Traditionally, most embedded systems have been expected to operate autonomously. However, embedded systems are now expected to form an integral part of a much larger and more complex distributed system. Embedded systems are no longer just control units, they are becoming the delivery vehicles for new, network-based services that can be used by vendors to drive long-term revenue streams.

One example is the growing use of telematics in automobiles, where traditional development techniques cannot keep pace with the market demand for innovation. Automotive companies are demanding much faster turnaround for telematics, which have grown in complexity four-fold over just a couple of years, especially compared to the control systems that drive the rest of the car.

This demands an approach to development that is both faster and more flexible, while maintaining the same level of reliability expected by automotive manufacturers. A data-centric approach to the development of complex systems such as telematics offers a way of streamlining the process and of improving the system’s flexibility.

Reprinted with permission from Embedded Computing Design/May 2005. Article © OpenSystems Publishing.