December 3, 2023
What is Embedded Testing in Software Testing?

This blog will teach About what is Embedded Testing in Software Testing:

  • How does Embedded Testing work?
  • Embedded Testing: What is it?
  • Types of Embedded Software Testing
  • Difference: Software testing and embedded testing challenges: Software Testing Embedded

What are Embedded systems?

Software and hardware are closely connected in electrical devices known as embedded systems. Different types of computing hardware may be found in embedded systems. These are PCs that have been connected to other gadgets to run application-specific functions. Typically, they are not even known to the end user.

Embedding Testing in Software Testing

Embedded testing is a testing procedure for examining the functional and non-functional characteristics of both software and hardware in an embedded system and making sure that the finished output is free from errors. Embedded testing’s major objective is to confirm and validate if the final product of embedded hardware and software satisfies the client’s needs or not.

Embedded software testing verifies the involved software’s quality and compliance with all necessary standards. A great technique to ensure security in applications that are critical like machinery for the medical industry, railroads, aviation, and the auto industry is to perform embedded software testing. The certification of software requires tough and thorough testing.

How to Perform Embedded Software Testing?

In general, you test for four reasons:

  • To find bugs in software
  • Helps to reduce risk to both users and the company
  • Cut down development and maintenance costs
  • To improve performance

The actions listed below are carried out during embedded testing:

  1. The software receives certain inputs.
  2. A portion of the software is run.
  3. The program state is observed, and the outputs are examined for expected characteristics, such as whether the result is what was expected, whether the output complies with the specifications, and whether there have been no system crashes.

Embedded Software Testing And Its Types:

Fundamentally, embedded software can be tested via five stages of testing.

Software Unit Testing

A function or class makes up the unit module. The development team, particularly the developer, does unit testing, which is typically done using a peer-review methodology. Test cases are created based on the module specification.

Integration Testing

Integration testing can be divided into two categories:

  • Testing the integration of software
  • Integration testing for software and hardware.

The relationship between the hardware domain and the software components is ultimately put to the test. This may involve looking at how software and built-in peripherals interact.

A unique characteristic of embedded software development is that it typically creates the physical environment in which the software will execute along with the software itself. As complete testing cannot be carried out in a simulated environment, this creates a problem for testing.

System Unit Testing

The module that will be put to the test right now is a complete framework that includes all of the real-time operating system (RTOS) and platform-related components, including interrupts, tasking mechanisms, communications, and so on, in addition to the whole program code. The Point of Control protocol now involves sending and receiving messages through the RTOS message queues rather than calling functions or invoking methods.

A system’s capacity to enable embedded system execution is assessed by looking at its resources. The testing technique of choice for this aspect is gray-box testing. The developer or a specialized system integration team is responsible for system unit testing, depending on the organization’s needs.

System Integration Testing

A node’s worth of components forms the foundation of the module to be tested. The Points of Control and Observations (PCOs) are a mixture of RTOS events and network-related communication protocols. A Virtual Tester can act as a node in addition to a component.

System Validation Testing

An embedded system’s whole implementation or a subsystem with it is the module that needs to be tested. This final test’s goal is to confirm that it satisfies the functional requirements of an outside party. Note that an external entity may be either a person, a piece of equipment connected to a telecom network, or both.

Difference: Embedded testing and Software Testing

Software TestingEmbedded Testing
Software testing is related to software only.Embedded testing is related to both software as well as hardware.
Primary areas of testing are GUI checks, functionality, validation, and some level of database testing.Embedded testing is generally performed on the Hardware.
Embedded testing is done on embedded systems or chips it can be black-box or white-box testing.Primary areas of testing are the behavior of the hardware for the no. of inputs given to it.
e.g., Google Mail, Yahoo Mail, and Android applications.Embedded testing is done on embedded systems or chips it can be a black-box or white-box testing.
e.g., Machines of the healthcare domain, Microcontrollers used in computers.e.g., Machines of healthcare domain, Microcontrollers used in computers.

Challenges Faces In Embedded Software Testing

Hardware Dependency

Due to the limited access to hardware, one of the key challenges encountered during the testing of embedded software is hardware dependency. Emulators and simulators, however, can fail to represent the behavior of the actual device and may provide an inaccurate impression of the system’s performance and an application’s usability.

Open Source Software

The vast majority of embedded software components are open source, were not developed internally, and don’t have access to full testing. There are many different test combinations and resulting situations.

Software v/s Hardware Defects

Another factor is that a significant percentage of problems with hardware might be found while developing software for newly manufactured hardware. Just software is not safe from the discovered bug. Hardware may also be involved.

Reproducible Defects

In the case of the embedded system, defects are more difficult to reproduce or recreate. This forces the embedded testing process to value every defect occurrence significantly higher than in a conventional situation, aside from gathering as much data as could reasonably be required to change the system to locate the problem’s root cause.

Continuous Software Updates

Regular software updates for embedded systems are needed, including kernel upgrades, security patches, various device drivers, etc. Bug identification is challenging due to limitations associated with software updates. Additionally, it highlights the value of the build and deployment processes.


Testing embedded software is more challenging than testing normal software because of a few issues. The most fundamental problem is the heavy reliance on the hardware environment, which is frequently needed to conduct reliable software testing and is developed concurrently with the programme. Focusing on testing in the latter phases is inherently very alluring because it can be impossible to test the product without custom tools in some cases.

One of the most important issues you should consider is that you should frequently use automated software testing. The issue with your programme is resolved faster through the embedded automatic testing, which takes a few hours to complete.

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