Free seminar on testing microcontrollers

Hitex is organising a free one-day technical seminar on the subject of unit testing techniques for microcontrollers such as PIC, ARM (LPC and STR) and XC166, with a special emphasis on IEC 61508 and DO178B. This will take place at the University Of Warwick Science Park, UK, on 20 and 21 June 2007.

The majority of software quality standards demand some form of unit testing, and widespread concerns about software quality in general means that many companies must improve their testing methods. Most intend to introduce formal testing but admit that they either cannot find the time to do it or have started but become overwhelmed by the huge effort it traditionally requires.

IEC 61508 is becoming the default standard for non-aerospace microcontroller-based systems and, at SIL1 and above, unit testing is mandatory. It is also a requirement for DO178B/D and above. Hence the pressure is growing to use formal unit testing.

Microcontrollers like the PIC18 are extremely popular but their limited memory resources make them difficult to use with most unit testing systems. The specialised C language dialects developed to cope with restricted microcontroller architectures introduces additional difficulties. All of this has made it especially hard for PIC18 users to introduce proper unit testing regimes into their projects. Users of higher-end single-chip devices like the LPC2xxx and STR7/9 face similar problems.

This seminar will focus on both the unit testing of embedded microcontroller applications and unit testing for DO178B and IEC 61508. Specifically, the challenges of unit testing PIC, ARM and XC166 software will be examined, along with a consideration of special measures like the modified condition decision coverage (MCDC) required by DO178B/A.

Through these free one-day technical seminars participants will gain experience of unit testing, regression testing, scripting, coverage monitoring and DaimlerChrysler's TESSY tools.

They are intended for anybody faced with unit testing microcontroller applications that have to meet an IEC 61508 or DO178B-based quality standard and will give useful guidance as to what is and is not possible, using a range of testing techniques.

The events will be of particular interest to users of the following CPUs: 8051, PIC18, C166/ST10, XC16x, STR7/9, 68HC11/08/12, S12, M16C, M32C, V850, ST7, MPC5xx, Tricore, LPC2xxx, AT91xxx, TMS320, TMS470, 68K, CR16, FFMC16, Blackfin, Tigershark, H8 and Altera NIOS.

For more information and booking details, go to

Hitex Ltd

Warwick University Science Park

+44 (0)2476 692 066

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