The main goal of any embedded systems developer – hardware or software – is to build reliable systems. In safety-critical applications, lives depend on it. In consumer markets, a product's success and a company's survival depend on it. In automotive and industrial applications, efficient machine operations depend on it.
Building reliable embedded systems is also what Embedded.com and ESD Magazine are all about. Collected here are recent design articles, white papers, product how-to's, and webinars by some of the attendees and presenters at this conference. My Editor's Top Picks are:
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.
To deal with a problem in software certification known as the “Big Freeze” (where all components and tools are frozen in place once a workable design has been achieved) the authors use the “Big Thaw”: continuous monitoring of all activities affected by a change, to keep all artifacts up to date and to preserve the complete system's certifiability.
Developers can overcome the issues of reliable bug reproduction and communication of the target state using virtual platform checkpoints. By such mechanisms, any bug can be captured, communicated, and reproduced any number of times, in any location.
Best practices in the development and maintenance of application programming interfaces (APIs) dictate that software interfaces do not change once they have been released, with the exception of adding new entry points. So, it's important to design concise, extensible interfaces that can be adapted to survive in an evolving hardware/software ecosystem.
An examination of the Software Code Standard and Structural Coverage Analysis requirements of the DO-178B standard, and an evaluation of some techniques useful in meeting the needs of safety-critical software development,
In this product how-to article Vector Fabrics' Paul Stavers describes a more efficient way to parallelize code for embedded multicore designs illustrating the process using the company's online tool to parallelize Google's VP8 video decoder.
Use of the Common Weakness and Enumeration (CWE) database allows security quality attributes to be specified for a project, allowing them to be measured and verified before an embedded design is put into service, significantly reducing in-the-field exploitation of latent security vulnerabilities
In this Product How-To, Paul Anderson of GrammaTech takes you step by step through how to use his company's static analysis tools to support the safety-critical software requirements of the DO-178B standard.
Hesitating to make the shift from single- to multiple-core processing in your design? Here's a guide to making the transition.
Call for Abstracts, ESC Silicon Valley
Click here for Call for Abstracts.
Calling all embedded systems engineers! Teach other engineers about embedded systems design techniques at the Embedded Systems Conference, Silicon Valley 2012. Click here to see the ESC SV 2012 tracks . September 30th is the submission deadline.
ESC Boston 2011 Tracks
System Integration & Test Integrating hardware with software, developing test strategies, managing and executing system test. Track Chair: Bruce Douglass, Chief Evangelist, IBM
Linux, Android, Open-Source Evaluating, understanding and using Embedded Linux, the Android platform and other open-source software. Track Chair: Bill Gatliff, Freelance Consultant
Real-Time Systems Fundamental real-time concepts, selecting and understanding an RTOS, developing and verifying real-time systems. Track Chair: Dave Stewart, Director of Software Engineering, InHand Electronics, Inc.
Project Management Development methodologies, traceable design, developing and managing requirements, agile development, build and change management and other aspects of making a project succeed. Track Chair: Rob Oshana, Director, SW R&D, Networking & Multimedia Group, Freescale
Multicore Understanding, evaluating and programming multiple-processor systems. Track Chair: Robert Cravotta, Principal Analyst, Embedded Insights
Networking & Connectivity Understanding and implementing Internet connections into embedded systems, networks within embedded systems and interfaces such as USB and PCI Express. Track Chair: Christian Legare, Vice President, Micrium
Safety & Security All aspects of developing and testing systems that must be safe to deploy in life-critical applications, and systems that are secure against malicious attacks. Track Chair: Mark Kraeling, Product Manager, GE Transportation
FPGAs in Embedded Systems FPGAs as alternatives to microcontrollers, as signal-processing units, as configurable accelerators, or just as a way of implementing an interface: Selection, design and verification. Understanding and using the FPGA tool chain and how it differs from software development tools. Employing CPUs inside or beside FPGAs. Track Chair: Mike Santarini, Publisher / Sr. Manager Xcell Journal & Editorial Services, Xilinx
Prototyping Embedded Systems Model-based prototyping, use of simulation, selection and use of development kits, FPGAs as prototyping aids. Track Chair: RC Cofer, FAE, Avnet Microcontrollers & SoCs Understanding, selecting and programming microcontrollers; Sorting out the ARM architectures; Peripheral and memory issues in MCUs and SoCs, evaluating an application-specific standard product SoC for a project. Track Chair: Mark Kraeling, Product Manager, GE Transportation Embedded I/O Systems Storage, display and input devices for embedded systems. Track Chair: Larry Mittag, Lead Consultant, Mittag Enterprises
Software Engineering Reviewing programming fundamentals, building programming skills, software architectures, optimization and best practices. Track Chair: Niall Cooling, Director, Feabhas Ltd.
Low-Power Design Hardware and software issues in low-power design. Accurate power estimation and measurement. Track Chair: John Donovan, Editor/Publisher, Low-Power Design (www.low-powerdesign.com) Military/Aerospace Design Hardware, software and methodology practices for military and aerospace applications. Use of these techniques in other application areas. Track Chair: Dave Stewart, Director of Software Engineering, InHand Electronics, Inc.
Fujitsu Semiconductor has added 64 devices to its FM3 family of 32-bit RISC microcontrollers based on the ARM Cortex-M3 processor core and include 54 products from the High-Performance MB9B610/510/410/310/210/110 series and 10 Ultra-Low-Leak devices.