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Support breeds success

Jump starting product development. By Tim Lewis.

Increasing demand for feature rich embedded computer platforms has led product design projects to increase in complexity in terms of hardware and software. Yet the pressure to shorten development schedules is ever present in order to stay competitive. Increased complexity and reduced development time are diametrically opposed, which makes the adoption of board support packages (BSP) critical in the delivery of smarter products.
Typically, a BSP provides a complete software stack for a given hardware platform, including support for the chosen operating system. It commonly combines a bootloader, with minimal device support to load the required operating system, plus drivers for all the devices on the board. In addition, the BSP should help developers to exploit the full range of the central processor’s capabilities, including multicore support and media acceleration features such as video playback and record, image processing, 2d/3d graphics, signal processing and floating point. A well designed BSP will reduce system complexity and enable the designer to focus on the final product requirements and applications, rather than low level platform issues.
As a semiconductor company, 3DLABS recognised at the outset that having the right application processor in its DMS-02 was only the start point for a customer’s final product. For customers to be successful, they need end to end solutions, including silicon, optimised BSPs, reference designs and drivers. Importantly, they also need a solution that enables the functionality and performance of the underlying silicon to be enabled through high level APIs and libraries, rather than through exposing the underlying complexity.

Tim Lewis

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