Today, the entire world is running on embedded software and embedded systems are seen at every part of our daily life, be it the wireless infrastructure behind the mobile handset, several systems in automobiles, software-intensive systems in aerospace and defense, medical devices, consumer electronics and so on. With the growing competition to deliver high quality products with high-end functionality, most of the manufacturers across various industries like automotive, aerospace, defense, consumer electronics, high-tech, and medical devices are focusing on innovating new products by embedding more and more software into them.
Most of the embedded systems are real-time and any defect or compatibility problem can have a huge impact on enterprises. Many embedded products developed like medical devices or systems developed for use in the Aerospace industry can have a direct impact on the human safety and any failure in such systems can result in costly re-work, delays, and even product recalls that can have huge impact not only on the profits and success of new products, but also on the over all brand image. For example, many global automakers in the recent past have recalled their several car models over technical problems. General Motors has recently recalled its Chevrolet Cruze cars from the North American market due to steering and transmission problems while Honda Motor recalled its certain models of Accord, Civic, Acura, and CR-V to rectify possible faulty airbag defects. Hence, it is quite critical for manufacturers to develop flawless embedded software to avoid such problems.
Embedded systems testing will help enterprises to meet the demand for innovative, high-quality products, while at the same time address safety-critical issues, time-to-market and cost pressures. It also plays a crucial role to meet various statutory and regulatory requirements across several industries. But, testing embedded systems is considerably more complex than testing traditional software systems due to many reasons like, range of execution platforms and cross-development environments, lack of clear design models, and several quality and certification standards across various industries. To ensure that the system’s behavior, performance, and robustness meet the expected criteria, embedded testing should include several major aspects like unit testing and string testing of software across subsystems and integrated testing of software across the entire product architecture, apart from system unit testing, system integration testing, and system validation testing.
Unit testing is one of the most effective approaches to test in the integrated development environment (IDE) as it ensures that all the software units work as designed independently while system integration testing verifies how different software systems work in combination. Test automation can also be established to increase test coverage and ensure completeness and efficiency. Testing against simulators or emulators can also provide enterprises several benefits of software prototyping, test actual production code, validate compatibility, and reveal many defects similar to testing on actual device. Implementing various testing methods based on the requirements of an organization and the type of the product, will ensure effectiveness and efficiency of the test process, reduce development costs, and ultimately help enterprises to deliver high-performing products.