Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (3-26-12): Immerse yourself in embedded design at DESIGN West - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (3-26-12): Immerse yourself in embedded design at DESIGN West


Embedded Newsletter for 03-26-2012

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March 26, 2012

Tech Focus: Immerse yourself in embedded design at DESIGN West


Adding skills key to hitting deadlines says embedded market survey

The education of embedded systems software engineers: failures and fixes

Engineering the next generation DESIGN West meet-up

Study finds that software getting more important

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

According to Embedded Editorial Director Colin Holland, the best way to think about the new DESIGN West 2012 , beginning this week in San Jose, is as if it were ESC on steroids . In three intense days of courses, panel sessions, keynotes, hands-on tutorials and myriad show floor activities, in addition to the Embedded Systems Conference , the expanded venue also includes targeted DESIGN West Summits on Multicore Development, Sensors , Medical Systems, LEDs , Android, and Security .

In addition to more than 150 classes, there are several must-attend keynote addresses, Android certification classes, and more than 250 exhibitors. There also will be sponsored training classes from companies such as Arm, Freescale, Intel, Microchip, Mouser and Texas Instruments, and several build-your-own embedded system classes.

If you are not able to attend (or you are attending and want more immersion ), included here are recent design articles, Webinars, online tutorials, and white papers based on past ESC classes. Of these, my Editor's Top Picks are:

Troubleshooting real-time software issues using a logic analyze r

Agile embedded software development
Using trace to solve the multicore system debug problem
Non-intrusive multicore debug & performance optimization

While the focus of all the DESIGN West Summits is on the continuing education of current working embedded systems designers, attention is also given this week to inspiring and educating future engineers in a meeting of concerned developers and a panel session on the topic. Also, on a related topic, be sure to read “The education of embedded systems software engineers ,” by Robert Dewar of Adacore (Booth #2319 ) on his concerns about the training of engineers in U.S. universities.

Design How-Tos

A survey of Linux device drivers

Embedded Consultant Bill Gatfiff provides an tutorial overview of many of the different types of device abstractions available under Linux, with sample source code, taken from an ARM-Linux-2.6.12 kernel.

Agile embedded software development

Developers flee engineering for marketing and management. Why? Big processes are not delivering, and neither is coding chaos. This author says Agile helps address the problems of late projects, high defect levels, and stressed teams.

Adopting C programming conventions

This ESC paper discusses some common problems found in a lot of code and suggests strategies for avoiding them.

Porting an existing embedded system to Linux

Designers from Intellibot Robotics chronicle the transformation of their microcontroller-based embedded design ” a mobile robot – from one without an OS to one built on Linux, describing issues relating to debugging, real-time performance, the use of the GCC tool chain and multithreading using POSIX..

uClinux on the Blackfin DSP Architecture: Part 1

In this first in a three part series, the author provides an overview of the benefits and challenges of using DSP-based architectures with uClinux.

Using trace to solve the multicore system debug problem

In this article, Aaron Spear of VMware outlines current multicore development trends, explores the deficiencies in traditional software development tooling when applied to multicore systems, introducing the “Common Trace Format” (CTF), a coming standard for tracing multi-core systems over time.

Real-Time Kernels in medical device development (ESC-214)

Micrium's Matt Gordon provides an introduction to real-time kernels with a particular focus on what embedded developers of medical devices will need to know to begin writing multi-task applications.

Beyond MakeFles – Building large-scale C projects (ESC-200)

In this article, Mike Shal, who is teaching a class (ESC-200) at ESC Boston, takes you through the history and processes involved in building C-language make files and discusses why “make” fails its basic promise and what you can do about it.

Troubleshooting real-time software issues using a logic analyzer

This logic analyzer technique is a power-tool for the embedded software engineer's toolbox.

Interrupt Management Under Linux: Using the Interrupt Controller API

Bill Gatliff provides a walkthrough of the portions of the Linux kernel that manage interrupts and describes how Linux interacts with interrupt controllers and how to adapt code for custom hardware.

Non-intrusive debug and performance optimization for multicore systems

While efficiently partitioned and bug-free software on multiple cores is crucial for taking full advantage of their power, debugging of such systems adds more complexity due to vanishing accessibility of the sub-system interfaces, buses and concurrency, requiring the use of advanced system trace technology.

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.

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.


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

ESC: LDRA integrates requirements engineering tool IRQA into LDRA Tool Suite

LDRA has integrated Visure Solutions' IRQA requirements engineering tools with TBmanager, a test management and traceability component within the LDRA tool suite.

ESC: Express Logic's ThreadX RTOS supports both symmetric and asymmetric multiprocessing for multicores

Express Logic, Inc., has announced that the ThreadX RTOS now is available for multicore systems in both Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) or Asymmetric Multiprocessing (AMP) modes.

Energy measurement chip provides flexibility, scalability for monitoring applications

Analog Devices' latest single-chip energy measurement AFE is capable of monitoring the energy consumption and power quality of up to six electrical circuits.

ST's advanced wireless MCU supports SEP 2.0, reduces power outages and carbon emissions

STMicroelectronics has begun advanced sampling of the STM32W, its newest single-chip wireless microcontroller for the next generation of smart grid standards.

Energy Micro launches Gecko development kit

Priced at $309, Energy Micro's latest kit includes full SEGGER J-Trace and J-Link support, reducing the need for additional debugging tools.

Microchip combines Wi-Fi module and 32-bit PIC32 MCU in cost-effective new demo board

The Wi-Fi Comm Demo Board from Microchip Technology Inc. combines Microchip's 32-bit PIC32 microcontroller family with its low-power MRF24WB0MA agency-certified, IEEE 802.11, embedded Wi-Fi radio transceiver module.

News & Analysis

ESC: LDRA Certification Services streamlines FAA/EASA certification at a fixed price

LDRA Certification Services (LCS), a division of LDRA, is announcing the first comprehensive and fully compliant FAA/EASA certification solution.

Adding skills key to hitting deadlines says embedded market survey

Embedded systems developers are looking to improve how many of their projects hit their deadlines by increasing the skill levels of their engineering teams.

Freescale to demo Cortex-M0+ Kinetis devices at DESIGN West

Freescale Semiconductor is to demonstrate its Kinetis L series microcontrollers (MCUs) built on the ARM Cortex-M0+ processor at DESIGN West in San Jose, California, with alpha sampling ofdue to start in the second quarter of 2012.

Microsemi to share expertise and demo solutions at DESIGN West

The March 27-29 event in San Jose, California, will highlight the latest developments in electronic design

DESIGN West preview: Tesla CTO keynoting on EV innovation

JB Straubel, chief technical officer and a founding team member of Tesla Motors, will discuss the challenges of creating electric cars in a keynote speech at the DESIGN West conference March 26-29 in San Jose.

DESIGN West preview: Radio show marks the rise of MEMS

Peter Clarke, European News Director of EE Times, will discuss the technology and business of Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) components in a recording of the Design News Radio Show from the exhibition floor at DESIGN West conference which takes place March 26 to 29 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.


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