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June 18, 2012

Tech Focus: Down to embedded business at FTF 2012


A decision-tree approach to picking the right embedded multicore software architecture

Multicore networking in Linux user space with no performance overhead

Building a low cost deterministic industrial Ethernet system

Using drowsy cores to lower power in multicore SoCs

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor
Read his blog



The annual Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) being held this week (June 18-21) in San Antonio, Texas, is a good way to cure the summer doldrums with healthy doses of stimulating lectures and workshops on cutting edge technology. If you can't attend, you can sign up on the Freescale web site to view the presentations when they become available.

In addition to keynote speeches from Freescale's new CEO Gregg Lowe, the X Prize Foundation's Dr. Peter Diamandis, Doug Yates of Rousch Yates Engines and Dr. Peter van Manen of McClaren Electronic Systems, the technology forum will include several hundred lectures, panel sessions, hands-on workshops, and Lunch and Learn sessions divided into eight topic tracks: microcontrollers, processors, analog and power, DSP, RF and wireless, sensors, software, tools, and technologies.

To complement this cornucopia of design information, here are a range of recent Freescale related design articles. white papers, webinars, product and news stories. Of these, my Editor's Top Picks are:

A decision-tree approach to picking multicore software
Building a low power deterministic industrial Ethernet system
Taking a multicore DSP approach to medical ultrasound beamforming
Freescale controller continuum
Maximize PowerQUICC and QorIQ design

Design How-Tos

Thread synchronization techniques for better multicore system power/performance tradeoffs

An in-depth look at a thread synchronization mechanism based on hardware supplied primitives for use in multicore designs to guarantee both power savings and improved system performance as well as RTOS overhead.

A decision-tree approach to picking the right embedded multicore software architecture

Freescale's Robert Oshana walks the embedded software developer through a multicore "decision tree" for selecting software components best suited to the app, such as RTOS, Linux, RT-Linux, or none.

Analyzing multithreaded applications—Identifying performance bottlenecks on multicore systems

Here's a step by step method for identifying and analyzing bottlenecks in multithreaded applications on multicore systems.

Building a low cost deterministic industrial Ethernet system

In this Product How-To design article, Freescale engineers describe how to use the company's new MPC8309 and MPC8306/S processors to implement low cost deterministic Ethernet designs with IEEE 1588.

Taking a multicore DSP approach to medical ultrasound beamforming

A Product How-to on using Freescale MSC8156 multicore DSP to produce diagnostically useful medical ultrasound imaging results, using no more than about 38% of the resources of the DSP, leaving enough room to also perform Doppler imaging.

Multicore networking in Linux user space with no performance overhead

In this Product How-To Design article, the Freescale authors discuss multi-core network SoCs and how to leverage them efficiently for data path processing, the limitations of current software programming models, and how to use the VortiQa zero-overhead user space software framework in designs based on the QorIQ processor family.

Pick the right multicore virtualization use case for your design

According to Rob Oshana and Stuart Yoder of Freescale, while virtualization enables the sharing of hardware resources on a single computer system, allowing multiple OSes to simultaneously share the system, the trick is picking the use case that best matches your application.

Transitioning to multicore processing

Hesitating to make the shift from single- to multiple-core processing in your design? Here's a guide to making the transition.

Using drowsy cores to lower power in multicore SoCs

Freescale engineers describe a cascading power management technique that steers tasks to a smaller number of cores during non-peak activity periods so that the idle cores can enter a minimal-power or "drowsy" state.

Virtualization options for embedded multicore systems

There are a number of paths to virtualization for embedded systems. After a tour of those options, Freescale Semiconductor's Syed Shah makes the case for the bare metal hypervisor-based approach -- coupled with hardware virtualization assists in the core, the memory subsystem and the I/O -- as the best-performing option.

It takes two to tango: Simplifying Linux/WinCE real-time applications development using 8- and 32-bit low-cost microcontrollers

Seeing the terms 'Linux/WinCE' in the same sentence as '8-bit probably comes as a surprise to most people. As the title, 'It takes two to tango' suggests, 8-bit microcontroller units (MCUs) can actually make Linux and WinCE software application development easier.

Building a power meter application with an 8-bit MCU

In this product how-to article Radomir Kozub describes how to use Freescale's 8-bit MC9S08LH64 to build an intelligent and accurate single-phase power metering design, while keeping a low cost bill of materials.

2012 Embedded Market Survey webinar

UBM Electronics' 17th annual survey of embedded systems designers worldwide shows trends in software and hardware usage. The 2012 Embedded Market Survey also looks at languages, productivity, and the challenges design teams rank as most important. A webinar on Friday April 20 will examine the results from over 1,700 respondents from across the embedded industry, the dataset enables a deep analysis to track key changes in this important electronics industry segment. There will also be the opportunity to ask questions online. To register click here.


Scalable Cortex-M4 wireless chipset for ZigBee Smart Energy Version 2.0

Freescale Semiconductor is expanding its Kinetis microcontroller (MCU) portfolio with the industry's first wireless solution built on the ARM Cortex-M4 processor for smart energy, smart metering and building control applications.

