Testing of embedded software-hardware components

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Dr. Majzik István
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

Nowadays, we are surrounded by more and more complex embedded systems. Dozens of these systems are in cars, cell phones, microwave ovens. These devices may make our life safer and easier, but only can do so if they work properly. To assure that these systems operate without design and implementation faults, complex tests should be performed on them.

In the first part of my dissertation, I analyzed the faults that can occur in embedded systems. I presented the most common faults in more detail, and then examined the currently available approaches that can eliminate these faults. Testing is one of the most popular approaches. Testing in the industry commonly applies the Model-In-The-Loop, the Software-In-The-Loop or the Hardware-In-The-Loop configuration. I used only the last one because it provides the best coverage of the addressed permanent hardware faults. I found that the currently available generic solutions are quite expensive, this way in some cases it is worth developing a dedicated test equipment, which is adapted to the system under development. Therefore, I developed a new test equipment that supports the execution of Hardware-in-the-Loop tests.

Using this test equipment, I tested a home automation system, which was developed in the frame of my student project. The home automation system and the test equipment use microcontrollers from the same family, this way the interconnection of these two systems was quite simple. In this dissertation I presented also the components of this home automation system which can provide a complete controlling and supervising of an apartment or a house.

The designed test system can test the home automation system's hardware components by simulating the effects of the environment. Using the test system, the debugging became more efficient than in case of manual testing.


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