Embedded Development Technologies to Look Out for in 2023 and Beyond
The hard world embedded systems may seem less susceptible to rapid change compared to digital-only products and services and therefore less likely to produce trends.
True, the speed of change may be on the slower end of the spectrum, however, certain tendencies do come up and certain technologies are used more often than others. Below are the top five that we believe will be shaping embedded development during the next couple of years.
This selection is based on the Lemberg Solutions team’s experience at Embedded World 2022, which we attended on June 21–23 to showcase embedded software development and hardware engineering serviceswe provide, as well as on the requests we get from prospective and existing clients.
So, if you’re smack in the middle of selecting a tech stack for your own IoT product, make sure to keep in mind the following technologies.
1. Embedded AI
Of course, the tendency to add artificial intelligence into virtually any device or business operation that collects or processes large amounts of data isn’t breaking news. What is a newer tendency — and one that is here to stay, for sure — is embedded AI.
Embedded AI, as the name suggests, is built directly into devices and serves to perform common model management, data gathering, and data preprocessing tasks for devices’ algorithm-based functions. By eliminating the need for the cloud, embedded AI speeds up calculation times and decreases energy consumption, thus enhancing overall device performance.
That said, embedded AI will not replace the cloud in embedded systems altogether. Embedded AI on the edge still requires cloud resources to drive business value, so the former will simply supplement the cloud’s ability to use AI.
2. Embedded Linux
Linux is the absolute leader in embedded system development, and for good reasons: it can be used for mission-critical applications, it’s scalable, and it supports a large array of processors, firmware, and networking protocols. Also, Linux is open-source.
It’s highly customizable, too, thanks to projects like Yocto Project, which is an open-source set of tools for customizing Linux-based systems. In the end, there’s not much embedded engineers can’t do with Linux, so its ubiquitous spread is completely justified and highly unlikely to diminish anytime soon. The range of use cases for embedded Linux covers industrial, automotive, telecommunications, healthcare, agriculture, and sports tech applications.
We at Lemberg Solutions have used Linux in many an embedded development project, with the most recent ones being completed for Cellink, a leading innovator in the development of bioprinters and biomaterials based in Sweden, and Speede, an American sports tech startup building training equipment that reduces workout duration and enhances muscle definition more effectively compared to other commercially available gear.
3. NB-IoT and LoRaWAN
Wherever there’s a need for long-range, low-power data exchange, there are LoRaWAN and NB-IoT. And the need for it is plentiful: from large manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, and agriculture businesses to wearables and smart buildings.
There are differences between the two that dictate their specific optimal use cases. Because LoRaWAN requires a lot less energy and thus less maintenance, it’s perfect for businesses that operate in remote locations. NB-IoT is the more secure option of the two, seeing as it’s subject to the LTE standard, which means it’s well suited for healthcare uses and smart metering.
4. Wireless data exchange for automotive applications
The automotive industry’s appetite for intense data exchange is getting larger year by year, just like the industry itself. To that end, V2X (vehicle-to-everything communication), 5G, WiFi 6, Bluetooth, and Edge Analytics are the central technologies enabling immediate communication between various elements of automotive systems such as telematic control units, infotainment screens, and driver assistants.
Solutions featuring the technologies above were abundantly present at this year’s Embedded World, serving as additional proof of the automotive industry’s far-reaching growth potential.
5. Qt for GUIs
When it comes to the development of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for touch screens, nothing beats the Qt framework. It works with C++, Python, and a few other languages and is incredibly well-documented, well-supported, and, as a result, well-loved by embedded engineers.
Qt’s key strength is QML (the Qt Meta or Modeling Language), which empowers embedded developers to create complex user interfaces using a rather simple JSON-based syntax.
Our own team at Lemberg Solutions has recently used Qt QML to build an AUTOSAR-based battery management system for hybrid electric and electric vehicles, which we demoed at Embedded World. Below is a short video about it shot by our partner STMicroelectronics, whose components we used to develop this BMS:
Demonstrating their excellence in embedded development is just one reason for companies to attend trade fairs like Embedded World. The other, no less important one is to connect with other players in the industry and empower each other through strategic partnerships.
Collaborating with Lemberg Solutions could become one such strategic partnership for you. In over 15 years, we have provided embedded development services to clients from multiple industries that include industrial IoT, healthcare, logistics, automotive, transportation, consumer electronics, sports tech, agritech, and a few others.
If you find that our embedded development experience could help you reach your business goals, don’t hesitate to get in touch.