Although mainstream embedded systems were once partially defined by isolation unto themselves, it is connectivity that is now the rule. A combination of embedded devices connected to one another or even to host systems are often necessary to provide the required functionality in many cases. Tier One has decades of cumulative experience implementing sophisticated, mission-critical embedded networks.
Rare and Valuable Skill
Networking is among the most challenging arena for embedded systems engineers. Application specific needs, tight cost constraints, and legacy deployments lead to an almost boundless number of physical layer and protocol combinations. Accumulating meaningful experience and skill in this discipline is as difficult as it is uncommon.
Our physical layer experience encompasses technologies from the most basic and mundane to the exotic and unusual. They included current loop, RS232, RS422, RS485, HPNA, Ethernet, X-10, CANBus, USB, proprietary high-speed fiber, and many others.
Of course, meaningful device networking goes far beyond simply providing simple connectivity. Complex protocols at all levels must often be implemented at low per unit cost with minimal resources and very high reliability. More often than not, protocol bridging is required, especially where legacy systems are involved. Protocol implementations and bridging can include internationally dominant standards such as TCP/IP, emerging standards such as UPnP, niche protocols used by a vertical market, or even completely proprietary protocols used only within a single product line.