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Virtualization: Unlocking Software Modularity of Embedded Systems

This session was presented by Nabor Felix Cortez, Erik Williams, Andrew House, and Major Jorge Ramirez of the U.S. Air Force at DevSecOps Days Pittsburgh, held virtually May 11, 2023.

Software Engineering Institute




Traditional avionics-embedded development requires writing software applications that are specific to hardware (HW) configurations and the operating system (OS). In the early stages of the lifecycle, this proves cumbersome because complete architectures usually need to be defined before any software development can begin. This constraint also limits reuse and refactoring during hardware end-of-life or HW refreshes, which leads to higher and longer lifetime costs. By requiring physical access to the hardware for testing, this process hinders the fundamentals of Agile, pushing the lifecycle further right.

As Digital Engineering becomes mainstream, it is increasingly critical to understand the implications of various certifying bodies and contracting support to fully utilize its associated benefits. DevSecOps designed for embedded development is a highly rigorous, complicated, and time-consuming problem to overcome. Supporting embedded systems beyond application development with matching acquisition support is crucial to unlocking their modularity.