Friday, August 22, 2008

Embedded Engineers Expect Software Code Base to Continue to Grow at Nearly 10% per Year

Recently released data from Venture Development Corporation’s (VDC) Embedded/Real-time and Mobile Application Operating Systems study leads to the conclusion that the overall embedded software code base may be growing at a rate of approximately 9% per year.

Comparatively larger code size is not always an indicator of more complex system functionality, as smaller code bases often result from superior coding techniques and more efficient use of system resources. However, this data supports the idea that system complexity is driving the need for greater amounts of software content per project.

Because of their correlation with relatively larger overall code bases, VDC expects projects using commercial and open source operating systems to represent the bulk of total embedded software code base growth going forward. Furthermore, VDC’s findings suggest that engineers working on projects using commercial, open source, and in-house operating systems, as well as those using no formal operating system (running on their target system), all expect, on average, to employ significantly greater amounts of software code on their next embedded design. While data from VDC’s 2008 Embedded System Engineering Survey suggests slightly slower average rates of expected growth in the lines of code per project than in previous years, the average embedded system engineer anticipates an increase of over 20% in the total lines of software code on their next project.

“The average embedded system/device continues to require greater amounts of software to serve the requirements of both suppliers and end users. Among many other functions, today’s embedded systems demand more sophisticated system interfaces, incorporating increasingly complex graphical elements as well as advanced wired and wireless communication capabilities,” says Matt Volckmann, Program Manager with VDC’s Embedded Software Practice. “As a result of a greater overall focus on software as means to enable increased functionality, a large number of embedded systems manufacturers are currently dedicating more of their resources to software engineering tasks.”
Project teams developing, testing, and managing larger, more complex code bases may obtain their software from a number of third party and in-house sources, including:

  • Code leveraged from previous designs
  • Commercial software solutions
  • Using open source solutions
  • Code developed in-house using more efficient tools or larger engineering teams
  • Code generation technologies

Commercial vendors report that customers evaluating embedded operating systems typically are seeking to satisfy a growing list of specific product requirements – and that vendors without adequate offerings in these areas are often not considered as part of a more thorough evaluation. Solutions supporting more complex system user interfaces and communication stacks such as USB connectivity, TCP/IP, and wireless communication protocols are currently in high demand within a majority of projects. Most vendors have therefore either built these solutions in-house to complement their offerings or satisfied these through partnerships in order to fill gaps within their offerings. These market factors are quickly turning operating system vendors into software stack platform providers.

VDC explores these and other critical issues within the recently released report, Volume 3: Embedded/Real-time and Mobile Application Operating Systems, from Track 1 of VDC’s 2008 Embedded Software Market Intelligence Service. This report includes in-depth analysis of findings from VDC’s 2008 Embedded System Engineering Survey segmented by operating system type.

To Access the PDF version of this press release, click here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


With the increasing complexity of embedded software and hardware designs, the 2008 end-user data books will provide insight into the behavior, opinions, and demographics of embedded engineers, the degree to which embedded system engineering tasks are converging, and key system engineering trends likely to impact embedded systems manufacturers and solution providers over the short and long term.

This end-user data is based on detailed Web survey responses collected in the February to April 2008 timeframe from almost eight hundred embedded systems engineers worldwide that will offer an understanding about the dynamics of the embedded market as they relate to current and future product development trends. This detailed end-user data provides access to VDC’s extensive knowledge of the embedded developer community and is intended to provide insight into specific embedded developer communities’ current development and future project trends based on the individual report topics.

VDC’s Embedded Software 2008 Market Intelligence Service includes Track 1: Operating Systems Used in Embedded Systems and Track 2: Software/System Modeling and Test Tools.
Both tracks include a volume and multiple modules of end-user data for the individual reports within the tracks that includes data for over 130 exhibits for:

· Linux Used in Embedded Systems
· Windows Used in Embedded Systems
· Embedded/Real-time and Mobile Application Operating Systems
· Multi-Core Components and Tools
· Virtual System Prototyping/Simulation Tools for Software Development & Verification
· Software and Systems Modeling Tools
· Static Analysis Tools

Subscribers to individual reports from either Track 1 or Track 2 receive end-user data specific to any report purchased at no additional cost. However, the end-user data is available for purchase separately for subscribers requiring the data only as well as unique data cuts of specific interest to solution providers.

Who should be interested?

Software (ESW, ESL, and EDA) and hardware (silicon and board) solution providers (whether currently engaged in the embedded market or not) should find this information of interest, as these reports provide valuable insight into the types of current and future requirements and methodologies that companies are using to engineer embedded systems. This information can be used to assist companies in differentiating their solutions, developing competitive strategies, engineering products that better meet current and future customer requirements, and/or supporting key marketing and sales claims.

Systems manufacturers and semiconductor suppliers will also find value in this data in developing an understanding of key system engineering trends that will impact their business in the short and long term, gaining a perspective on the embedded software and hardware market, and an understanding of the vendor options available to them.

For further about VDC’s Embedded Software 2008 Market Intelligence Service contact:

Cyril Bernard, Account Executive, 508.653.9000 ext. 142,

Join the VDC mailing list to receive future updates at:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cadence Withdraws Bid for Mentor

Today Cadence announced that is has withdrawn its proposal to acquire Mentor Graphics for $1.6 billion, citing a revised outlook given the present economic climate and Mentor's failure to engage in substantive discussions. At the same time, the company announced the authorization of a stock repurchase of $500 million subject to market conditions.

Mentor responded to the announcement, saying that Cadence's claims were inconsitent with Cadence's previous public statments and discussions with Mentor, that it believed Cadence was facing challenges in obtaining financing, and that the FTC's actions indicated that the proposed transaction would be protracted.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Multi-Core and Multiprocessing Support Remain Low Priorities in Selection of Embedded OS

Natick, Massachusetts – August 5, 2008 – Recently published research by Venture Development Corporation (VDC) indicates that many embedded developers still do not yet consider multiprocessing and multi-core architecture support a highly critical factor influencing their selection of embedded operating systems for current projects.

Moreover, these criteria remained of relatively low importance even to those developers who indicated that they were using a multi-core or multi-core and multiprocessor design for their current project.

While their preferences did indicate a discernable increase in the relative importance of support for multi-core architectures, their top-eight section criteria remained consistent with those of the overall population. Although VDC expects this selection dynamic to continue change going forward as more embedded projects incorporate multi-core processors, it is clear that factors such as the reliability, cost, and the availability of development tools will continue to drive purchasing decisions.

“While the percentage of developers incorporating multi-core processors is expected to increase going forward, it remains to be seen how this technology will ultimately affect the overall commercial market for embedded software,” says Chris Rommel, Analyst with VDC’s Embedded Software Practice. “Increased adoption of multi-core processors may not necessarily cause embedded device manufacturers’ software spend to increase more per year than it would have organically. This technology, however, may have the potential to affect the competitive landscape going forward and shift the relative distribution of market revenue if a clear disparity in multi-core or multiprocessing support emerges between the vendors that have traditionally led the embedded market.”

VDC explores these and other critical issues within the market for embedded multi-core software solutions in the recently released report, Multi-Core Components and Tools, Volume 4 from Track 1 of VDC’s 2008 Embedded Software Market Intelligence Service.