Firmware is an essential component of any embedded control system, large or small. No matter how good the hardware, the silicon design or other components, the system won't perform without good firmware. All too often firmware development is considered to be a function largely separate from the design of the silicon or other hardware and is sometimes ignored almost entirely until the hardware is either frozen or completed.
Our expertise in firmware arises from frequent involvement in developments requiring very low cost but flexible implementations of small or slave control systems or complex but unique physical interfaces such as those found in sensor systems. The lowest unit cost developments may involve single system-on-chip (SoC) custom silicon where the firmware is also held on-chip, possibly in ROM or Flash memory. Otherwise small low-cost microcontrollers can provide a very cost-effective, fast and flexible solution in preference to designing custom hardware.
- Low-level programming of small/very small devices
- Typically small low-cost microcontrollers, e.g. Microchip PIC micro
- Custom, application-specifc microcontrollers
- Small memory / high code density
- Very low power
- Fast operation for low clock speed
- Typically native assembly language programming
- Basic C in some devices