Test-Driven Development for Embedded Systems

Judy Warner
|  Created: August 3, 2021
Test-Driven Development for Embedded Systems

“Software guys, stop blaming the hardware guys for messing up the boards”  - Ari Mahpour

What is Hardware-in-the-loop testing and how it can save you time and resources when designing your board? In this episode, our guest Ari Mahpour, an engineer with broad experience in designing, manufacturing, testing, and integrating electrical, mechanical, and software systems. He will talk about how you can perform automated hardware testing in the comfort of your home without using any expensive or complex test equipment.

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Show Highlights:

  • Introduction and Ari’s background in the military and aerospace industry
  • What is a Hardware-in-the-Loop testing and the inspiration behind it
    • Taking a costly testing infrastructure to the comfort of your home lab
    • Headstart up to 75% of your board testing
  • The problem around the prevailing way of designing and testing—retesting every step of the way using expensive testing equipment, and takes more time for your design engineer, plus the back and forth can blow up your cost quickly
  • The importance of designing and testing simultaneously and proactively—design engineers have to be part of the test process
  • The impact of Covid-19 on product development and testing
  • The need for software-based approach to the hardware development design
  • Maker movement and hobbyist around the world contributes to less expensive and accessible test solutions (plug-and-play)
  • Design board, prototype, and watch it fail
    • Rework the board
    • Run test in 3 minutes in couple hundreds of bucks
  • Ari explains how the software in the embedded system works
  • Ari shares complete details of automated low-cost testing in his article: Low-Cost Solutions for Automated Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
    • The concept is to use a simple device that can drive analog signals, read analog signals, generate various protocol serial streams, and analyze waveforms.

Links and Resources:

Ari’s article on Low-Cost Solutions for Automated Hardware in the Loop Testing
Read all Ari’s Industry Expert articles on Altium Resource Page
Book: Test-Driven Development for Embedded C
Ari Mahpour on LinkedIn
Email Ari Mahpour

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About Author

About Author

Judy Warner has held a unique variety of roles in the electronics industry for over 25 years. She has a background in PCB Manufacturing, RF and Microwave PCBs and Contract Manufacturing, focusing on Mil/Aero applications. 

She has also been a writer, blogger, and journalist for several industry publications such as Microwave Journal, PCB007 Magazine, PCB Design007, PCD&F, and IEEE Microwave Magazine, and an active board member for PCEA (Printed Circuit Engineering Association). In 2017, Warner joined Altium as the Director of Community Engagement. In addition to hosting the OnTrack Podcast and creating the OnTrack Newsletter, she launched Altium's annual user conference, AltiumLive. Warner's passion is to provide resources, support, and advocate for PCB Design Engineers worldwide.

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