Embedded Software Development

At the core of some of the world’s most critical systems are embedded software applications. Due to the nature of such systems, these software applications are often regarded as safety-critical, which means they need to adhere to strict certification and qualification requirements. A complete understanding of these complex requirements is crucial when developing safety-critical software to ensure that unexpected costs and development delays are avoided.

CRITICAL Software provides custom embedded software applications designed to meet the most demanding functional, performance and safety requirements across a wide range of global industries. Our embedded systems experience includes software development according to standards such as ARP-4754, ARP-4761, DO-178C, DO-254, IEC-61508, EN-50126/8/9, ISO -26262, ECSS E-40/Q-80 and more.

Whether upgrading legacy software systems to comply with new certification requirements or building software applications from scratch, certification requirements pose unique challenges that span the entire software development life cycle. Our experts have garnered vast experience having worked on several million lines of code and are proven in the timely delivery of systems that comply with all application-specific and certification requirements.

We are able to support our clients flexibly in the development of embedded software, from full life cycle and certification support, through to ‘shared life cycle’ and ‘shared scope’ development models, where roles are allocated between ourselves and our client.

Key areas of embedded software development that we address include:

  • On-board data handling and equipment control applications
  • Development or adaptation of board support packages (BSP) for multiple architectures (for example, LEON2, ARM, Intel, PowerPC)
  • Tailoring and qualification of real-time operating systems (RTOS)
  • Re-engineering of legacy applications, migration to new platforms and updating requirements
  • Implementation and adaptation of protocol stacks
  • Interface mediation (i.e. communication across heterogeneous protocols)
  • Space-time partitioning solutions for mixed-criticality, hard real-time systems

From airborne systems to spacecraft to railway signalling systems, our embedded software services are backed by a delivery unit that is rated at Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)® Level 5, the highest obtainable level, and a roster of quality certifications that include ISO 9001:2008, NATO AQAP 2210 and 2110 and AS 9100.

Embedded Software Development for Aerospace

We provide embedded software development services for the aerospace sector compliant with DO-178B/C up to Level A. We have extensive experience in the verification of aircraft software and have expanded to offer support across the full cycle of the software development process.

CRITICAL Software’s engineering team has executed multiple projects, mainly in the development of micro-controllers for onboard software according to DO-178B/C standards. With capabilities spanning the complete system and software lifecycle, we can manage entire projects from requirements elicitation to final user acceptance.

To offer the best possible integrated service to our customers, we have created a qualified system validation facility capable of performing automatic hardware/software integration testing and automatic system testing with hardware-in-the-loop. Furthermore, we operate a Quality Management System that complies with the most demanding standards, including AS9100. This offers our customers high levels of efficiency and flexibility and lower costs for verification, maintenance and regression test campaigns.

Embedded Software Development for Automotive

CRITICAL Software’s embedded system development capabilities cover all stages of the development of the V-model, from requirements engineering to model-in-the-loop design, including the detailed design and production of high-integrity software for safety-related systems.

We are able to produce safety-critical applications, board support packages, RTOS components and embedded drivers compliant with the ISO 26262, up to the highest criticality level: ASIL-D. We have strong domain knowledge in communication protocols (CAN, LIN, FlexRay), in RTOS (Integrity, QNX Neutrino, VxWorks), in processor architectures (Tri-core, ARM, PowerArch), and in standardised frameworks such as AUTOSAR.

CRITICAL Software has one of the most innovative hypervisor solutions on the market, enabling different ASIL level applications to run on the same hardware. Developed and proven through applications meeting the rigorous standards of the space sector, this technology has been adapted to the automotive sector as an ASIL C tool.

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Automotive Embedded System Testing Flyer
Automotive Embedded System Testing Flyer

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Embedded Software Development for Defence and Security

CRITICAL Software works with leading defence organisations across the globe, specialising in software architecture, system testing and the development and certification of embedded safety-critical applications to the most rigorous standards, such as Defence Standard 00-56, MIL-STD-499 and DO-178C.

Our high-integrity embedded software solutions have a particular focus on real-time safety and dependability, ensuring the reliability, availability, maintainability and safety of mission-critical systems.

We also provide support throughout the operational and logistical cycles for a range of military platforms. From mission planning to maintenance management, our suite of services and applications improves operational availability and reduces the total cost of ownership for armed forces across the world.

Embedded Software Development for Railway

Our embedded software development experience includes the production of requirements, architecture, design and coding, as well as Verification and Validation activities as a whole. We have supported railway manufacturers in the development, testing and certification of embedded systems according to CENELEC EN50126/8/9 standards, up to the highest Safety Integrity Level, SIL4.

We are able to work on all stages of the V-model, according to the independence principle. We are able to produce safety-critical applications (also using model-based methodologies), board support packages or real-time operating system (RTOS) components compliant with EN 50128, up to the highest criticality level.

In the particular field of the refurbishment and evolution of legacy systems, we also have experience in gap analysis, reverse engineering, re-engineering and re-design of obsolete systems.

Embedded Software Development for Space

CRITICAL Software has developed both application software and central software for various ESA space missions, including Galileo, Sentinel 2 and 3, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Solar Orbiter. CRITICAL Software regularly collaborates with Airbus Defence & Space and Thales Alenia Space to perform activities from software requirements to system validation of Level B software, working closely with their teams and keeping a very flexible approach.

Ensuring optimal performance, our engineering team has worked with customers to deliver complex systems according to precise standards such as ECSS-Q-20, ECSS-Q-30, ECSS-Q-40, ECSS-Q-80 and ECSS-E-40. Our presence in the majority of space missions is a reflection of our broad capabilities and cutting-edge embedded software development skills. We have wide-ranging experience in applying ESA’s ECSS standards, which form the basis of our Quality Management System, recognised as CMMI Level 5.

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