Timesys announced this week that it is expanding its service portfolio to include new, higher-level software services and technologies across the Embedded Project Spectrum — from board support packages (BSPs) and devices, to mobile applications and Internet of Things (IoT) systems.
With the expansion toward more networked devices, Timesys now also supports Android-based services and has enhanced its automated, custom security monitoring and notification services. Now, OEMs, ODMS and design houses can deploy secure embedded systems — properly integrated from “top to bottom” — while reducing software lifecycle costs associated with security management and field updates.
In the IoT marketplace, OEMS and ODMs are struggling with software implementation tradeoffs, preferring open source over proprietary solutions in many cases. Challenges increase with the complexity of IoT solutions. On one hand, the solution needs “sensor- and device-level” functions so data can be captured, filtered and collected from numerous, remotely secured and managed, embedded devices. On the other hand, the solution also needs “system-level” function so data can be gathered, analyzed and interpreted.
Using open source software, Timesys’ new IoT Development and Integration Services focus on the “sensor- and device-level” functions, creating the necessary embedded, open source software capabilities for devices and gateways, leaving the data gathering and analytics aspects to complementary, expert vendors. As with the mobile development services, IoT software lifecycle management costs are minimized through automated security monitoring, multi-device testing and field update services.
With mobile and IoT applications, embedded software management becomes more complex than with static, non-networked devices.
Vendors need to update remote device software with security and bug-fix updates on a periodic basis. The challenge with open source is tracking changes to the code implemented and applying the updates. Timesys’ security monitoring and notification capability automatically tracks changes to source code files per BSP and notifies clients if changes have been made to the code in their BSP.
Timesys then secures and “cleans” the patches before placing them in the source code repositories of its Linux development environments. Once patches have been applied, automated testing and field updates enable vendors to distribute updated software easily, quickly and at reduced costs.
“With the explosive growth in mobile and networked devices, many of our customers have been asking for embedded software services beyond simple BSPs. New capabilities such as remote access, Internet-connected devices and multi-dimension user-interfaces are making embedded projects more complex,” said Atul Bansal, Timesys CEO. “Such complexity can create poorly architected and integrated code since few developers or service providers understand the system from the BSP, up through the UI, the application, the network and so on. Timesys is uniquely positioned to provide a cleanly architected, complete system that ends up having higher performance and lower on-going maintenance costs.”
Cross-platform, mobile access is table-stakes in many industries these days. Long-term support with remote security and maintenance updates are taken for granted. Yet, such vendor responsibilities can be time- and resource-intensive.
Timesys’ new mobile application services target solutions for devices that use embedded open source, that require remote access, control and management, and that can be accessed by mobile handhelds and phone, such as those enabled with Android.
To enable such mobile applications, engineering services range from mobile application development and responsive UI/HMI design for the mobile handhelds, to network connectivity and interoperability functions on the remote devices. Software development and lifecycle management costs are reduced through automated, multi-device testing, security tracking and field updates.