What are the Key Challenges in Embedded Software?

Edward A. Lee

Guest Editorial
in System Design Frontier, Volume 2, Number 1, January 2005
Shanghai Hometown Microsystems Inc http://www.hwswworld.com/



Embedded software has traditionally been thought of as "software on small computers." In this traditional view, the principal problem is resource limitations (small memory, small data word sizes, and relatively slow clocks). Solutions emphasize efficiency; software is written at a very low level (in assembly code or C), operating systems with a rich suite of services are avoided, and specialized computer architectures such as programmable DSPs and network processors are developed to provide hardware support for common operations. These solutions have defined the practice of embedded software design and development for the last 25 years or so.