Ten strategies to minimize cross-platform design complexity in an IoT world: Page 3 of 3

November 14, 2016 //By Stefan Ingenhaag, Renesas Electronics Europe
Every engineering project demands tradeoffs among its many specifications, which can be classified into three broad factors: performance, power consumption, and price. Each project has a “sweet spot” somewhere within a triangle with those three factors at its corners, but with different relative weightings depending on the product, market, and timing.

9. Doing the test plan early in the design stage

It is both essential and complex, especially where wireless is part of the design. How you informally and then formally verify that the end product meets the market, technical, industry standards, and regulatory requirements affects your “fix” cycle and thus time to market. If you have to change either prototype test procedures or production test set-up as you scale your product up and add features to handle different applications, that’s a lot more work, uncertainty, and risk. Using pre-certified hardware and software modules that you license that will assure conformance and compliance for many of the aspects of the final design, but not all. Be very cognizant of any high-level regulatory guidelines on design and verification (such as for reliability of medical products) that impact your software – and to which of your products they apply, if not all.

 

10. Again, security, security, security

Adopt software techniques and tactics that can scale across products and match the application requirements and IoT user interface (if any), such as firewalls, authentication, and even passwords. Identify the security resources you need from the hierarchical list – secure boot, authentication, secure communication, firewall, tamper detection, event reporting, remote command audit and policy management – and ensure that each one’s actual implementation is appropriate and feasible, given the software resources you have. Assess if the “burden” of adding security to various products push you to a larger or faster MCU than otherwise, and have a plan verify the robustness of the security steps you implement.

 

Conclusion

As new or additional products are developed, the “sweet spot” will undoubtedly move to meet the changing requirements while avoiding excessive compromises. Designers can help ensure that these changes do not impact their costs, schedule or workload more than absolutely necessary by looking across the range of immediate and future products, then making platform decisions that can be scaled with a minimum of rework and maximum of re-use.

About the author:

Stefan Ingenhaag is Senior Engineer MCU/MPU Solution Marketing ICBG, Renesas Electronics Europe.

Design category: