VietNamNet Bridge – Developing embedded systems and embedded software has become the national policy of many countries in the world. Experts believe that Vietnam has major potential for embedded software outsourcing.
Currently, most embedded software is integrated in communication products and consumer electronics. Besides, they are also used in automobile products and other means of transport, healthcare equipments, energy equipments, alarm equipments and measurement and monitoring products.
According to OESF (Open Embedded Software Foundation), the global embedded systems market along with embedded software is estimated to be worth 112.5 billion dollars.
Japan is now the biggest embedded software market in the world. Since Vietnam is Japan’s third largest partner in software outsourcing, Vietnamese enterprises have major opportunities to do embedded software outsourcing for Japan.
Android-based creations encouraged
Unlike computers which mostly run on operating systems like Windows or UNIX, embedded systems and embedded software have their own embedded operating systems. The current most popular operation systems used for embedded systems include Embedded Linux, VxWorks, Win CE, Lynyos, BSD, Green Hills, QNX and DOS. Recently, embedded systems and embedded software are being developed based on the Android operation system.
A report by Nielsen shows that using Google’s Android operation system is considered an emerging trend as the operating system now accounts for 30 percent of the market share.
On March 4 at Android Blast Off 2011, a workshop on developing embedded software held in HCM City, Tan Quang Sang, Head of OESF Lab in Vietnam said that in the last few years, Android has become a popular mobile foundation with the backing of Google.
Masataka Muira, Chair of OESF Japan, said that more and more embedded software have been used in making consumer products, including VoIP equipments, mobile phones, digital TV, cameras, GPS systems, music players or healthcare equipments. He said that Japanese technology firms are developing many products that utilize Android-based embedded software.
According to him, Android has great potentials to develop and it has been used for both mobile phones and other electronics manufacturers as an advanced foundation for embedded products.
“Vietnam should not be the outsider of the trend if it wants to develop embedded technology,” he said.
He went on to say that Japan now has high demands for outsourcing embedded software to other countries and many Japanese enterprises came to Vietnam to seek partners. Therefore, Vietnam needs to well prepare to seize the opportunity.
Vietnamese FPT Software (FSoft) has signed a record of cooperation with OESF on developing embedded software based on Android. This could be seen as an opportunity for FSoft to become more deeply involved with the embedded software market and commercialize its products.
Labor force is the key
It is clear that the demand for outsourcing embedded software is very high in the world. However, the number of companies such as FSoft remains very modest.
Experts have pointed out that the biggest problem for Vietnam to grab the opportunity lies in its labor force. As for normal software, a newly graduated engineer has to spend 3-6 months on training courses to fulfill the duties of his job, and he needs 6-12 months more to do embedded software.
According to Phi Anh Tuan, Deputy Chair of the HCM City Informatics Association, Vietnamese companies are now doing the outsourcing for foreign partners in accordance with contracts signed with their partners. Meanwhile, the state has not made any policies relating to the training of a labor force for embedded software. Meanwhile, embedded software has not been taught proficiently at universities and junior colleges.
Agreeing with Tuan, other experts also believe that Vietnam needs to invest in training a qualified labor force for embedded software and pay more attention to research and development (R&D).
Source: Thoi bao Vi Tinh Saigon