Do more with less – this phrase, which captures Buckminster Fuller’s concept of ephemeralization, caught fire in the embedded space in the 1990s but never seems to go out-of-fashion. Managers constantly squeeze budgets and schedules to deliver products faster and cheaper, often with quality suffering as a result. Unlike Fuller’s vision of ever-increasing quality and solutions, this approach often results in the test phase of the product lifecycle being foreshortened to meet aggressive schedule goals and occasionally means cutting features from the final product (perhaps to be added later as a version update).
Let’s explore techniques that will help developers find and fix defects more quickly, help save money on build material lists (BML), and perhaps avoid the challenges of ephemeralization. While the primary focus is on Arm-based cores, many of these techniques are directly applicable to other cores as similar functionality exists in many embedded devices.