The growth of products development
that integrate programmable Digital Signal Processor is a driving-force for
improving the embedded software development process. Digital Signal processing
based product development represent some difficult challenges for
manufacturers. Many software development embedded process trends can be
anticipated as the industry wants to overcome these difficulties.
The programmable Digital Signal
Processor has become a very advantageous computing engine to execute embedded
software development. Both the number and the difficulty of digital signal
processing-enabled products are growing exponentially. Software development
cost and time-to-market are critical issues for the software development
industry, Most Digital signal processing software is embedded software.
Manufacturers typically install product-specific software prior to sale. Most
users do not realize they are executing software or even using a digital signal
processing when they use the product. The embedded digital signal processing
software developer faces many unique challenges beyond those of classical
software development. The dominant role and unique challenges of embedded
digital signal processing will force the industry to evolve better ways of
addressing these unique challenges.
The Era of Digital Signal Processing
is now common in our everyday life. In 1997, the booming mobile company sold
more wireless telephone handsets than the PC industry sold computers. In a
modern era wireless handset, much of this signal processing is done digitally,
translating the analog electrical signals into digital representations and
performing mathematical signal-processing operations on them using digital
arithmetic and Boolean logic. Most modern handsets incorporate at least one
programmable digital signal processing, and usually other micro-controllers and
custom digital signal processing logic in a heterogeneous architecture.
Programmability shows the
implementing faster to market. The manufacturer could design more complex and
sophisticated signal processing functions into the device in a shorter amount
of time than he could using Application Specific Integrated Circuits.
Programmability allows for re-usability, which in turn means quicker bug fixes
and faster incorporation of new functional improvements. The
programmable digital signal processing shows the company to
implement new and better communications standards and protocols very quickly,
and is one of the reasons for this industry rapid growth.
Nowadays wireless mobile contain on
the order of 100- 300K lines-of-code, including code for all devices. 3rd
Generation (3G) handsets mobile device may contain as many as 2-4M lines of
code. For comparison, Many other digital signal processing applications are
seeing similar growth increase. Just some examples with similar embedded software
complexity are Broadband residential and small gateways, commercial and digital
cameras, and portable digital device. The Embedded Software Challenge Many new
applications of programmable digital signal processing will contain embedded
software. In the ways, the software development challenge for
embedded software mirrors that of desktop application development. However, in
many ways, embedded software development is more challenging. Software
development productivity must increase to satisfy the demand for more complex
functionality with lower cost and less time-to-market.
Software development technology and
tools for these devices must support this diversity, complexity and
heterogeneous multi-processor development and debug environments with very
little increase in code size or code efficiency over a custom software
approach. As with all software, overall system reliability must improve, in
spite of the increasing complexity.
The challenges of embedded software
development are creating a very entrepreneurial environment for solutions. Many
new innovations in software development will rise in the next upcomming years
to meet these challenges.