The Differences Between Hardware Design and Software Development

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Hardware design ends at 'tape-out' (the equivalent of a release), while software development is constantly in motion.

As mentioned earlier, once hardware ships to the customer, it can't be changed. Moreover, chips made utilizing new technology nodes often require different circuit solutions. Both result in a tight control of the amount of "carry-over" from previous designs, limiting the amount of "technical debt" that accumulates over time. In software, the term "technical debt" is used as a synonym for the cost of bugs that are carried forward from release to release because they never seem critical enough to get fixed. As the code base evolves over time, it becomes more complex and technical debt can easily grow out of control. So it is critical to sufficiently invest in testing while the code is written in order to stay in the driver's seat for quality.

If you talk to anyone with a smartphone or a laptop, you'll inevitably hear them gripe about the "slow software" or the "spinning wheel." But do they complain about the processor or other chips in the device? Not likely. Software is usually the scapegoat, due in part to how it is developed as compared to how the hardware is designed. Andreas Kuehlmann, senior vice president of R&D at Coverity, a leading provider of software quality and testing solutions, has outlined just a few of the key differences between hardware design and software development. Read on to learn more.


Related Topics : Vulnerabilities and Patches, Resellers, Broadcom, Broadband Services, Supercomputing

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