What Is A System Now? - Semiconductor Engineering - Ann Steffora Mutschler

In a recent article in Semiconductor Engineering, Ann Steffora Mutschler states that as designs become part of connected networks, so do the requirements for what’s needed to make it work properly.

Defining a system used to be relatively straightforward. But as systems move onto chips, and as those chips increasingly are connected with applications and security spanning multiple devices, the definition is changing.

This increases the complexity of the design process itself, and it raises questions about how chips and software will be designed and defined in the age of the Internet of Things/Everything. For example, will engineers be developing software-defined hardware, network-defined software and hardware, or application-driven connected systems?

Simon Davidmann, CEO of Imperas, asserts that the classical definition of an electronic ‘system’ still stands—a product composed of both hardware and software components. “But what constitutes a typical ‘system’ has evolved considerably, especially software content, so the technologies and methodologies that are used to develop, debug and test the system become critically important.”

To this point, he noted the dramatic increase in software content in systems over the last 10 years. “The ratio of software to hardware engineers is...

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