Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with Unicon Systems CCOTS by lzi10112

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									                                 Unicon Systems platforms
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WHITE           PAPER




Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with
Unicon Systems CCOTS™ Platforms
January 29, 2009 – version 0.3




Prepared by

Bill Weinberg, LinuxPundit.com
for Unicon Systems
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................................3

INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................4
   WHO SHOULD R EAD THIS WHITE PAPER                                                                                                    4

THE CHANGING MARKETPLACE FOR INTELLIGENT DEVICES ...........................................4
   KEY TRENDS                                                                                                                           4
   CONVERGENCE OF PCS AND MOBILE DEVICES                                                                                                5

THE OEM DESIGN CYCLE........................................................................................................6
   TRADITIONAL OEM D ESIGN PRACTICES                                                                                                    6
   HARDWARE DESIGN CYCLE                                                                                                                6
   SOFTWARE DESIGN CYCLE                                                                                                                7

RE-INVENTING OEM DESIGN WITH UNICON SYSTEMS........................................................8
   CCOTS ADVANTAGE                                                                                                                      8
   GOING TO MARKET WITH UNICON SYSTEMS – STEPS FOR SUCCESS                                                                            10
   BENEFITS                                                                                                                           11

CONCLUSION..........................................................................................................................12




Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with Unicon Systems Platforms                                             Page 2
Abstract
Mobile and ubiquitous computing represent some of the greatest technical and
financial opportunities in today’s IT marketplace. Mobile telephony, consumer
electronics, digital signage, automotive systems, medical instrumentation and
other rich content/small footprint devices play in and also create rich ecosystems.
Ecosystem participants eagerly contemplate product and services that feature
high volume, high impact business prospects.
OEMs, integrators, applications developers and operators, however, face formi-
dable challenges in addressing these markets efficiently and profitably. Design-
ing, building, provisioning and deploying this new generation of intelligent de-
vices present an array of high hurdles: short development and product life cycles,
constrained bills of materials, and the need for domain-specific expertise in both
hardware and software design.
This white paper examines the existing market and procurement channels for
connected intelligent devices. It highlights the challenges facing key ecosystem
players and proposes a new paradigm for developing and deploying mobile and
other ubiquitous applications:
CCOTS - Customizable Commercial Off-The-Shelf systems




Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with Unicon Systems Platforms            Page 3
Accelerating Mobile Applications Development
with Unicon Systems CCOTS™ Platforms
Introduction
Mobile and ubiquitous computing represent the greatest technical and market opportunities in today’s IT
marketplace. Devices for mobile telephony, consumer electronics, digital signage, automotive systems,
medical instrumentation and similar applications share key attributes:
 rich content and high-value services
 small physical form factors
 tiered, multi-player ecosystems for device and content delivery
Moreover, ecosystem participants eagerly contemplate product and services that feature high volume,
high impact business prospects.
OEMs, integrators, applications developers and operators, however, face formidable challenges in ad-
dressing markets efficiently and profitably. Designing, building, provisioning and deploying this new
generation of intelligent devices present an array of high hurdles: short development and product life cy-
cles, constrained bills of materials, and the need for domain-specific expertise in both hardware and soft-
ware design.
This white paper examines the existing market and procurement channels for connected intelligent de-
vices. It highlights the challenges facing key ecosystem players and proposes a new paradigm for devel-
oping and deploying mobile and other ubiquitous applications: Customizable Commercial Off-The-Shelf
systems – CCOTS.

Who Should Read this White Paper
This document is intended to help technical decision makers at OEMs, operators and developers of mo-
bile telephony, display, consumer electronics and industrial applications. In particular, this document
strives to assist
    Developers and Development Team Managers
    CTOs, VPs and Directors of Engineering
    OEM Product Management Teams

The Changing Marketplace for Intelligent Devices
In the past five years, both the development practices and the target marketplace for intelligent devices,
and the very definition of those devices, has undergone a radical reshaping.