Freescale baseband-to-antenna reference design targets femtocells

Targeting femtocells the new reference design works for WCDMA as well as LTE and is configurable for FDD and TDD applications up to 2.7GHz.

Latest Freescale wireless robot can walk, dance, and teach sensor programming

Tower System mechatronics robot and board enable rapid sensor application development with easy-to-use programming language and expanded capabilities

Freescale adds low end processors to i.MX 6 family for industrial multimedia

Freescale Semiconductor is introducing two lower cost processors that are pin-compatible with the existing i.MX 6 family of devices for industrial and embedded multimedia applications.

K70 adds LCD driver to Kinetis MCUs

The Kinetis K70 family from Freescale Semiconductor targets applications that require a sophisticated graphics LCD user interface as well as advanced connectivity and security functionality.


Freescale: The next big analog player?

Who could make a big play in analog? Try Freescale Semiconductor Inc.

Freescale's David vs Japan Inc. Goliath

During my recent visit to Japan, I had the pleasure of meeting David Uze, president of Freescale Semiconductor Japan, in his Tokyo office.

Trends in embedded software design

As the magazine that catered to embedded systems programmers closes, the future lies in less hands-on programming and more auto-generated code.

Sponsored White Papers

QorIQ AMP Delivers More than Moore

Freescale's Embedded Hypervisor for QorIQ P4 Series Communications Platform

Freescale Technologies for Energy Efficiency

Freescale's e200 Core Family Built on Power Architecture Technology: Overview and Licensing Model

Mathematics for smart power grid design

Extending JTAG Debugging and Programming

Elements of Basic Utility Meters

A Methodology for Reducing Development Time and Improving Reliability of Embedded System Hardware

Courses and Webinars

Freescale Technology Across the Grid

Power Architecture Solutions for Industrial Control

Multicore Adoption: A Checklist for Success

Power Architecture® Solutions for Smart Energy market

Streamline your hardware development and debugging

Freescale Controller Continuum

Maximize Freescale PowerQUICC® and QorIQ™ based Designs


Around the Network Events

C++ training event for embedded systems engineers

Search the Embedded.com Newsletter Archive

Search ESD Magazine's Online Archive

Conferences and Events

ESC Boston 2012, a DESIGN East summit
September 17-20, 2012
Hynes Convention Center
Boston, MA

Are you up-to-date on the latest products, technologies and practical design information?

ESC Boston -- alongside Android Summit, DesignMED, LED Summit and Sensors in Design -- is the most powerful and cost-effective avenue for acquiring the latest knowledge, skills and techniques you need to:
  • Get your ideas from concept to reality as quickly as possible and on spec
  • Accelerate the design and development of your products
  • Facilitate the incorporation of new technologies & techniques into existing and future projects
And with the All Access Pass, you'll get unlimited entry to everything:
  • Choose from 100+ sessions & tutorials in 21+ conference tracks
  • Network with visionary keynotes and top industry speakers
  • Attend the Android™ Certificate Program
  • See exciting DESIGN East Theater events like product teardowns
  • Visit 150+ Exhibitors on the Expo Floor showcasing the latest products
  • Enjoy Happy Hours, win Prizes & Giveaways and more!
Join thousands of your peers at the center of the engineering universe -- you can't afford to miss this.

Register today!

News & Analysis

Freescale pushes wireless recharge

Freescale Semiconductor's reference designs for recharging tablets and smartphones allow automobiles, airports, coffee shops and other public areas to supply almost invisible recharging stations built into tables, kiosks or nearly any horizontal surface.

Freescale shows sensor 'black-box' for Win8

Freescale Semiconductor is readying itself for the official launch of Windows 8 with a 12-axis sensor development reference platform it is dubbing a "black-box" of sensor integration.

Freescale ups ante with quad-core Qorivva

Freescale Semiconductor said its new quad-core Qorivva MPC5746M microcontroller boost performance up to 5-times plus includes specialized circuitry for safety, security and input/output including on-chip Ethernet.

Freescale's Q1 points to upswing, says CEO

Freescale Semiconductor reported first quarter sales that were down on both a sequential and annual basis, but said it expects growth in the second quarter.

Gregg Lowe, ex-TI exec, takes helm at Freescale

Gregg Lowe (shown), who headed analog operations at Texas Instruments, will replace Rich Beyer as the new CEO of Freescale Semiconductor.

ARM Cortex-M0+ targets 'internet of things'

The ARM Cortex-M0+ processor is the latest addition to the ARM Cortex processor family and consumes 9µA/MHz on a 90nm LP process. Early licensees of the processor include Freescale and NXP Semiconductor.

Cloud-connected MCUs with out-of-box cloud connectivity

Digi International announced its collaboration with Freescale Semiconductor to integrate the secure and scalable iDigi Device Cloud solution into Freescale's leading Kinetis and ColdFire microcontroller platforms.

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