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Chapter: Embedded Systems

Embedded Development Life Cycle

Chapter Structure: 1 Introduction 2 EDLC 2.1 Need For ELDC 2.2 Objectives 3 Different Phases of EDLC 4 ELDC Approaches





Chapter Structure



1 Introduction


2.1 Need For ELDC

2.2 Objectives

3 Different Phases of EDLC

4 ELDC Approaches




After Reading this chapter you will understand

The Embedded Development Life Cycle

Phases Involved in the EDLC



Just like the SDLC used in Software Development, there is EDLC used in Embedded product development. This chapter explains what is the EDLC, its objectives, the phases that are involved in the EDLC.




EDLC is Embedded Product Development Life Cycle

It is an Analysis – Design – Implementation based problem solving approach for embedded systems development.

There are three phases to Product development:

Analysis involves understanding what product needs to be developed


Design involves what approach to be used to build the product


Implementation is developing the product by realizing the design.


2.1 Need for EDLC


EDLC is essential for understanding the scope andcomplexity of the work involved in embedded systems development


It can be used in any developing any embedded product

EDLC defines the interaction and activities among variousgroups of a product development phase.


Example:-project management, system design


2.2 Objectives of EDLC


The ultimate aim of any embedded product in a commercial production setup is to produce Marginal benefit


Marginal is usually expressed in terms of Return On Investment


The investment for product development includes initial investment, manpower, infrastructure investment etc.


EDLC has three primary objectives are:


Ensure that high quality products are delivered to user

Quality in any product development is Return On Investment achieved by the product

The expenses incurred for developing the product the product are:-

Initial investment

Developer recruiting


Infrastructure requirement related


Risk minimization defect prevention in product development through project management

In which required for product development ‘loose’ or ‘tight’ project management


‘project management is essential for ’ predictability co-ordination and risk minimization


Resource allocation is critical and it is having a direct impact on investment


Example:- Microsoft @ Project Tool

Maximize the productivity

Productivity is a measure of efficiency as well as Return On Investment


This productivity measurement is based on total manpower efficiency


Productivity in which when product is increased then investment is fall down

Saving manpower




The following figure depicts the different phases in EDLC:



The need may come from an individual or from the public or from a company.


‘Need’ should be articulated to initiate the Development Life Cycle; a ‘Concept Proposal’ is prepared which is reviewed by the senior management for approval.


Need can be visualized in any one of the following three needs:

New or Custom Product Development.

Product Re-engineering.

Product Maintenance.



Defines the scope of concept, performs cost benefit analysis and feasibility study and prepare project management and risk management plans.


The following activities performed during this phase:


Feasibility Study : Examine the need and suggest possible solutions.


Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA): Revealing and assessing the total development cost and profit expected from the product.


Product Scope: Deals with the activities involved in the product to be made.


Planning Activities: Requires various plans to be developed first before development like Resource Planning & Risk management Plans.



The product is defined in detail with respect to the inputs, processes, outputs, and interfaces at a functional level.


The various activities performed during this phase..

Analysis and Documentations: This activity consolidates the business needs of the product under development.


•  Requirements that need to be addressed..


Functional Capabilities like performance

Operational and non-operational quality attribute

Product external interface requirements

Data requirementsUser manuals

Operational requirements

Maintenance requirements

General assumptions


 Defining Test Plan and Procedures: The various type of testing performed in a product development are:


Unit testing – Testing Individual modules


Integration testing – Testing a group of modules for required functionality


System testing- Testing functional aspects or functional requirements of the product after integration


User acceptance testing- Testing the product to meet the end user requirements.




The design phase identifies application environment and creates an overall architecture for the product.


It starts with the Preliminary Design. It establishes the top level architecture for the product. On completion it resembles a ‘black box’ that defines only the inputs and outputs. The final product is called Preliminary Design Document (PDD).


Once the PDD is accepted by the End User the next task is to create the ‘Detailed Design’.


It encompasses the Operations manual design, Maintenance Manual Design and Product Training material Design and is together called the ‘Detailed Design Document’.


Development and Testing

Development phase transforms the design into a realizable product.


The detailed specification generated during the design phase is translated into hardware and firmware.

The Testing phase can be divided into independent testing of firmware and hardware that is:


Unit testing

Integration testing

System testing

User acceptance testing




Deployment is the process of launching the first fully functional model of the product in the market.


It is also known as First Customer Shipping (FCS).


Tasks performed during this phase are:


Notification of Product Deployment: Tasks performed here include:


Deployment schedule


Brief description about the product


Targeted end user


Extra features supported


Product support information


Execution of training plan


Proper training should be given to the end user top get them acquainted with the new product.


Product installation


Install the product as per the installation document to ensure that it is fully functional.


Product post Implementation Review


After the product launch, a post implementation review is done to test the success of the product.




The support phase deals with the operational and maintenance of the product in the production environment.


Bugs in the product may be observed and reported.


The support phase ensures that the product meets the user needs and it continues functioning in the production environment.


Activities involved under support are

Setting up of a dedicated support wing: Involves providing 24 x 7 supports for the product after it is launched.


Identify Bugs and Areas of Improvement: Identify bugs and take measures to eliminate them.



Deals with the development of upgrades (new versions) for the product which is already present in the market.


Product upgrade results as an output of major bug fixes.

During the upgrade phase the system is subject to design modification to fix the major bugs reported.



The retirement/disposal of the product is a gradual process.

This phase is the final phase in a product development life cycle where the product is declared as discontinued from the market.


The disposal of a product is essential due to the following reasons


Rapid technology advancement

Increased user needs




Following are some of the different types of approaches that can be used to model embedded products.


Waterfall or Linear Model

Iterative/ Incremental or Fountain Model

Prototyping Model

Spiral Model

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