LDRA integrates Yocto for open source tools in embedded system design

Championing integration to enable embedded developers to cut through layers of abstraction in diverse, complex build systems, LDRA says it can support them to extract what they need for static and dynamic analysis and unit test, following the integration of Yocto.

Yocto is a collaborative project that enables developers to build on open source tools to create complex embedded systems. Its aim is to unify and improve software practices in open source embedded systems. LDRA describes its own goal as to facilitate modular design through the re-use of these components in safety critical systems. Automotive companies already use LDRA’s build to test entertainment systems, airbags and brakes and the company says the safety and security of these Yocto-integrated systems is increased as they bridge into autonomous vehicles.

“As embedded projects have evolved to complex computer systems, build technology brings the various modules together, and requirements around safety, security and quality become increasingly complex to verify,” said Ian Hennell, operations director, LDRA. A single designer cannot know how each module is built or how the code interacts between the modules, but they can use LDRA’s build import to show how code is built. In this way they can uncover the exact information needed for standards compliance and application certification, Hennell continued.

LDRA’s new build import is extensible, API-ready and native for Linux, Windows and MacOS. This makes it easy to customise. Using the LDRA tool suite, embedded developers can move directly into static analysis and unit testing of the application. Historically, applications such as braking systems, were embedded into a specific microcontroller, and developed and tested independently from the rest of the system.

Automotive systems, however, are following the trend of avionics’ integrated modular avionics (IMA) architecture, and the embedding a controller is now a software module built into a larger system. For functional safety testing in this environment, the ability to decompose the system and understand each module is critical. Tools like Yocto, while helping structurally organise a system, can create a lack of transparency, says LDRA. It says that the build import means the testing team always has a build expert on staff to offer the answers required to build a safety case.

To certify complex systems to IEC TC 9 (for rail), ISO 26262 (for automotive) and DO-178C (for aerospace), where rigorous static and dynamic analysis and unit testing are mandated, embedded developers need to be able for fully analyse how the individual modules and systems are built and interact. LDRA’s build import integrated with Yocto shows the power and flexibility afforded by the build import methodology, says the company.

The LDRA tool suite helps developers build quality into the software development lifecycle. The suite of software standards compliance, testing, and verification tools reflect industry best practices to help ease the development of safety- and security-critical products. Its open and extensible platform integrates software lifecycle traceability, static and dynamic analysis, unit test, and system-level testing on virtually any host or target platform.

Picture credit: metamorworks


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