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Hardware vs software

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EEVblog:

--- Quote from: off-by-one on May 04, 2010, 10:18:25 pm ---I think nobody commented on if it's unrealistic to want a job with interesting hardware and/or applications?

--- End quote ---

Not at all, and there are plenty of those jobs around.
Some of the most interesting stuff I've worked on has been the most usual, like underwater stuff for the military.
And then there is the interesting and fun stuff when you design and build your own test rigs (shock, vibration, temperature etc) instead of outsourcing it to a test lab for example.


--- Quote ---So, where's all the need for firmware programming? As the complexity of applications increase, operating systems and higher level languages are becoming more common in embedded systems and the hardware is abstracted out. Is it in the hardware vendors and OS companies? I guess some smaller real time applications in some industrial environments will need firmware without OS?

--- End quote ---

There are countless places where firmware does not require an OS and OOP. That's why they still sell 10's of billions of small 8 bit micros every year, and almost none of them have an OS as such.
It's just that the smart consumer level toys get all the exposure.

Dave.

A-sic Enginerd:

--- Quote from: EEVblog on May 05, 2010, 01:57:09 am ---

--- Quote ---So, where's all the need for firmware programming? As the complexity of applications increase, operating systems and higher level languages are becoming more common in embedded systems and the hardware is abstracted out. Is it in the hardware vendors and OS companies? I guess some smaller real time applications in some industrial environments will need firmware without OS?

--- End quote ---

There are countless places where firmware does not require an OS and OOP. That's why they still sell 10's of billions of small 8 bit micros every year, and almost none of them have an OS as such.
It's just that the smart consumer level toys get all the exposure.

Dave.

--- End quote ---

And there are many products that actually still have crap loads of needs for firmware even if the product is sophisticated enough to also have an OS and higher level software. The two primary markets I've worked in have OS's (how do you make an acronym like that plural?  :D ) that are specialized for embedded systems, but there's still a trainload of firmware. Granted the magical thing about these products that makes this the case is that we design our own ASICs for the products so of course that means there is no way any off the shelf firmware would work. So something to consider when your poking around. The more custom chips and hardware a product is designed with, the greater the likelihood there's a goodly chunk of custom firmware and software driving it. However, that's getting to be a smaller and smaller percentage as what Dave said about more and more products being able to find an off the micro and supporting hardware.

Hey, you could always check out ASIC verification. Maybe not as high of demand as some fields, but certainly always in need for any team that is doing their own ASICs.  ;)

Best of luck on what ever road you travel.

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