Research: Embedded software development tools
Cambashi has predicted a continuing surge in opportunities for IT vendors providing development tools for embedded software. The latest research from Cambashi reportedly shows the global market to be U.S. $2.6 billion. Growth is continuing at approximately 10% annually, almost twice the growth rate reported previously for software as a whole.
“The increasing use of software to extend functionality in every day products, from telephone handsets to cars, as well as in high tech manufacturing plants, brings with it new challenges for coordinating mechanical, electrical, electronic, and software design. Development tools that can support this new, integrated environment are crucial to meeting user needs, regulatory compliance and on-time delivery,” said Peter Thorne, Cambashi managing director.
Cambashi indicates that one of the main drivers of this growth is the greatly reduced investment required to integrate interfaces. For product developers the result is the opening up of vast new vistas of product concepts that can be addressed at viable costs.
The importance of connectivity is also cited by Cambashi as one of the areas where embedded software should be viewed as more than just doing advanced electronics at lowest cost. By connecting a product to a data network, the designer opens up the possibility of dividing functionality and capability between the product, and remote systems.
“Connectivity is having strategic impact on manufacturers in the way it makes their products more open than they were before. For example, a manufacturer of industrial production machines replaced the electronics that managed the controls and drove status displays with a processor plus web-server and other embedded software. The embedded software keeps an eye on sensors and allows process engineers to login from inside or off-site and determine what adjustments are needed to tune performance,” Thorne added.
For the vendors of the technologies that support product development, the transition to more embedded software in products, which is happening in many industry sectors, is not only an opportunity to serve new needs. It is also an opportunity to develop new levels of customer relationships. There is an ever-increasing audience of senior engineering management aware of the growing role of embedded software in their own products. Product development technology vendors who respond to this senior-level interest will develop a more strategic relationship with their customers.
– Edited by Amanda McLeman, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com