Five more top causes of nasty embedded software bugs

by Michael Barr , TechOnline India - November 10, 2010

What do memory leaks, deadlocks, and priority inversions have in common? They're all Hall of Famers in the pantheon of nasty firmware bugs.

What do memory leaks, deadlocks, and priority inversions have in common? They're all Hall of Famers in the pantheon of nasty firmware bugs.

Finding and killing latent bugs in embedded software is a difficult business. Heroic efforts and expensive tools are often required to trace backward from an observed crash, hang, or other unplanned run-time behavior to the root cause. In the worst scenario, the root cause damages the code or data in a way that the system still appears to work fine or mostly fine—at least for a while.

In an earlier column ("Five top causes of nasty embedded software bugs," April 2010, p.10, online at ), I covered what I consider to be the top five causes of nasty embedded software bugs. This installment completes the top 10 by presenting five more nasty firmware bugs as well as tips to find, fix, and prevent them.

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