Excellence in Software Engineering
Notes from Embedded World 2018
14 March 2018

Author: Hüseyin KUTLUCA, Principal SW Architect

16th Embedded World Exhibition and Conference has been a huge event with over 1.000 companies and over 32.000 embedded experts all around the world. ICterra joined Embedded World for the first time this year as an exhibitor and I was part of the team. For three days, I had enough time to visit other boots and have extensive technical conversations.

First and foremost, we see that the tools that help engineers to develop safety critical and real-time software are quite mature. If you need such tools, you could find half a dozen of such tools for comparison aimed for specific purposes and domains. You can have tools that trace requirements through static and dynamic analysis to unit testing and verification software platforms. These tools are mainly aiming industry standards like IEC 61508 (industrial), EN 50128 (railway), ISO 26262 ASIL D, DO-178B Level A (avionics), FDA Class III (medical) and ISO 26262:2011 (Automotive). There were multiple static and dynamic code analysis tools for MISRA-C and MISRA-C++. Even though Realtime Linux, Android and FreeRTOS are free alternatives, commercial real-time operating systems were very active to create a difference by providing full solution from OS, libraries and tools.

What is emerging is similar tools are being matured for security critical software development process. Some experts stated similarly that security for embedded systems became hype and everyone tries to bring new tools and products. Other than product development tools, there were numerous security software / hardware solutions. Biggest challenge IoT / IIoT brought to embedded systems is the security of the systems. So companies are proposing security frameworks for such devices.

We see multiple companies are providing solutions for IoT and IIoT systems. As a software engineer, I did give more attention to software stack and middleware development on this area. Specifically, DDS middleware vendors has high expectations of this area. There were quite rich solutions for embedded edge devices or IoT gateways. Some vendors were just supplying the hardware, while many of them provide solutions with software stack consisting of real-time OS, communication middleware and security solutions.

C and C++ are still cool programming languages in the embedded world. You don’t necessarily need to know languages like React, Go or some other couple years old languages.

Embedded World Conference did run seven parallel sessions with high quality presentations all through three days. One surprising point was that, many big companies have setup their own conference chairs in their booth and did give technically deep, interesting presentations with hourly rotating subjects.

As part of the ICterra team, I had high-quality time, fairly exchanging ideas with several experts. We emphasized that ICterra had 25+ years of embedded software development experience coming from Siemens days. Moreover, we attracted engineers into our team, who worked for many years in embedded software development projects. Having experience in embedded area of over 20 years and having used QNX OS and Phoenix Contact Interbus solutions for Walt Disney Ride (Mission Space) about 15 years ago, it was my pleasure to meet engineers from these companies.




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