Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (1-21-12): Learn about embedding Android at ESC DesignWest - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (1-21-12): Learn about embedding Android at ESC DesignWest


Embedded Newsletter for 02-21-2012

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February 21, 2012

Tech Focus: Learn about embedding Android at ESC DesignWest


Taking the podium

Android at ESC: Deja vu all over again?

Understanding Android's strengths and weaknesses

Is Android the Right Foundation for Your Next Device?

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

In many respects, mobile phones and computing devices are to embedded systems what suburban utility vehicles (SUVs) are to trucks and other dedicated, specialized vehicles. SUVs were originally built with truck components, in truck factories and according to truck design rules, presenting enormous opportunities for automotive engineers and companies in a new market. And as the SUV market has evolved and matured, features added to satisfy particular needs in that market have inspired auto companies and engineers to turn around and incorporate those features into trucks and other dedicated vehicles.

The same dynamic is at work between the embedded and mobile device markets, especially as it relates to the open source Android platform. Mobile devices originally drew on development tools,, operating systems, building blocks and embedded programming expertise used in similarly resource constrained embedded designs. Now those have been complemented or superseded by mobile-optimized methods which developers are now looking at to enhance their embedded designs.

The most up-to-date information about both types of opportunities will be at the upcoming ESC DesignWest in San Jose, Ca., March 26-29. As a part of the Android Summit , there are two design tracks including one on “Applying Android to em bedded design s” . In addition, there's a track devoted to: Linux, Android and open source . Also, there is a special set of classes where you can earn a certificate in Android development.

My Editor's Top Picks from recently published Embedded.com articles on Android include: Understanding Android's strengths and weaknesses ; Android, Linux and Real-Time development ; and Differentiating your Android-based embedded device. Several recent technical papers relevant to the use of Android in embedded apps are available for download:

A cooperative embedded system framework based on Android (PDF)
Designing an industrial app based on the Android mobile OS (PDF)
Evaluating Android OS for Embedded Real Time Systems (PDF)
Reliable Real-Time Applications on Android OS (PDF)

Other online resources for Android developers include the Google+ Android Community and Android Developers ; the LinkedIn Android Developer Group and Google Android; and the Facebook Android Developers group. Two helpful Web communities are: Android Open Source Project and AOpenSource.com. Keep in touch with me about your embedded Android projects, especially if you would like to share what you have learned with the developer community on Embedded.com.

Design How-Tos

Understanding Android's strengths and weaknesses

Here are techniques for exploiting Android's strengths and managing its limitations, especially in hard real-time, mission-critical systems.

Differentiating your Android-based embedded device

In this Product How-To article, Mentor Graphics' Philip Burr provides a few tips to developers who want the low development cost that the Android standard provides, but want to differentiate their designs from competitive devices using the same platform.

Android, Linux & Real-time Development for Embedded Systems

Colin Walls of Mentor Graphics provides a quicky look at the Android Mobile OS and Linux and their use in a wide range of embedded applications, its architecture, how apps are developed and the deployment of Android on a variety of multicore based devices.

Validating your GNU platform toolchain: tips and techniques

Open-source tools for your open-source Android/Linux platform.

Android-based platforms–Four important tips for UI development

Android is available. What now? How do I maximize user experience by focusing on UI development? Here are four important tips.

Apps useful for Electronics Engineers

Here is a list of the apps that might be useful for electronics engineers.

Validate hardware/software for nextgen mobile/consumer apps using software-on-chip system development tools

A new breed of mobile smartphone platforms and embedded consumer devices is now emerging requiring applications software and extensions that go far beyond just enabling user-level software customization

Testing android devices in medical applications

Designers take note: there's a script for testing Android-based medical devices

Embedded Systems Bookshelf


Embedded Books Reading Room
Bernard Cole's favorite links to book excerpts.


Engineer's Bookshelf
Airport fiction blows. A look at books other engineers are reading and why you should read them, too. Recommend and write a review yourself. E-mail Brian Fuller.

Jack Ganssle's Bookshelf
A list of book reviews by Jack Ganssle, contributing technical editor of Embedded Systems Design and Embedded.com.

Max's Cool Beans
Clive “Max” Maxfield, the editor on Programmable Logic DesignLine, often writes about interesting books.


AMD Fusion-based congatec COMs support OpenCL

congatec Inc. has announced support for OpenCL (Open Computing Language) for its Computers-on-Modules (COMs) with AMD Fusion technology across module standards ETX, XTX, COM Express, and Qseven.

Spreadtrum offers Android platforms for $100 smartphones

Spreadtrum Communications Inc. has announced that is has Android platforms that should enable customers to make $100 retail TD-SCDMA and EDGE/Wi-Fi smartphones with 1-GHz clock performance. The TD-SCDMA platform is based on the SC8810 chip and the EDGE/Wi-Fi platform is based on the SC6820 chip, Spreadtrum (Shanghai, China) said.

MediaTek launches platform for low-end Android phones

Fabless chip company MediaTek has announced the availability of a hardware and software platform for the creation of mid- and entry-level Android smartphones.

ARM releases free version of its Development Studio for Android platforms

One type of virtual prototype is a software development kit, specifically designed for application developers who have no need to know about the underlying hardware platform…

Mocana's Mobile App Protection (MAP) makes Android apps self-defending

Mocana's new Mobile App Protection, or MAP, is a security solution that enables admins to specify distinct security policies for each enterprise app on every device on their network.

Wind River's Android test development kit replicates human interactions

Wind River's UX Test Development Kit is an Eclipse-based test-authoring environment enabling the rapid creation of automated test scripts for Android devices, applications and browser-based web content.

News & Analysis

ZiiLabs samples 100-core, HEVC-ready Android SoC

ZiiLabs, a fabless chip subsidiary of multimedia hardware company Creative Technology Ltd. (Singapore), has begun sampling its ZMS-40 media processor optimized for Android platforms.

IBM expands its mobile strategy with Worklight acquisition

After stating its intent several weeks ago, IBM says it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Israeli enterprise mobile app development firm Worklight.

Android 4.0 running on AMD Brazos platform spotted

Despite Intel's best efforts to cozy up to Google and focus the firm's entire ultra-mobile strategy on Android, CPU rival AMD is showing it doesn't need a partnership to run Google's latest and greatest iteration on its own platform.

Android will run better on our chips, says Intel

Intel may have missed the smartphone boat the first time around, but the chip maker is determined not to let the opportunity set sail without it again, making its first big moves in ultra-mobility at last week's CES 2012.Showing off a reference design smartphone and announcing partnerships with both Motorola and LG, Intel is determined to make its mark on mobile this coming year, starting with the Chinese market and then expanding out.

What Google/Moto means for Android OEMs

Google's bid for Motorola raises new tensions among smartphone, tablet and TV makers as the Web giant figure out how to manage handset and set-top businesses.

NEW! Embedded Code Source Website Launched
Browse & download free software/firmware code examples for your PIC® MCU projects.
Find code for controlling simple timers, UARTs, low power modes, FFTs, LCD displays, motors & more!


Wither Linux?

Linux and Android are the future. Or are they?

Angry Bird droppings

Android's vulnerabilities are playing out like a Hitchcock movie.

Android users get screwed

Keeping a product up to date is tough, but is one sure way to market success.

Android at ESC: Deja vu all over again?

Watching the growing interest in Android among developers at the Embedded Systems Conferences, I feel as if I have gone through this experience before.

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