Byte Paradigm collected data over a period from 2009 to 2011 from a population of more than 350 engineers involved in embedded system design. What did the engineers say?
The ‘challenge’ in generating the – specifically digital – inputs of an embedded system comes together with the challenge in analyzing its outputs.
Schematically, setting up a ‘test / debug’ session for an embedded system starts with the questions:
- How am I going to stimulate the system’s inputs?
- How am I going to observe the system’s outputs ?
- How am I going to check if what I observe is correct?
- How am I going to correct detected bugs?
Hence, testing and debugging strategy first requires the definition of the infrastructure that will be used ‘around’ the system under test to place it in a ‘stimulus-and-response’ scenario.
From the chart above, we can see that a majority of respondents either ‘somewhat agree’ or ‘agree’ that the generation of input stimulus is challenging.
In addition, when asked about whether ‘generating the inputs’ is less, more or equally challenging as ‘observing the outputs’ of embedded systems, the results vary by system type.
A remarkable result shows that 83% of the respondents find the generation of input equally or more challenging than the observation of the outputs.
At the origin of this finding, respondents mention the lack of available equipment and/or the lack of budget to purchase these. A common practice also reside in using valuable design time to design the source of stimulus, together with the system itself.
Byte Paradigm’s flexible & cost-effective digital pattern generator solutions help overcome the ‘stimulus challenge’.