scope later on. In recent years, Linux in particular has emerged as the ideal operating system for embedded systems.

Embedded Systems projects

Which way to go?

Basically, three approaches can be taken based on Linux and open source components:

  •     In-house development of the software platform for the new device
  •     Use of existing solutions, adaptations are made by the customer
  •     A full-service provider is responsible for the entire hardware and software platform

But no matter which option is chosen: The most important questions that need to be clarified in advance are:

  •     What expertise can we use to create customer benefits and minimize risk?
  •     What know-how do we have at the moment, and what know-how will we have in the future?
  •     What resources do we need for the development of the core application?
Besprechung einer Broschüre bei Ginzinger

Embedded projects at Ginzinger

Complete in-house development of the platform

The motto for this variant is "the developer is himself". Open source projects like Linux make this possible. "Do-it-yourself" here means creating your own distribution from the Linux core. The big advantage is that you know the complete system inside out and have mastered it. If one starts however "from the core" away, one must be clear that all adjustments are time-consuming and error-prone. Maintenance and care are also the responsibility of the developer.

+ Comprehensive, complete system understanding
+ Complete in-house know-how
+ Everything from a single source

- Management and understanding of the multitude of complex technologies
- Effort required to build up and maintain knowledge
- Only economical when used in several products
- All errors have to be eliminated by the customer
- Effort for maintenance and care over the entire service life

Build on existing software distributions

As an alternative to building the system completely in-house, it is possible to use commercial or freely available distributions of embedded operating systems. However, since in the vast majority of cases the distributions are not adapted to the customer's end device, the system must be adapted. After the functions have been implemented and the hardware has been connected, there is still more to do: The next topics are then maintenance and migration for new device generations.

+ Fast and easy startup
+ Mostly relatively broad support on standard hardware
+ Community - or manufacturer support

- Special drivers not available
- Long term support very dependent on manufacturer
- Lack of support for specific hardware
- Migration to new platform costly
- Partially too extensive and complex configuration
- Moderately optimized software packages

A full-service provider takes care of hardware and software platform

Finally, there is the option of commissioning full-service providers to develop and support the hardware and software platform. The provider takes care of the completely customized, robust platform over the entire product life cycle. This makes sense if you as a device manufacturer do not want to get lost in the details of hardware and software integration.

+ Expert solution from a single source - hardware, software, testing and manufacturing.
+ Focus remains on the benefit of the end customer
+ Efficient project management and optimized series product
+ Low "Total Cost of Ownership" over the entire service life

- Full-service provider lacks domain know-how
- Detailed knowledge of embedded systems outside the company

Ginzinger electronic systems has been a full-range supplier for 30 years and realizes customized solutions with robust hardware and software components, display, networking and necessary interfaces.

No matter where you are with your product idea, Ginzinger electronic systems accompanies you step by step to the industrial have a single contact for the complete embedded system and are not sent in circles for wishes and problems.

Handschlag zweier Ginzinger Mitarbeiter