Industrial control embedded system migration

Since 2005 we have provided embedded software solutions for a range of industry sectors including military and aerospace, industrial automation and telecommunications. From embedded software and system development, to software porting and software optimisation, we can satisfy most requirements.

The following project showcases part of our extensive capabilities:

Customer need

Migrate existing software for an industrial control unit to new hardware and a new operating system.

Hardware migration from Intel IA-32 to PowerPC processor. Software migration from pSOS+ to VxWorks.

Control unit used in safety-critical applications. Architectural changes to software must be minimised, to maintain “proven in use” status.

Ported system must be a drop-in replacement for existing system.

The challenge

Very large code base.

Many assumptions built into application software about target hardware (byte order, alignment, etc.)

Many inherently non-portable constructs used (bit fields, type punning, etc.)

Complex software organisation and build method. Proprietary tools required to configure, operate and test software.

Our solution

Provided short initial on-site consultancy to define project requirements, scope and general approach.

Carried out a pilot/feasibility study by porting a small subset of the software.

Pilot study established principles, processes and tools to be applied to port the software successfully.

Carried out a multi-phase project to port further subsets of the software.

Confirmed portability by running the ported software on both a physical PowerPC target system and a virtual IA-32 target system.

On-site demonstration, testing and knowledge transfer to client at the end of each phase.

Advised client on how to continue/complete the porting process (carried out by client because of dependencies on special hardware and equipment not readily available to Pebble Bay).

The outcome

Future portability of software significantly improved.

Porting completed on schedule.

Positive feedback from client.

Client has engaged Pebble Bay for further projects including VxWorks BSP development for custom-designed hardware that will run the ported application software.