Don’t Let Software Development Slow Down Your Embedded Solution

February 25, 2020 GT Hilliard

When it comes to IIoT and embedded systems, rapid software development is crucial, for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is that design windows are fixed. If software development can’t be completed within that window, the product doesn’t ship on time. That’s a bad thing.

While it may seem unintuitive, your embedded hardware vendor may be your biggest ally when it comes to software development. For example, at WINSYSTEMS, we support our clients through the entire development process, which includes firmware, BIOS, drivers, and even the operating systems. The part that we leave to our customers/partners is the application development. That’s their special sauce that differentiates them from their competitors.

Why is this a good fit? Because we have experience with every popular CPU architecture, including all the different flavors of x86, IA64, and Arm. Combine this with our vast knowledge of the array of operating systems and their differing requirements as well as a host of software development tools.

Some simple facts to back up these claims:

  • Approximately 40% of WINSYSTEMS customers deploy some version of Windows 10 IoT
  • Approximately 40% of WINSYSTEMS customers use some version of Linux
  • The remaining 20% run everything from DOS (yes, it’s still out there in various configurations, even if it’s just used as a boot loader) to a variety of RTOS options

Going forward, the IoT ecosystem is continuing to evolve, especially in the industrial sector, with an increasing mix of different CPU architectures and operating systems to develop across.  For this reason, amongst others, WINSYSTEMS has partnered with Qt Embedded, a company that enables rapid application development and cross platform support for Linux and Windows.    

The partnership has resulted in the delivering of embedded board-support packages (BSPs), which ships with WINSYSTEMS’ ITX-P-C444 single-board computer (SBC) that’s based on the NXP i.MX8M microprocessor. The i.MX8M is built with industry-leading audio, voice, and video processing that suits applications scaling from digital signage in harsh environments to industrial automation. The CPU is optimized for fanless operation  across the -40 to +85 C operating temperature, and it is fully supported by NXP’s 15-year Longevity Program, a necessary staple for just about any embedded system.

The ITX-P-C444 industrial SBC fits the Pico-ITX form factor. It’s based on NXP’s i.MX8M application processor and is packed with a host of I/O. Suited applications include digital signage, industrial automation, energy, building automation and others.

Pushing the performance envelope, the ITX-P-C444 SBC has a number of performance features that include dual- or quad-core Arm Cortex A53s, a Cortex M4 core for low-power processing, and up to 4 Gbytes of LPDDR4 RAM. In addition, it has a wide range of connectivity and I/O features that include 2x Gbit Ethernet, 3x USB 2.0, and 8x GPIO, among other features.

When combined with Qt, WINSYSTEMS gives its customers the ability to develop more rapidly while reducing the learning curve that comes the complexity of multiple development tool suites. Qt’s various libraries and toolsets allow software teams to develop faster by giving them the ability to focus on creating better user experiences rather than coding what may have already been coded.

If you want to learn more about the ITX-P-C444 SBC or how the collaboration with Qt can simplify your design, stop by the WINSYSTEMS booth at embedded world 2020 in Nuremberg, Germany.

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