Finding Zen in Your Embedded Development: How Dojo Five and Boundary Devices Speed You To Market

Rapid hardware customization and production meets DevOps tailor-made for embedded development that leads to working solutions in weeks, not months – a winning combination for OEMs.

Now more than ever, as developers around the world race to bring their legacy solutions to the Internet of Things—as well as develop new, connectivity-native solutions—the tools and practices used in this transformation can be the difference between success and failure. The Internet of Things and the world of embedded computing and connectivity are not new, but they are increasingly mature, and the ecosystem of software platforms, practices, and design philosophies has become very mature as well. 

In the early days of wireless connectivity, it was seen as good enough to deploy your best solution into the world and service devices when needed, performing upgrades the old-fashioned way: with a debug cable and a technician on site. But the pace of technology, exploits, and a sea of vulnerabilities quickly rendered that approach hopelessly out of date. Today, it’s critical for OEMs to be able to manage their fleet of devices remotely and roll out updates over the air as improvements are developed, vulnerabilities and exploits are patched, and bugs are fixed. And yet even this is only the visible front end, a veneer of best practices and continuous updates. Behind the scenes, the most effective businesses leverage a philosophy that creates a seamless pipeline for continuous development: Continuous integration, delivery, and deployment via a comprehensive embedded DevOps strategy.

Managed Development Environments

The truth is, the most effective, forward-thinking, and risk-reducing practices are the hardest to realize. Most product teams simply don’t have the time, resources, expertise, and headcount to internally drive the DevOps excellence behind the most successful products. And specifically for embedded development, many off-the-shelf DevOps offerings aren’t natively a great fit. This is just some of what Dojo Five solves for its customers. Dojo Five supplies embedded developers with all the tools to do secure, reliable, scalable embedded development that takes advantage of the most forward-looking practices in DevOps. 

What makes for success? Centralizing your software development tools in a way that can be shared across your organization; establishing containerized environments (such as Docker images) specialized for embedded development that deploy neatly across your fleet of devices; a tight integration between your codebase (such as Github) and the tools to test and analyze code, as well as build and deploy those images at scale; robust source control that is tied to its associated build environment for true software longevity. These are the problems of scale and growth that frequently create pain points for OEMs, and are best addressed by a comprehensive platform engineering approach.

Free up your Engineers to Focus on Features

Platform engineering is the design and construction of the tools and capabilities that reduce the cognitive load on engineers, enabling them to focus on their excellence in software delivery with infrastructure platforms that benefit an entire organization. Dojo Five’s EmbedOps platform represents the best in platform engineering for embedded development: a comprehensive software, toolchain, and service offering that’s difficult or impossible for many firmware teams to create in-house and from scratch. Dojo Five provides a complete embedded development pathway; a continuous integration, delivery, and deployment pipeline with all the solutions required along the way. 

EmbedOps enables OEMs to harness the best practices in the embedded world, creating reliability, automation in code testing and validation procedures, containerization, and software deployment that is trustworthy and scalable. Dojo Five’s excellence in this field helps OEMs access efficiencies that might otherwise be out of reach. They also have the expertise to develop custom images and tools that fill the gaps to meet an OEM’s unique requirements. 

This comprehensive solution empowers every part of an OEM’s organization. Engineers have the security and tools to abstract away some of the most challenging integration problems that plague software teams, and rapidly onboard developers and roll out tools across entire organizations. Product managers have a clearer path to hit organizational timelines and goals, without being plagued by the issues that sometimes arise at scale. Business objectives are met, and critical product offerings come to market with a higher degree of reliability that can be passed on with certainty to the end customer. This is the power of DevOps done well, and EmbedOps and other offerings from Dojo Five make this promise possible with a high degree of confidence.

