The hardware and software defined product – HDP and SDP
There is the idea that we can define a product as hardware and/or software in some combination, but choosing which is the primary and which is secondary can be useful.
Some devices are hardware devices that require some software (such as a smart switch); others are software that require hardware (such as a hardware display for weather forecasts). The idea of this abstraction is that we can view a product or device as being driven by hardware or software. Many traditional products are hardware-defined, even if they contain some smart aspects.
Lots of devices have some general-purpose processing power because it is easier to write software to control a spin cycle (for example) than build hardware, and can even be cheaper when combined with lean processing and modern methods of manufacture. A software-defined product, on the other hand, deals with all of the logic and data first.
When that is resolved, the hardware can be added to fulfil any requirements to affect the physical world. In the washing machine example, it would free us to think about the kind of functionality a user expects in terms of how they interact with the machine (for example intelligent wash programmes and so on) before deciding which motors or drum are required.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0