Key Trends
 Engineering practices and product management that once targeted mono-purpose devices are shifting
  to creation of multi-purpose platforms to serve multiple products, product lines and lines of business
 Mainstream intelligent device platforms are moving from wholly closed and proprietary to increas-
  ingly open definitions and open source (e.g., Linux, Microsoft Shared Source for Windows, Open
  SymbianOS, etc.)




Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with Unicon Systems Platforms                    Page 4
 Surging software content of device software – consumer electronics, mobile telephony and other prod-
  ucts are today software-centric and becoming platforms for value-added software and services (vs. tra-
  ditional hardware focus)
 OEMs increasingly seek to outsource
  software platform development (to
  ISVs, developer houses and integra-
  tors) and to focus on value-added and
  differentiating engineering invest-
  ments
 Increasing IP connectivity for all
  classes of devices, not just content-
  delivery vehicles (beyond mobile
  phones and television STBs (Set-Top
  Boxes)
 Multi-core CPU technology, once
  exclusively targeting high-end data
  center deployment, is becoming ubiq-
  uitous in many types of intelligent de-
  vices (e.g., dual-core ARM processors
                                                              Figure 1. – Device S/W Content (LoC) Doubling
  in mobile phones and roadmaps for
                                                              Year-over-Year, Outstripping H/W Value-added
  quad core and beyond for Intel Atom
  and Power Architecture devices)
 Existing categories (e.g., PCs and mobile phones) are converging and morphing into new devices and
  form-factors (e.g., Smart Phones, MIDs, Nettops and automotive systems)
 Volume is moving from low-end devices (e.g., entry-level mobile phones) to middle-tier, with accom-
  panying margin pressure
 Growth opportunities and margin exist for mid-range to high-end devices (e.g., smart phones, DVRs,
  medical devices, etc.)

Convergence of PCs and Mobile Devices
Convergence has been the catchword of the last decade – convergence of fixed and mobile, of wireless
and wire-line, of data and voice, and of desktop PCs and mobile handsets. Certainly not all predictions of
convergence have come to pass -- most legacy end-point types and form factors listed here live on in their
own right. What has converged are the once diverse requirements at each point on the mobile-fixed con-
tinuum. Requirements for rich connectivity – WiFi, WLAN, Bluetooth, USB, Ethernet, etc. – go beyond
PCs and handsets to include a growing array of other intelligent devices, from in-car systems to medical
devices to media players and STB/DVRs to industrial control systems to display systems.
Through market investments by industry players, improvements in throughput for EDGE and 3G rollout
by operators, convergence is indeed happening, both in conventional form factors (smart phones and
notebooks) and in newly-minted device definitions (MID, Nettop, etc.). With these legacy and new form
factors, increasingly connected, ubiquitous CE devices, and new and refreshed communications standards
like WiMax, NFC, wireless USB and Bluetooth 3.0, device manufacturers, ODMs and integrators are
hedging their bets by integrating rich sets of multiple interconnects in current and next-generation de-
vices.




Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with Unicon Systems Platforms                           Page 5
The OEM Design Cycle
OEMs today find themselves under incrementally increasing pressure to cut time-to-market while inte-
grating expanding functionality and forward-looking technical specifications. Product design cycles are
today highly compressed, down from 18-24 months (early 1990s), from 14-18 months (4-5 years ago) to
just 7-9 months. This compression applies to mobile, consumer electronics, infrastructure equipment, and
to almost every other type of intelligent device.
Traditionally, vertically integrated OEMs maintained product teams numbering in the hundreds to build
and support their products and product lines. To meet the realities of today’s marketplace, OEMs large
and small find themselves
 Cutting back on engineering and support staff
 Outsourcing design and development efforts
 Building on COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) hardware and software components (including open
  source)
 Deconstructing legacy visions of seamless, vertical value-added
Let’s examine how these trends impact the intelligent device business:

Traditional OEM Design Practices
As a matter of common sense, the value delivered by intelligent devices is embodied in the integration of
hardware and software. This co-equal and complementary distribution of effort, however, is out of sync
with the hardware-centric approach of legacy OEM engineering. Legacy hardware-centrism dictates
 Separate hardware and software development teams
 Protracted hardware sourcing and design processes
and results in
   Late access to prototype and production hardware by software teams
   Compressed (and stressed) software, design development and integration cycles
   Poor/limited communication between hardware and software developers
   No time for feedback and iterative hardware/software co-development
   Missed market windows and suboptimal device functionality
Figure 2. illustrates the main phases and activities involved in legacy design practices. Let’s examine the
particulars of the hardware and software design cycles and key dysfunctions in them.

