Consulting for Embedded Linux Projects

The first steps with Linux as a platform for embedded systems are quite simple: Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone & Co. make it easier than ever to build a prototype for their own devices.

But this is not enough: as a manufacturer or vendor of an industrial product, one is responsible for the sold product, which often has to be maintained for decades in the field. And so the inexperienced use of “cheaper” technology often causes consequences that could have been avoided.

Consulting and Requirements Analysis

Therefore, it is important to analyze the objectives of the planned product development with our experienced project managers and to identify tasks. This is done as a consulting service as part of the requirements analysis. In addition to the obvious, functional requirements for the device, this often includes topics ranging from the areas of maintainability, testing and long-term support to assisting the customer-side hardware developers with regard to “Design for Development”.

Project Implementation

The identified tasks are collected in the resource plan and implemented by the employees in the teams according to an iterative development model. Task lists and priorities are regularly circulated with the customer at the end of an iteration.

The following principles apply to our projects:

  • Open communication: Every customer project receives a separate project mailing list at Pengutronix, on which our teams discuss all technical topics with the customer teams.
  • Understanding problems: Our systems are complex, so there must be a comprehensive understanding of the problem before each implementation. If the initial situation is unclear, research tasks help to create a better planability.
  • Mainline strategy: Supposedly fast hacks cause long-term costs and risks in industrial projects. This is why we bring changes or new implementations to the kernel and the frameworks back into the respective upstream projects whenever possible.