The Complete Guide to Embedded System Development Life Cycle
Table of Content
Embedded systems play a crucial role in the proper functioning and easy access to modern devices and solutions. For example, if you are planning an intelligent architecture with IoT at its core, you need a suitable embedded system that can operate the IoT architecture. They are engineered to automate the processes and streamline the business operations, thus improving productivity. To develop the appropriate embedded system, you need to follow a development lifecycle.
What is the Embedded System Development Lifecycle?
When developing an embedded system for your business app requirements, you might go overboard with budget and timelines. It can lead to additional costs and zero profits, eventually stalling your business growth.
The embedded system development lifecycle takes care of the risks involved and identifies ways to mitigate them. The development lifecycle is a step-by-step process that consists in identifying the
- Low-cost software and hardware solutions.
- Risks involved in the development.
- Shortest production time.
- Methods to help with reducing timelines.
- Approach to be taken for development.
The different stages of the development lifecycle comprise the resources needed, the timelines allocated, and the deliverables.
The software project manager can identify how to keep the budget low while accelerating the time-to-market.
Why is Embedded System Development Lifecycle Important?
The development lifecycle approach can shorten timelines and improve your product quality. Let’s look at why it is essential to adhere to the lifecycle development method.
- The embedded system development life cycle offers a standard operational framework for software developers. It provides them with a complete understanding of the different phases, milestones, and goals. It also outlines the deliverables and the possible risks.
- As a software project manager, it helps draw the project estimate and prepare the schedules for deliverables.
- To keep the projects running smoothly, the team has to monitor the embedded system development lifecycle, and monitoring regularly and optimising becomes easy.
- You have complete control of the development processes. You can check on the expenses as well as the cost of production. It helps keep risks at bay and accelerates development.
- When you adopt the lifecycle approach, you produce high-quality and secure app solutions for the end customers.
Different Phases of Embedded System Lifecycle Development
The embedded system lifecycle development approach comprises broadly five stages – requirement analysis, designing, development, implementation, testing, and commercial launch. Each stage is divided into sub-stages to break down the work into minor phases and milestones.
1. Requirement Analysis
It is essential to define the scope of work that needs to be done before you begin developing the system. Requirement analysis is a study of the existing systems, how they plan to modernise them, and some of the things they are considering. We will break down this phase into four deliverables to make it easier for the project manager.
An individual or a business expresses the need for the system. The need is the system or the business owner’s new idea. It could be a new system, re-engineering an existing system, or maintenance. The client will prepare a proper document with the concept, current gaps, and process issues.
Know who the customers of this product would be to define the system scope. You will be developing the scope and total activities for building the system. It is only essential to develop the persona of the customer.
What are some of the requirements posed by the client for the system in consideration? This includes:
- Operational attributes
- Functional aspects
- Product interface components
- Layout and design preferences
- Operational and maintenance needs
- Generic system requirements
It is essential to study the competition and identify how they are faring better in this segment. Identify the gaps in the competitor’s system and what you can do to improve it. At the end of this stage, you should have:
- A cost-benefit analysis for the project
- A thorough analysis of the product attributes and functions
- Product scope and feasibility
Designing the system is a crucial phase of the embedded system development lifecycle. At this point, you are creating the layout and interface for the product. At the same time, you will be making the hardware design and defining the size.
Identify all the features and functionality you want to include in the software solution. It is essential to check how you will be enhancing the interface while keeping it accessible and usable. The trick is to work on a simple and intuitive design with the lowest learning curve.
The hardware should be simple and easy to debug whenever needed. It is essential to design the hardware for lightweight and smaller sizes. It will help you fit the devices into the circuits and improve operations. You need to consider plenty of things, such as the power, the connection, and communication with software at this stage.
The development phase needs to be treated as the ultimate solution builder phase. Work on translating the designs into a usable product with proper coding and suitable tools. You should ensure the communication between the hardware and software is well-linked. After checking on the development complexities, you will choose the specialists for the projects. You will need
- Embedded software engineer
- Hardware engineer
- PCB layout engineer
- Mechanical engineer
When the prototype model (after design and development) is ready, you can segment it into two:
- Alpha Prototype: It is still in the raw product form, and there could be potential functional issues at this point
- Beta Prototype: This is the prototype that you get after clearing all the issues and making the product ready for production
You launch the beta prototype to a closed group of customers to get their feedback and incorporate it into the product.
5. Commercial Launch
Once your prototype is approved, your product is ready for the end-users. You will need to develop it for commercial use. At this point, you need to stock the necessary parts and raw materials to build a system that can communicate with your software.
If you plan a software solution with embedded system architecture to modernise your business app, take the lifecycle development approach. It will curb the gaps and risks. You can accelerate development and stay rooted in the schedule. It is essential to choose the right hardware and software development vendor to get high-quality and fully functional products.