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Apr 21, 2022

This post is written by our CTO Anders Holmberg.

It has been rather quiet about our state machine design solution IAR Visual State for a while, but recently we announced a new version of it. This version comes with cross-platform support making it a great tool for handling complex designs across Windows and Linux.

I'm immensely proud of the whole IAR Systems product line, but IAR Visual State will always have a special place in my heart. (Back in the days, I was the product manager for this product.)

The state machine pattern is an extremely helpful abstraction when designing and implementing certain types of systems, but if you are doing the implementation directly in code it can be difficult to scale up a state machine to handle really complex problems while retaining productivity and quality. If you often solve software problems involving complex state machines, you should definitely check out IAR Visual State, as it will very likely improve your productivity by quite a large factor. We have users claiming maybe not the mythical 10x increase, but not that far off.

IAR Visual State scales seamlessly from designs with just a few states with no great complexity to designs with tens of thousands of states and transitions. And it is a great tool to actually achieve "left shifting" in practice. Automatic code generation from the design specification is just one benefit – powerful validation and verification tools will help you ensure that you have built the right thing in the right way. On top of that, an open API gives you the ability to programmatically create and manipulate state machines as part of e.g. a continuous integration and test workflow.

An added benefit of using Visual State is that you almost automatically achieve a clear separation between the application logic and the hardware driver level. This in turn makes reuse across different applications or hardware remarkably easy, which in itself can be a competitive advantage.

I am of course biased in this, but if you ever had to dig up some old code from the archives without any documentation or comments (might even be your own old code) or find yourself in a similar familiar situation, you should definitely check out IAR Visual State since it could have helped you to avoid the situation. We have trial versions available including all the latest features, so make sure to check it out.

 

Anders Holmberg is IAR Systems’ Chief Technology Officer and has over 25 years of experience in the embedded industry. With a background in Scientific Computing, he started his career in parallel computing and high-performance computing in the early 1990’s. He has worked both as an embedded C/C++ developer and development manager. Prior to his current role, Anders focused on product management and strategic business development of advanced tools for embedded software development, such as being the product manager for our functional safety tools as well as IAR Visual State.

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