Hardware Design Cycle
Sourcing and Procurement
Usually entails lengthy, incremental cultivation of suppliers and technologies, usually at the raw compo-
nent level. Selection criteria biased towards isolated functionality and cost with (presume but arbitrary)
relationship to requirements of actual complete intelligent devices.
Issues: corporate supplier relationships vs. specific design requirements; need to sort through thousands
of parts from dozens of suppliers; component specification vs. holistic system compatibility and perform-
ance; individuated component analysis vs. integrated hardware and software view.




Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with Unicon Systems Platforms                   Page 6
Hardware Evaluation
Components selected in isolation evaluated in
nominally more integrated environment (evalua-
tion and reference boards, bread-boarding, etc.).
Issues: low-quality, errata-prone chipsets and
boards; minimal or unrealistic software environ-
ments; evaluation criteria based on synthetic
benchmarks, not integrated performance.

OEM Hardware Design
Building on results of Hardware Evaluation, OEM
design team creates a systems platform in response
to low-level functional requirements.
Issues: limited vision into final product, software-
centric value-add; design choices narrowed by
Sourcing and Procurement practices; design
choices based on Procurement, not supplier road-
maps and forward-looking market requirements.

Errata and Revision
Hardware QA and testing, primarily to low-level
functional specifications.
Issues: late platform delivery predicates partial
testing of functionality; “Big Bang” integration
leaves little or no time for incremental revision and            Figure 2. – Traditional OEM Design Cycle
quality improvement

Software Design Cycle
Despite the relative contributions of software vs. hardware to product differentiation, the software design
cycle is subject to limitations and availability of prototyping and production hardware:

Software Prototype
Proof of concept and software demonstration built on available hardware (often “whitebox” desktop PC)
and software components long before application-specific hardware becomes available.
Issues: gap between prototype and production hardware (performance, peripherals, CPU architecture);
limited or no path to feed findings back into hardware design (co-design).

Pre-integration
Porting/enabling of prototype or early production software onto hardware evaluation platform
Issues: limited availability and variable quality of evaluation hardware; need to migrate h/w dependent
system software (OS kernel, drivers) to unstable hardware BEFORE value-added software.

Driver Development and Board Support
Creation of production-quality system software layer and preliminary integration of application-enabling
middleware (user interface elements, CODECs, networking, etc.).



Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with Unicon Systems Platforms                        Page 7
Issues: need for “cross pollination” of software and hardware teams; access to complete hardware specs
under non-disclosure; lack of off-the-shelf drivers for new hardware; gap between hardware spec and ac-
tual devices in situ (memory mapping, bus cycles, real-time behaviors)

Platform Integration
Formal integration of (pre)production hardware, system software, enabling middleware and applications
under development.
Issues: viewed as “one-time” event instead of on-going activities (“Big Bang”); production hardware sel-
dom ready or stable;

Application Development
Design, creation, debugging, testing of value-added applications for core device functionality and market
differentiation
Issues: largest development teams and total engineering effort squeezed into compressed timeframes;
missed opportunities for concurrent development with hardware; unknown and poorly understood de-
pendencies on underlying system software and hardware (no co-design).

Test and QA
Including but not limited to functional and Unit Testing of complete device (software on hardware).
Issues: limited testing expertise and methodologies not up to challenge of large code bases; limited means
to resolve performance issues; bottlenecks from human intervention to test UI and MMI; compression
from late delivery of production hardware and software; poor conformance to industry standards and cer-
tification regimes detected too late in life-cycle.

Re-inventing OEM Design with Unicon Systems
In creating the “Customizable COTS” concept and in executing design and production of Unicon Systems
platforms, the company is responding directly to the issues and challenges that face OEMs (as described
in the preceding section).

