Electronic giants suddenly have discovered the marketing value in bringing these two worlds together.
A famous electronics company recently launched a new TV and web commercial emphasizing the importance of designing hardware and software together. (You can view the video here.)
It is interesting to see that we have evolved to a state where a phone maker actually feels compelled to talk about the technical details of how the phone was designed. Rather than focusing on the screen resolution, the amount of megapixels supported by the camera or the size of the phone, they are focusing on the technical importance of designing hardware and software together.
It also illustrates how much people have become aware of the fact that their phone actually consists of two distinctly different parts: the hardware part and the software part. Not so long ago, a phone was just a phone. And it mostly mattered how well it made phone calls and maybe how good the screen looked or if you could take pictures with it. Nowadays a phone is more defined by its operating system than anything else.
The fact that the hardware part and the software part are tuned to maximize each other’s benefits has actually become a selling point.
While you and your company might not design the entire software part of your next electronics design, it should be clear that software development can’t be an afterthought anymore. It is not “the part that adapts to the hardware.” More than ever, it has become important to develop hardware and software alongside one another and map the requirements against each other. The hardware should be developed and tested in context of the software, and the software should be developed and tested in context of the hardware. The great news is that is virtual prototyping tools are readily available today to support hardware – software co-design.
And the greatest part of all is that all of us as consumers will benefit from the resulting products.