Sw Development Tools – Answers supplied by Federico De Sario, regional sales manager Italy & Israel, Green Hills Software

Pubblicato il 14 novembre 2014

EONEWS: What are your opinions regarding the major trends for this market (slowing, growing, booming…)?

DE SARIO: Many of the high level trends in software development remain the same but have accelerated in recent years. Increasing software complexity, the need for certification and demands for cost reduction all remain important. In addition to this, new trends have emerged due to increased device connectivity, in particular related to the Internet of Things (IoT).

The increasing use of more powerful multicore CPUs in embedded devices and the deployment of multiprocessor systems are leading to a rise in software complexity which is expected to continue.

In addition, many applications now require systems to be certified to common standards such as IEC 61508 SIL3 (industrial), EN 50128 SWSIL 4 (railway), ISO 26262 in automotive, DO-178B Level A (avionics), and FDA Class III (medical). Safety is often the main driver in these cases and the increasing adoption of elements such as advanced driver assistance systems in cars can only strengthen this trend. This adds additional process and cost to the software development process.

Hardware consolidation in order to reduce costs is leading to a greater reliance on software, for example to provide safe and secure partitioning between components of a system that were previously physically separated (air-gap separation).

On top of this, the Internet of Things is making embedded devices much more vulnerable to malicious or accidental security breaches. Software protection now needs to be applied not only to the obvious applications – Government, financial, medical, etc – but also to more innocuous devices that may provide an access point to these via the IoT. This presents a huge challenge to software developers.

EONEWS: What are the key strategies adopted by your company in the short/medium period to address (or to better address) the needs of the market?

DE SARIO: The solid foundation of certified compilers, tools and run-time software that Green Hills Software has developed over more than 30 years puts the company in a strong position to continue to address these market trends.  Green Hills offers a complete software toolchain to support end-to-end software engineering needs. This includes highly optimized compilers, a powerful integrated development environment (IDE), plus middleware and real-time operating systems with the highest safety and security certifications.

The product portfolio is backed up by extensive engineering support, which is increasingly required by our customers’ software development teams. Green Hills has invested heavily in its engineering teams, and has worked hard to recruit and retain the best software engineering talent.

EONEWS: What are you doing in order to implement your strategies (partnership/agreements, new acquisitions, investments in activities like R&D, people….)?

DE SARIO: On a global scale, Green Hills works very closely with all the main silicon vendors to ensure that customers can use the same tools regardless of which target device they choose.  These relationships also enable Green Hills to offer a development solution as soon as new silicon devices become available.

In Europe, Green Hills has strengthened its team, including the recent addition of an office in Italy to better serve Italian customers.

In terms of application support, Green Hills is applying the technology and expertise it has developed for high criticality systems, such as in avionics, to new market areas. This is bringing unprecedented levels of safety and security to commercial and industrial applications.

EONEWS: What are the most important applications?

DE SARIO: The most important target applications for Green Hills are those requiring certification, where safety and data security are important assets that must be protected. Typical areas are automotive – which is growing fast in Europe in applications from instrument clusters to ADAS systems – transportation, medical, industrial, avionics and any application that runs software modules with different levels of required certification. Software separation can avoid the need to implement more hardware and separate CPU boards, reducing the product cost and increasing product lifetime (MTBF). Hardware consolidation can reduce many elements of a product’s engineering requirements, including development, testing, certification and maintenance as well as reducing power consumption and ventilation needs.

EONEWS: Which are the key factors that set your company apart from the competition?

DE SARIO: Green Hills helps its customers to create software, which never fails and cannot be hacked. We have a track record of certified software for embedded systems that no other vendor can match. We offer total reliability and absolute security, achieving certifications including IEC-61508 SIL3, CENELEC EN50128 SW/SIL4, DO-178B Level A, FDA Class II, III and providing the only commercial OS certified by the NSA to EAL6+ High Robustness for the protection of classified information “against well-funded sophisticated attackers”.

Green Hills’ optimized compilers enable users to create the fastest and smallest code (as proven with EEMBC scores) for their electronic product.  This also feeds into the lowest production costs – smaller faster code can be run on lower cost processors with less memory and lower clock speeds.

The combination of a fully integrated development environment and pre-certified, standardized RTOS improves developer productivity and enables them to focus on their core application development.

Lastly, being the largest independent software vendor ensures our customers have complete freedom of choice and can protect their investment.

EONEWS: And in the middle/long term (if you have a crystal ball!)?

DE SARIO: Current market trends will continue and become even more pronounced. Product complexity, the need for certification, and increasing data security will all become more important. While at the same time costs must be controlled.

The Internet of Things will have a major impact on software development, especially in terms of security.

In these circumstances, a company with a proven track record of efficient software development products and a wealth of safety and security certification expertise, such as Green Hills Software, is well positioned to help many organisations.

Edited by the Editorial Staff

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