CCOTS Advantage
The advantages conferred by Unicon Systems CCOTS technology are summarized in Figure 3. and high-
lighted in comparison to the traditional OEM design cycle.

Accelerates Development Cycle
Traditional development cycles are hobbled by gaps between hardware readiness and software porting
needs. By eliminating early-stage delays from sourcing and from component-level hardware evaluation,
and by providing production-ready hardware earlier in the total product life cycle, Unicon Systems
CCOTS substantially accelerates product development cycles. CCOTS accomplishes this feat by
 Offering development-ready and production-quality platforms from Day One of product development
 Consolidating costly and ineffective per-component sourcing and procurement into a unified platform
  evaluation of production-ready, customizable hardware
 Giving developers a realistic, performant and off-the-shelf execution environment for every stage of
  coding, from prototyping to integration to production
 Eliminating or reducing complicated and expensive custom device driver development



Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with Unicon Systems Platforms                  Page 8
Speeds Time-to-Market and Time-to-Volume
Systems and solutions suppliers intone the mantra of Time-to-Market, but Unicon Systems CCOTS plat-
forms actually help OEMs deliver value-added offerings on time and within budget. Getting to market,
however, is only half the battle – the economies of scale and quality inherent in Customizable COTS en-
sures that OEM products can ship in volume sooner and more sustainably, meeting market expectations
for features, functionality and performance in a rapidly-evolving marketplace.
Unicon Systems helps OEMs meet market windows and build volume by
Evolving core technologies in tandem with silicon and display capabilities, e.g.,
 CPU support for multi-core ARM, Intel ATOM (roadmap) and beyond
 Off-the-Shelf integration of Linux-based stacks like ALP and Android as well as
  Microsoft WindowsMobile
 Hardware and software integration and support for evolving wireless protocols, multimedia CODECs,
  NFC and other emerging technologies and interfaces
Removing 6-8 months from typical OEM schedule, leapfrogging
 Hardware sourcing, procurement, component evaluation and low-level prototyping,
 From-scratch platform creation, integration
 Lengthy certification of interfaces for wireless, GPS, NFC, etc. for OEMs large and small




                             Figure 3. – Comparing Traditional and CCOTS Life Cycles


Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with Unicon Systems Platforms                Page 9
Serve OEM Product-line Roadmaps, Not Just Point-Product Deliveries
Traditional component sourcing and procurement responded to high-level corporate imperative first and
product requirement second. Product-specific criteria, moreover, as life-cycle inputs, tend to serve the
design needs of point-products, not product-line and multi-generation requirements. By standardizing on
Unicon Systems CCOTS platforms, OEMs can
 Build on best-in-class silicon for both CPUs and peripherals (e.g., options for CPUs like Samsung
  64xx dual-core ARM processors, the same chipset used in the Apple iPhone)
 Right-size functionality and cost-down Bills-of-Materials by selectively populating standard periph-
  eral locations/traces on Unicon Systems film-based CCOTS system boards
 Track market trends, internal roadmaps and future-proof designs with modular add-ons
  (e.g., 3G wireless)

Going to Market with Unicon Systems – Steps for Success
Unicon Systems provides an ideal partner and supplier for OEMs, operators, ISVs and other ecosystem
participants. With Unicon Systems CCOTS platforms, your Steps for Success include:

Choose from the Range of Unicon Systems Platforms
Unicon Systems offers the platforms pictured below, and others, all optimized for development and de-
ployment, for mobile, display and industrial applications.




         Pegasus                         Apollo                       Hermes          Helios



All Unicon Systems CCOTS platforms can be further optimized to meet your project’s technical and
BOM requirements, through add-on peripherals and by de-populating standard component locations.