Software, Meet Hardware: The Completion to the Solution

For those designing connected products, that’s half the puzzle. The other half is finding the right hardware solution that not only is compatible and dependable, but whose availability and customizability can keep pace with this newfound efficiency. In this way, Dojo Five’s selection of Boundary Devices hardware in some of their deployments has proved to be the perfect fit. Based in Lake Forest, CA, Boundary Devices (a Laird Connectivity Company) is a premier provider of system-on-modules and single-board computers based on leading silicon and top-tier wireless connectivity. Boundary Devices is a US-based SOM designer with US-based manufacturing, able to turn around customized designs and hardware offerings tailored to a customer’s unique specifications.

Speedy Customization Capabilities

Boundary’s latest SOM, the Nitrogen8M Plus (now available in SMARC form factor), based on the NXP i.MX 8M Plus processor, is one such offering. Outfitted with a 4-core Cortex A53 CPU, 1x Cortex M7, up to 128GB of storage and up to 4GB RAM, the Nitrogen8M Plus is a feature-rich SOM ideal for challenging applications. Also available is the Nitrogen8M Plus SBC, a carrier board that pulls out the many features of the SOM into their associated hardware peripherals to give OEMs a mostly complete hardware solution. Boundary Devices’ boards have a wide support for popular operating systems and toolkits, including Android, Debian/Ubuntu, Tocto, Buildroot, FreeRTOS, and more. And Boundary’s customization capabilities mean a board can be customized to a customer’s specific needs, in as little as six weeks, dramatically faster than competing options.

In addition, Boundary Devices’ SMARC platform makes it easy for OEMs to replace and upgrade processors and wireless options as new standards become available. Their implementation of the SMARC standard means OEMs are always able to easily upgrade to the latest capabilities and wireless standards as they become available, another form of continuous improvement and integration. 

Boundary Devices provides a wide array of expertise and services, made more complete by merging with Laird Connectivity. Laird Connectivity’s decades of past expertise in wireless modules, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LoRaWAN, proprietary FHSS and more, means the sum of all device processing, onboard accelerators, interfaces, connectivity, and more is all provided under the same roof. A dedicated team of wireless and system-on-module experts is available at the ready to produce the perfect SOM or SBC platform for any application. And because Boundary Devices’ products are designed and manufactured in the USA, complete custody of the hardware from concept to manufacture is all performed by the same team of experts, in a highly accelerated and cost-competitive manner.

The Results—A Force-Multiplier for Embedded Development

The key advantages of this partnership are felt in unmatched speed to market. Rapid firmware development with the best tools, in combination with fully-customizable hardware turnaround, is a recipe for success among Dojo Five and Boundary Devices’ shared customers. Dojo Five’s comprehensive EmbedOps tools and services enable embedded development that just works—consistently—across whole teams, letting developers focus on what they do best. In tandem, Boundary Devices is able to turn a tailor-made SOM/SBC solution as a native home for this development, and software developed in EmbedOps (i.e. a containerized Yocto image) is easily deployed and continuously integrated into the Boundary Devices hardware. An OEM can leverage countless hours of embedded and hardware expertise into a product that can be spun in a fraction of the usual time, while focusing primarily on their core business and their core excellence.

Speed up Your Time to Market

Rapid software development, rapid hardware iteration, continuous releases for newer wireless and processing, and continuous support: these are fundamentals of highly-iterative and effective product design, made possible by Dojo Five and Boundary devices.

Dojo Five and Boundary Devices work together to provide a nearly-complete solution, allowing engineering teams of all sizes to bring their embedded firmware development into a new era of product excellence. OEMs finally have the time and tools to do embedded DevOps the right way, and get a head start on success that can be hard or impossible to achieve alone. 

Visit Dojo Five’s website to learn why we’re a premier embedded development partner with offerings like EmbedOps, architectural design, design and consultancy services, and much more. 

Visit Boundary Devices’ website to learn about their industry-proven system-on-modules and SBCs, and how they can create a tailored hardware platform to OEMs’ exact requirements in weeks, not months, dramatically speeding your time to market.