Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (9-26-11): ESC Boston-Building reliable systems - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (9-26-11): ESC Boston–Building reliable systems


Embedded Newsletter for 09-26-11

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September 26, 2011

Tech Focus: ESC Boston – Building reliable systems


ESC Boston – Hope and Change

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

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

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

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.

And building reliable systems is what the Embedded Systems Conferences are all about. At the ESC in Boston this week, over 100 classes are available to help you meet that goal, including special tracks on: Project Management, System Integration and Test, and Software Engineering.

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:

Beyond MakeFiles – Building large scale C projects
The “Big Thaw” – an agile process for software certification
Transporting bugs with virtual checkpoints

If you haven't decided which classes and events you want to attend (or to see what you missed if you are not attending ), read: “Classes I'd attend if there were two of me,” and similar surveys of events and classes at the conference by Jack Ganssle, Toni McConnel, Rich Pell, and Bill Schweber. Intel is also at the ESC in Boston. To see classes Intel engineers are presenting, go to “See it first at ESC Boston.

Design How-Tos

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.

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.

The “Big Thaw” – An Agile Process for Software Certification

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.

Seventeen steps to safer C code

Here are 17 tips for writing safety-critical C code using methods adapted from C++ and Ada.

Transporting bugs with virtual checkpoints

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.

APIdeology: Application Programming Interface best practices

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.

Verifying certified software: making the most of the tools you have

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,

Tips on making your application code multicore ready

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.

Rethink your project planning with a virtual platform

Virtual hardware platforms can be leveraged to obtain significant project and product planning improvements in terms of development time, time-to-market, and development process risk.

CWE: what developers of connected embedded systems need to know

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

Using static code analysis to support DO-178b certification

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.

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.

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

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.


Microchip adds configurable logic to 8-bit MCUs

Microchip Technology Inc. has added several 8-bit PIC microcontrollers that feature configurable logic and peripheral integration in 6- to 20-pin packages.

TI uses 65nm process for M4F-based MCUs

Texas Instruments Inc. has expanded its Stellaris portfolio with 40 devices in the LM4Fx family which are the first Cortex-M-based microcontrollers to be built on 65 nanometer technology.

Cortex-M0 MCUs integrate segment LCD Drivers

The LPC11D00 and LPC12D00 series of ARM Cortex-M0 microcontrollers from NXP Semiconductors have an integrated segment LCD drivers.

Fujitsu expands FM3 MCU family

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.


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