Washington, January 30 : University of Leicester engineers have developed a new technology that promises to ensure safety of equipments as diverse as those used in cars, aircraft and medical equipment.
The patented technology, which took over 12 years to develop, has led to the development of a new product family called "RapidiTTy", which provides a cost-effective suite of software tools that support the rapid development and testing of a wide range of reliable embedded systems.
A company spun out from the university, called TTE Systems Ltd, will take care of the development and marketing of the product. The company aims to transform the way engineers develop systems that contain "embedded processors", including systems used in aircraft, cars, medical equipment and industrial robots.
Many of such embedded systems are safety related, and TTE Systems Ltd hopes to ensure safety in the equipment with the help of its new technology.
"If you are surfing the Web and it takes a few seconds longer than normal to access a particular page, this won't usually matter at all. However, if you put your foot on the brakes in your car, you can't afford to wait - you need to be sure that the brakes will work immediately. At TTE Systems, our job is to ensure that complex embedded systems always work correctly," said Dr. Devaraj Ayavoo, Technical Manager, TTE Systems Ltd.
Dr. Michael Pont, CEO of TTE Systems Ltd and Head of the Embedded Systems Laboratory at the University of Leicester, added: "Clearly there are many systems currently in use that are perfectly safe. However, what is not easy at present is making systems safe and proving that they are safe. Our technology makes it easier to develop systems with predictable behaviour - a key requirement for safe systems."
Dr. Pont says that the new technology will have applications even in systems where safety is not a key requirement.
"Our techniques can be applied in a very wide range of systems - even where safety is not a key requirement. For example, in many consumer appliances - like washing machines, dishwashers, even DVD players - customers would welcome improved reliability," he said.
Leicester engineers believe that there is real potential for their system to make an international impact.
"Our tools make it very easy to incorporate our technology in "standard" development processes. Using time-triggered technology allows us to create low-cost tools which facilitate the rapid development of reliable embedded systems. Our goal is to make reliability a cornerstone of mainstream development tools," said Dr. Pont
Dr. Ayavoo added: "The design of embedded systems is often an extremely complicated process. Our users have been amazed how easy RapidiTTy is to use."