With Coverity solution, we can control our code quality and meet our customers’ demands and expectations.
Frank Chang Deputy Manager|
TV Software Development
MStar had several criteria in mind when evaluating static analysis tools as part of their initiative to drive continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. First, MStar wanted a static analysis tool that has low false positive (a tool that indicates an error when it actually is not an error) and false negative (a tool that fails to detect an actual error) rates. Low false positive and false negative rates are key to obtaining accurate analysis and actionable advice. The defects found should be critical enough to cause the program to misbehave during runtime. Second, they needed a high performance tool that can handle complex software modules and integrate easily into their development lifecycle and process. Third, exceptional product service was essential for MStar to ensure their continuous development and integration meets their rigorous product delivery schedule. Mr. Chang illustrates the evaluation criteria for the solution: “We do not want to waste our precious resources on finding and fixing late-stage defects. We need to find a way to improve efficiency and effectiveness earlier in our development process.”
Using these requirements, MStar went through a careful evaluation process and experimented with several well-known static analysis tools in the market, including commercial and open source options. Mr. Chang explained that MStar selected Coverity because “Coverity was ranked #1 among all the static analysis tools we evaluated. The reports generated by Coverity are very easy to read and they help developers in Research and Development solve the problem quickly and accurately.”
With a sizable development team working on complex software containing a large variety of modules, the introduction of Coverity, a static analysis tool, has made a significant impact on the MStar Semiconductor TV business unit. The Coverity solution enabled the team to find defect as they begin to code and when the software is still at the module level, allowing the developers to fix defects early in the development lifecycle with less complexity. Since MStar implemented Coverity, it has been adopted by a team of 70 developers. Within a year, MStar started to realize the value Coverity brought to the team and to their overall software quality.
Mr. Frank Chang gives a specific example: “There was one project in the past. Its software application contained a critical bug that always brought the system down. Because the code was very complex, the bug was extremely difficult to find and we were not able to find the root cause for a very long time. After we ran Coverity and followed all the actionable explanations of the issue, we were able to fix the defect in a couple of days instead of two to three weeks and the problem was completely resolved.”
Another major benefit that MStar Semiconductor realized was that they can integrate Coverity into their development lifecycle, from design and development, to quality assurance and product release. Along with its accurate analysis, Coverity is an effective solution due to its intuitive and easy to navigate user interface, allowing developers to further improve productivity. Since the deployment of Coverity, the team MStar Semiconductor improves TV software quality and reliability with Coverity has found and fixed defects at early stages of development, improved productivity for 300+ projects with automation throughout the development and testing process, and made the development process more predictable.