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Memfault is the first IoT reliability platform that empowers teams to build robust devices with software at scale. Memfault applies device reliability engineering (DRE) techniques to transform the way developers build and operate IoT and edge devices. As IoT applications continue to grow in complexity, it is more important than ever for developers to integrate Memfault’s performance monitoring, debugging, and OTA update capabilities into their devices. Memfault was built to enable developers with a more scalable and sustainable process to accelerate go-to-market, de-risk product launches, cut product costs, and deliver overall superior products. The company was founded by engineers with decades of experience from Fitbit, Oculus, and Pebble. Memfault is backed by Uncork Capital, Partech, S28 Capital, and Y Combinator.

Debugging Embedded Devices at Scale: Effective Techniques for Diagnosis and Resolution

In this presentation, I’ll walk through effective approaches for detecting, diagnosing, debugging, and resolving issues in embedded firmware and devices deployed at a large scale, such as in populations of hundreds of thousands or millions. While much has been written on monitoring smaller fleets, typical strategies like onsite debugging, debugger-based diagnosis, and manual log analysis can fail when dealing with massive populations of devices.

The presentation focuses on low-level debugging techniques like fault handling and exception parsing on the device, as well as a novel approach to capturing core dumps on Cortex-M MCUs. The presentation provides guidance on collecting core dumps and diagnosing crashes and faults without a debugger. I’ll also explore the changes in developer behavior that can be implemented when core dump functionality is integrated into firmware, and dumps are received centrally. 

This presentation includes content that is often overlooked by online resources, which assume that firmware works flawlessly and bugs are not introduced by developers. We know this is not the case and have developed these strategies to offer real-world solutions for new and experienced firmware engineers who are eager to tackle the challenges of debugging at scale.

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Live Q&A - Debugging Embedded Devices at Scale: Effective Techniques for Diagnosis and Resolution

Live Q&A with Tyler Hoffman for the theatre talk titled Debugging Embedded Devices at Scale: Effective Techniques for Diagnosis and Resolution

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Memfault Demo

The video showcases Memfault, a powerful device reliability platform that empowers hardware companies and firmware engineers to monitor their devices' behavior in the field, from just a few devices to millions. The platform features an intuitive crash analysis tool that mimics the experience of a debugger connected over JTAG to a device. With Memfault, developers can efficiently diagnose issues such as crashes, asserts, performance problems, and connectivity issues.

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