Embedded systems developers are looking to improve how many of their projects hit their deadlines by increasing the skill levels of their engineering teams.
This is just one of a number of results highlighted by the latest UBM Electronics Embedded Market Survey which saw 1,704 respondents provide details on their tools and work environment, applications, methods and processes, operating systems, and chips currently used by or being considered. The results will be presented on Thursday 29 March at 1pm in the Expo Show theater at DESIGN West.
The 2012 survey shows that 42% of all projects finished on or ahead of schedule but this meant that 58% of all projects finished late or were cancelled, which is almost no change from 2011 and 2010. In a new question this year respondents were asked to think about the next year and what areas will be their greatest technology challenges? Not surprisingly given the lateness of projects 21% said hitting schedules would be top of their list while only 19% felt integrating new technology or tools was most important and 16% cited managing code size and complexity. Bottom of the challenge list was connecting to the cloud with only 3% feeling is was major challenge.
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So what would developer do to improve one thing about their embedded design activities. A major change this year saw the increase in engineering team skill level jumped from 9 to 16 percent while the leading improvement wanted – debugging tools – dropped 7% to 22%.
One of the new questions added to this years survey was what are the most important factors in choosing an operating system. Availability of full source code was top reply with 41% while real time performance and no royalties came in at 31% while bottom of the pile was the supplier's reputation which only gained 3% support.
As to which operating systems are being used, in a dramatic jump in-house/custom went from 8% to 22% while both Android and Ubuntu where newcomers and charted in send and third place with 13% and 12% respectively.
But the dramatic effect Android is having was highlighted in what engineers are considering using in the next 12 months. Android outstripped the rest with a 34% market share while inhouse/custom more than doubled from 7% to 17%. 60% of respondents said they were not concerned at all with the recent acquisitions of operating-system vendors by microprocessor vendors.
As to which processors being used there is a slow but steady rise by 32-bit while 8- and 16-bit are maintaining their market share. There was a marked change in what engineers felt was most important when choosing a microprocessor. The chip itself dropped 13% to 30% while the ecosystem surrounding the chip jumped a dramatic 15% to 61%.