Standardize on Commercial or Custom Stacks and Frameworks
Unicon Systems has invested in creating maximum interoperability of software and hardware by working
with open source and commercial ecosystem partners to support a rich set of standard software platforms
and application frameworks. Unicon software development kits let you
 Build and cross-deploy Linux-based applications out-of-the-box to Unicon Systems hardware plat-
  forms
 Integrate and develop for open source and third-party platforms like Google Android, ACCESS Linux
  Platform and even Microsoft Windows Mobile on Unicon CCOTS hardware




Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with Unicon Systems Platforms                Page 10
Start Developing Value-added Applications
Unicon Systems makes it easy for both your systems software and application developers to get started on
prototyping and building branded, value-added device applications and interfaces. Instead of struggling
with buggy, non-form-factor evaluation boards and PC-based prototyping environments, Unicon Systems
provides off-the-shelf development and deployment-ready hardware. With Unicon Systems platforms,
your developer and integration teams gain immediate access to realistic, production-equivalent and mar-
ket-ready embedded hardware.

Customize and Right-size BoM
In parallel with prototyping and application development, your team can work with Unicon Systems to
customize CCOTS platforms through the addition of modules and/or cost-down the BoM by de-
populating devices and interfaces from the thin-film system board. Adding modules lets OEMs support
advanced interfaces like GPRS, NFC and other emerging, high-value connectivity.
The upward and downward scalability
of Unicon Systems CCOTS platforms
lets OEMs
   Optimize BoM costs
   Target emerging technologies and
    markets
   Perform incremental integration of
    system software and applications



Benefits
In addition to the benefits described above, working with Unicon Systems confers a range of advantages
on your company and product lines:
Time-to-Market / Volume              Unicon Systems doesn’t just repeat the mantra of accelerating Time-to-
                                     market and Time-to-Volume – we deliver. By pre-integrating the major-
                                     ity of mobile and display device capabilities in an off-the-shelf device,
                                     Unicon Systems jump starts prototyping, reduces integration risks, and
                                     helps field your products in record time.
Lower Total Costs                    Unicon Systems saves OEMs significant costs at both development and
                                     deployment time. By providing both development-ready and deploy-
                                     ment-ready hardware and software platforms, Unicon Systems can save


Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with Unicon Systems Platforms                     Page 11
                                     OEMs hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) in sourcing, design,
                                     evaluation and QA. And at deployment time, Unicon Systems volume
                                     sourcing of CCOTS platforms is often less expensive to manufacture
                                     and integrate than in-house custom solutions.
Desktop Functionality                Unicon Systems platforms like Hermes and Pegasus offer developers and
                                     end-users a full complement of integrated peripherals, complete with de-
                                     vice drivers, CODECs and other software. Browsing the web, watching
                                     movies, playing music, and other activities can leverage the full-featured
                                     technology profile of Unicon Systems software and pre-integrated device
                                     drivers, CODECs, middleware and sample applications.
Certification                        Government and operator certification homologation can impact both the
                                     back and front ends of the device life cycle: before they can ship their
                                     wares into channel, mobile OEMs and integrators must of course meet
                                     requirements of certification regimes enforced by government bodies,
                                     network operators and other customer/partners. During procurement,
                                     OEMs and integrators must not only vet suppliers for price and perform-
                                     ance, they must also look for per-certified and certifiable components.

                                     Unicon Systems CCOTS platforms ease certification and homologation
                                     during all phases of development and deployment. OEMs can count on
                                     integrated pre-certified wireless, NFC and other interfaces on Unicon
                                     Systems mobile platforms, speeding procurement and shipment in chan-
                                     nel, saving customers time and money better spent in providing value-
                                     added features and functionality.

Conclusion
The goal of the White Paper has been to present the benefits afforded by Unicon Systems Customizable
COTS approach to embedded platform design, and to highlight the range of Unicon Systems platforms
that implement that approach. Whether you are building consumer electronics or mobile telephony appli-
cations, deploying systems for instrumentation or industrial control, developing display or point-of-sales
systems or other applications, Unicon Systems CCOTS platforms accelerate your time to market and time
to volume while optimizing development and deployment costs.
Contact Unicon Systems today to learn more about our hardware and software solutions and to change the
way you do system development, integration and deployment to better meet the challenges of today’s in-
telligent device marketplace.




Accelerating Mobile Applications Development with Unicon Systems Platforms                      Page 12

								
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