When designing an electrical equipement product, you typically have the following sub-systems to design and integrate together:
- mechanical (a box)
- electrical (the wires to inteface with grid + load and power electronics)
- the electronics (driving the power electronics + human-machine interface + communication interface)
- and the software that runs on the electronics.
For (1,2,3), there are a lot of standard/COTS products available so that you can quickly have a prototype ready using those components (while there is still innovation going on in each of these areas). However, for (4), this is less obvious and knowing that embedded software costs amount for a large part of electronic product design (>50% according to PwC), it has to be carefully planned.
Splitting software into components
Software can also be split into 3 important components: (1) commodity interfaces, (2) specialized interfaces and (3) application software (that may or may not run over an OS) – see image below (taken from my ebook on custom electric motor drive design).
Click here to read more ...