Embedded.com Weekly Newsletter: April 5 - 9, 2010 - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Weekly Newsletter: April 5 – 9, 2010




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I count myself lucky each week if I come across just one news ordesign article captures my attention. This week, though, I found atleast half a dozen Embedded.com articles that are compelling reads.

First, there is Jack Ganssle's “Interview with James Grenning“,a signer and supporter of the Agile Manifesto, about the controversysurrounding “test-driven development” and its suitability for embeddedsystems. Complementing Ganssle's column is my Editor's Top Pick: “How to use new unit testing tools andtechniques to improve software quality,” by Mark Pitchford.If you are tempted to dismiss the need for such disciplined softwaredevelopment methodologies, read Michal Barr's latest column on “Five top causes of nasty embedded softwarebugs.”

Another compelling read is “Buy or roll your own? Neither with FreeRTOS,”by Richard Barry, director of Real Time Engineers Ltd. According toRich Nass in “The resultsfor 2010 are in,” our survey of 1,500 developers showed thatFreeRTOS was their first choice, not only ahead of Linux, but also anyof the commercial RTOSes.

And because I am still puzzling over what classes to attend at ESC Silicon Valley (coming uplater this month), “Multicore technology training for embeddedsystems designers” by Multicore Expo's Markus Levywas enormously useful in sorting through my choices.

Finally, there are the two features from this month's ESD Magazine: Developing aflexible firmware architecture ,” and Expressive vs.permissive languages: Is that the question? Both made mequestion my assumptions about programming – my ultimate test of anarticle's value. Good reading! (Embedded.comEditor Bernard Cole, bccole@acm.org )

  BREAK POINT by Jack Ganssle
An interview with James Grenning
Jack Ganssle puts the Agile Manifesto's James Grenning on the hot seat about test-driven development's suitability for embedded systems.
  EDITOR'S TOP PICKS by Bernard Cole, Embedded.com Editor
How to use new unit testing tools & techniques to improve software quality
Long used mainly in high integrity environments, new unit test tools can now also streamline and improve the quality and reliability of mainstream, less critical environments, even those involving undocumented legacy code.
  BARR CODE by Michael Barr
Five top causes of nasty embedded software bugs
Too often engineers give up trying to discover the cause of infrequent anomalies not easily reproduced in the lab. Yet these ghosts in the machine live on.
  GUEST EDITORIAL by Richard Barry
Buy or roll your own OS? Neither with FreeRTOS.
FreeRTOS breaks the barriers of traditional operating systems.
  ESD MAGAZINE: Online Design Exclusive
Expressive vs. permissive languages: Is that the question?
The ease with which code is analyzable depends of the language type you use
Developing a flexible firmware architecture
Firmware modularization is the ticket to low cost and (relatively) painless product development.
  ESC SV 2010: News and Features
Multicore technology training for embedded systems designers
Now in its fifth year, the Multicore Expo has teamed up with the Embedded Systems Conference to offer technical training for embedded systems developers working on multicore-related projects. Here are just a few of the Multicore Expo sessions that its chairman, Markus Levy, finds intriguing for 2010.
New design tools enable quick development of iPod/iPhone accessories
Cypress/Microchip each offer a suite of development tools/kits and software to produce accessories for a host of applications.
State machine design is as easy as telling the time
Anders Holmberg evaluates TI's eZ430 Chronos watch evaluation kit using the IAR Systems visualState tool and finds it an excellent platform to explore the basics of state machine design.
Wi-Fi connection problems dog iPad
Purchasers of the Apple iPad, which went on sale in U.S. on Saturday (April 3), have been complaining that the tablet computer is having problems connecting to Wi-Fi wireless LAN routers.
An iPod on steroids
Apple Inc.'s iPad features a small motherboard, making it a large iPod rather than a small PC, according to a teardown from Chipworks (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada).
Another tech firm says iPad infringes patent
EMG Technology said it would move to add Apple's iPad tablet to a patent infringement suit filed by EMG against Applie in 2008.
Reviews for iPad are mixed
The iPad from Apple Inc. is finally out and reviews are mixed.
Samsung, Broadcom snag multiple wins with iPad
Samsung and Broadcom are among the major silicon suppliers for the Apple iPad which sports an unusually high processor-to-memory channel, an abundance of touch-screen silicon, a novel case design, according to a teardown performed by UBM TechInsights, a sister division of EE Times.
  TOP NEWS/FEATURES: Week of April 5 – 9, 2010
Ten mobile devices set to drive the processor market
The market for eBooks, tablets, smartphones and other mobile consumer products is exploding, according to Jon Peddie Research (Tiburon, Calif.), which creates an increasing market for multimedia and application processors.
Energy savings market to top $277 billion by 2020
According to a new report from Lux Research, the market for energy saving green buildings technologies will expand from $144 billion today to $277 billion in 2020, representing a 6.1 percent compound annual growth rate.
Chip market recovery still has legs, says analyst
Following a sharp recovery in late 2009 and into 2010, semiconductor industry unit volumes should still grow another 15 to 20 percent between now and the end of the year, according to analysts at Benchmark Equity Research.
  #INCLUDE by Rich Nass
The results for 2010 are in!
The 2010 Embedded Market Study is complete and tallied. Big surprises? Yes and no.
  EDITOR'S NOTE by Bernard Cole, Embedded.com
ESC (Come to the ESC. In this one-minute video , RichNass, conference editorial director, summarizes whatthe Embedded Systems Conference offers for engineers: stay up-to-dateon theindustry while updating your skill set. )

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