Philips (9th Case)

Company Background

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and the largest in Europe. Its products vary from professional medical systems to lighting, consumer electronics, and domestic appliances.

Products

Philips provides several product lines, mainly for consumer electronics and for medical systems. Furthermore, Philips is one of the leading commercial European researchers in the field of software product lines. The software product lines of consumer electronics and medical imaging systems are only some of the successful examples.

 

Philips Consumer Electronics

Company Background

Philips' portfolio of consumer electronics systems includes audio-video equipment, like TV-sets, radio receivers, CD and DVD players and recorders, as well as set-top boxes.

Products

Philips Consumer Electronics provides software product lines for audio-video equipment, such as TV sets. The customers have high demands with respect to performance. Because of the mass-market nature, the cheapest memory and processor chips are used. The products have to be very reliable as they are offered in the mass market. Hence, repairing them after delivery is very costly.

Platform

Philips Consumer Electronics has chosen to use a composition paradigm in the production of the product lines. The methodology is named Koala. This means that the architecture has enough flexibility to allow many different configurations of the same basic components. The whole set of products is referred to as product populations, with many differences and many commonalities, but few commonalities that spread over all products. Components are combined to build more complex components. Interfaces that do not match are connected through glue code. Certain pieces of glue code are standard, and only need some parameters to instantiate.

Experience

By 2002, all mid- and high-range TV sets, and many other products as well, were produced in the population. Surprisingly, the architecture did not need many adaptations after its first conception in 1996.

References

  • R. van Ommering; "Building Product Populations with Software Components", In: Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2002), Orlando, Florida, ACM Press, 2002, pp. 255-265.
  • R. van Ommering; Building Product Populations with Software Components, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Groningen, December 2004.
  • R. van Ommering, F. van der Linden, J. Kramer, and J. Magee; "The Koala Component Model for Consumer Electronics Software", IEEE Computer, March 2000, pp. 78-85.
  • F. de Lange and T. Jansen; "The Philips-OpenTV© product family architecture for interactive set-top boxes", In: Proceedings of the 4th International Product Family Engineering Workshop (PFE-4), Bilbao, Springer LNCS 2290, 2001, pp. 187-206.
 

Philips Medical Systems

Company Background

Philips' portfolio of medical systems includes products like X-ray, ultrasonic or computed tomography and services like training, business consultancy, or financial services.

Products

Philips Medical Systems provides a software product line for medical imaging systems, which is motivated by an increasing complexity and diversity in this domain. The customers have high demands on safety and reliability as the products may have a crucial impact on the health of the patients, e.g. the produced radiation can be dangerous.

Platform

Philips Medical Systems has decided to employ a sophisticated software product line approach. A medical middleware platform serves as the basis for other software product lines in the company. Thus the platform is a software product line in itself, which leads to additional variability requirements for the platform. The component-based reference architecture reuses existing software components that are transformed step by step into domain artefacts.

Experience

Since 2001, the number of products that use the platform has increased. Today, ten product groups are based on the platform. A product group is responsible for creating products and for maintaining several product lines. It takes about 1.6 times as many people to build a platform component as was necessary to do it the old way. Yet every product group that uses the platform saves significant time as most of the components do not have to be developed again.

References

  • F.J. van der Linden and J.K. Müller; "Creating Architectures with Building Blocks" IEEE Software, November 1995, pp. 51-60.
  • J.G. Wijnstra; "Component Frameworks for a Medical Imaging Product Family", In: Proceedings of Software Architectures for Product Families (IW-SAPF-3), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Springer LNCS 1951, 2000, pp. 4-18.
  • P. America and J. van Wijgerden; "Requirements Modeling for Families of Complex Systems", In: Proceedings of Software Architectures for Product Families (IW-SAPF-3), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Springer LNCS 1951, 2000, pp. 199-209.
  • Software Product Lines (Website)