Shift Left

By Michel Genard

Genard_lgWhether developers or corporations use a formal development process or not, one of the most critical (and risky) milestones is to have access to the target hardware, on-time and on-quantity in order to get going with the software development. Adding to this dependency, the fact that software content has grown to a point where you have more lines of codes in any electronics systems than gates, the debugging, test and integration of these devices are by far the most challenging and overlooked activities. Often OEMs have no other choice than to make compromises to time-to-market and quality levels if they still want to release a product. Beyond trying to reduce cost of labor, deploying the smartest tools, and reusing commercial off the shelf components as much as possible, OEMs and system integrators are also looking for solutions to mitigate these risks and have found simulations such as Wind River Simics as the vector to literally “shift left” their life cycles, enabling them to develop software without the constraint of needing the target hardware to be available or even designed yet. As a result, they are even pushing debugging, test and integration phases much earlier in the life cycle where it is still quite affordable to fix and change design. By going through this transformation in development, customers typically report a return of investment of around 60%+ for time-to-market (or time to money!) and a 35% reduction in time to debug their system.

In the 90’s, Wind River revolutionized the operating systems market with VxWorks (and a tag line of “The Revolution in Real-Time!”). Last year with the addition of Simics, Wind River is once again driving the direction for the future, impacting how companies think about their electronics product development.