Update on IEC62304 firmware libraries (part 2)
When customers come to us with an application requirement that is based ‘platformaly’ on IoT or other mainstream technology sets, we believe that wheel reinvention is not the best approach to take.
Our ‘just add water’ approach to IoT development means that platform development is a configuration exercise, and our value-add is in the application.
As we have noted in a previous blog post, Genesys has a fully traceable, systematised library structure which integrates hardware modules, software modules, risk management, requirements traceability and design traceability.
This is part of our ‘IEC 62304 ready’ software libraries initiative, and works in harmony with our GMS ‘Genesys Modular Stack’ hardware library.
We cannot simply think in terms of sensors & actuators, hardware & software, or web page widgets when conducting ‘library-isation’ processes. These are the more simplistic discipline-aligned horizontal layers which fall out with little effort. The challenge, and the reward, is in what we call ‘vertical modularity’. That is, ‘library-isation’ of modules that each provide a particular feature to the customer’s application.
In IoT applications, the system component metrics easily reach 6 figures. We see, as part of the Australian engineering industry, the need to go beyond the traditional high-value low-volume niche, and include highly productive processes which provide low cost application of Australian human resources to highly scaleable ‘bread and butter’ engineering activities.
Further, the IoT revolution has brought about a great alignment of platform requirements. However, no-one has the time or money to re-engineer platforms from scratch every time and produce an application solution.
The challenge is, customers and users expect all of the platform benefits, and also expect to pay very little for it – that is how the market has been conditioned by IoT’s ubiquitousness, and the proliferation of Internet services and smart mobile devices that we now take for granted. We expect a lot for a little.
So, the lures of IoT are also a barrier for the new, and a hurdle for the traditional niche players. Without an intelligent approach to modularity, it is very difficult to economically produce and deploy scalable and capable products that can also be supported in the field.
The Genesys approach of implementing vertical and horizontal modularity in our hardware and software libraries embraces this challenge, and provides multiple advantages:
- Providing value for money and maximum application-oriented value-add to our customers in the non-medical domain;
- A full library-based ISO 13485 compliant development process, based on mature and traceable pre-compliant design templates developed under Genesys’ stringent quality system; and
- Design maturity, capability and scalability.
In this way, we end up doing ‘less work for a better outcome’ for our customers. We don’t lose out – we build strong and productive ongoing relationships that are at a higher strategic level than just electronics or software development.
For us, that is where the true enjoyment and fulfilment lies in engineering.