What Do We Do?

ASTL does the hardcore engineering work required to bring a product concept to fruition, including software development with a special focus on hardware bring-up. Every project is new, uncharted territory, working where neither the problems nor the solutions are known. In this environment, category experts or single-skill specialists are mostly useless considering that it is impossible to isolate problems because the entire test-subject is brand new. Since 1975, we have been practicing holistic engineering in this habitat to remarkable success for our clients.  

Due to the broad nature of our experience, ASTL could be generally thought of as a testing firm.  We test software, hardware, embedded systems, and SoC (System on a Chip).  We  heavily use software, such as Perl scripts, to test hardware entities,  and we also do traditional regression testing, Web QA testing, and manufacturing testing (the most seriously under-utilized testing!)  Our true favorite, the epitome of what we do, is debugging hardware and firmware.

What we do can be best understood in these ways:
  •     Functions
  •     Components
  •     Processors
  •     Programming Languages
  •     Environments
  •     Industry
  •     Business Communications

ASTL is frequently contracted for a specific-function mission activity.  We are the best in the industry for bringing up hardware and writing awesome software.

Our component projects usually 
have a 1-to-1 relationship with hardware.  However, certain software-only components such as TCP/IP  stacks and communication protocols work with multiple hardware clients.  And almost all of our installation activities require some sort of conversion routines and custom libraries of software functions.  Our component specialty is I/O device drivers
 writing device drivers, rendering diagnostic tools, producing BSP's (Board Support Packages) and writing middle-ware.

Processor dexterity is critical for testing and diagnostic success.  Our significant expertise is amplified with clients who use Freescale ColdFire and ARM cores.  As with all invention-based terrain, experience creates competence, and ASTL's experience began with the 8-bit Intel 8080 chip.  We have quite literally evolved and matured with the semiconductor industry.     

We are language intimate, with over 5 million lines of code developed to date.  The bulk of our experience is in
C and Perl, but assembly, Fortran and Cobol as antiques  still show up in conversion and legacy interface projects... no problem.

More than any other consideration, Operating Environment should drive your engagement decision.  ASTL specializes in  RTOS (including kernels, micro-kernels and supervisors) environments, in fact, we've written a couple of RTOS's ourselves.  But we also have extensive experience designing software where no O/S is present because the client has opted not to license an RTOS or the requirements don't justify one.

The embedded world is at once huge and tiny.  ASTL has worked in defense, aerospace, financial services, medical technology, consumer applications, government, and many more, but always with the same tools and colleagues.  Our wide ranging industry experience has led to a series of unexpected breakthroughs in seemly unrelated fields - i.e. routine space exploration techniques begat startling speed increases in financial services payment processing.

ASTL is a business, run by business people.  We understand deadlines and project management and status reporting and customer information specs and marketing expositions.  We speak to senior management fluently, because it is our native language.  Clear, unambiguous business communication skills are  essential to the success of EVERY project.

Want more details about the types of projects we work on?   We would prefer to talk to you about your needs, so please contact us.