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These blog posts relate to the design of reliable and safe embedded systems.

Hardware-Software Partitioning in Embedded Systems

One of the biggest challenges when architecting an embedded system is partitioning the design into its hardware and software components. Partitioning decisions must typically be made early in the design of a product. The consequences of hasty or biased decisions or lack of proper analysis can include, in the worst case: higher BOM cost, time-to-marked delays, or even an inability to meet requirements.

Key Learnings from Past Safety-Critical System Failures

Ever had a DVD player freeze? A mobile phone crash and reboot? A home router that required a reset? Welcome to the 21st century, where every device has at least one processor. Without question, our daily lives are enhanced by the embedded systems around us. And many of us take for granted that these devices will do their intended jobs tirelessly and correctly, day in and day out, without fail.

Top 10 Bug-Killing Coding Standard Rules

 

There are many sources of bugs in software programs. Some are created by the original programmer. Others by misunderstandings by those who later maintain, extend, and/or reuse/port the original code. Both types of bugs can be kept out by following simple coding standard rules. To increase security and keep bugs out of medical devices and other safety-critical embedded systems, add these 10 bug-killing rules to your embedded C coding standard.

Killer Apps: Embedded Software's Greatest Hit Jobs

Between 1985 and 1987, there were at least 6 distinct accidents where the Therac-25 radiation therapy machine delivered up to 100 times the prescribed radiation dose, resulting in injury and death. These high-profile accidents demonstrated that embedded software can be dangerous, even lethal. In the decades since, and despite increasing regulation, safety-critical system failures have continued to kill people.

As embedded software's size and complexity continue to rapidly progress, user safety increasingly relies upon safe and reliable firmware implementations. Nowhere is this more evident than in the automotive industry, where self-driving vehicles are a much-hyped and potentially invaluable part of our future.

Barr Group co-founder and CTO Michael Barr presents an engaging discussion of the past, present, and future of embedded software safety. 

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