Embedded.com Weekly Newsletter: Feb. 22-26, 2010 - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Weekly Newsletter: Feb. 22-26, 2010




The Embedded Newsletter is delivered to youfree of charge from the staff of Embedded.com. To view the Embedded.com site , visit: http://www.embedded.com

Coincidental with the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain,a goodly number of design articles related to mobile phones andhandheld devices are now available on Embedded.com.

One set of articles analyzes the viability ofthe Symbian mobile development platformits drawbacksin the U.S market,  popularity inemerging markets, and  why Symbianis a smart pick for mobile designs. Other articles look at the history of CMOS for 3G phones,and using either CMOS or GalliumArsenide for critical power amplification circuitry.  Inanother article HP's Peter Hartwell looks at the useof MEMS sensors in consumer and mobile devices .

With multicore processors becoming more common in mobile designs,another useful resource is a two part series oncompiler-based scalar optimization techniques for C and C++ totake full advantage of the parallelism in such designs.

In celebration of National Engineer's Week, Jack Ganssle in Why did you becomean engineer ?” reminisces on what drove him to choose thispath. And in his #Include column, RichNass interviews TI's Rich Templeton , keynote speaker at theSilicon Valley Embedded Systems Conference in April.(Embedded.com Editor Bernard Cole, bccole@acm.org )

ESC Silicon Valley: A semester-worth of embedded education in 4 days
On April 26-29 at the Convention Center in San Jose, Ca., you're invited to a banquet of courses, speakers, and panels looking at new technologies, opportunities, and problems that will be coming at you in the near future, as well as opportunities to be inspired, to get into arguments or just have idea-laden discussions
Intel-led alliance pledges $3.5B in venture funds
The Invest in America Alliance, a group of 25 venture capital and 17 high tech companies led by Intel Corp., pledged to invest $3.5 billion in U.S. technology startups over the next two years and hire as many as 10,500 college students in 2010.
SystemC configuration spec ready for review
The Open SystemC Initiative (OSCI) has released a draft of requirements for the configuration portion of the SystemC Configuration, Control & Inspection (CCI) standardization effort. It is open for public review until April 2, 2010.
U.S.: Fake parts threaten electronic market
Electronic parts counterfeiters are taking advantage of numerous loopholes within the industry supply chain to infiltrate the system and pose a significant threat to the entire market, according to a U.S. government finding.
Mid-year slump to limit chip market growth, says analyst
A mid-year slump in the western economy is likely to inhibit consumer electronics spending and hold annual semiconductor revenue growth back at 11.2 percent in 2010, according to Robert Castellano of market research company The Information Network (New Tripoli, Pennsylvania).
  BREAK POINT by Jack Ganssle
Why did you become an Engineer?
Fame, money or fun? Why did you become an engineer?
  #INCLUDE by Rich Nass
Day 2 at ESC looks at “today”
TI CEO Rich Templeton's ESC Keynote Address will focus on the omni-present embedded system.
  EDITOR'S TOP PICK by Bernard Cole, Embedded.com Editor
Tuning C/C++ compilers for optimal parallel performance in multicore apps: Part 1
Max Domeika, author of “Software development for embedded multicore systems,” details C and C++ compiler scalar optimization and performance features that will allow you to take full advantage of parallelism via multithreading or partitioning. Part 1: Why scalar optimization is so important.
  DESIGN FOCUS: The Symbian Platform
Symbian's strengths: installed base, open source and SMP
Here are three reasons why I believe that Symbian will continue to shape the mobile handset OS market are: 'installed base,' 'open source' and 'symmetric multi-processors.'
Symbian lacks the newborn cachet in the U.S. market
The success of Symbian is intimately tied to Nokia. But Nokia's much needed success in the U.S. market is not necessarily tied to Symbian. Symbian today lacks the newborn cachet that has attached to its competition — Google's Android, Apple's mobile OS and Palm's webOS.
Growth in emerging markets will sustain Symbian
Riding a wave of market expansion in emerging countries, the midrange and entry level smartphone categories will be the fastest-growing sectors of the smartphone market over the next five years. That growth trend stands the Symbian OS in good stead, writes Forward Concepts' Satish Menon.
Three reasons Symbian is smart pick for mobile
Because of the moves made to open-source and freely distribute the Symbian code, to unify and not further fragment the platform, and to shepherd the asset base with a not-for-profit entity, every company can participate in the Symbian ecosystem comfortably, to the ultimate benefit of consumers, writes Symbian Foundation director Lee Williams.
  DESIGN ARTICLES: Week of Feb. 22-26
CMOS history repeating again in power amplifiers
Now that a 3G PA can be implemented in CMOS, the RF front end will be on a new technology trajectory that is aligned with the rest of the phone (what we all know as Moore's Law).
CMOS is the right technology for 3G handset PAs
History has shown that once CMOS can meet the difficult analog performance requirements presented by an application, it always wins.
CMOS is the wrong technology for 3G handset PAs
Gallium arsenide is the best process technology choice for power amplifiers in 3G handsets. It carries the load today and will be the technology of choice as we march towards 4G. Looking farther out, CMOS will undoubtedly play a role, but for the near term GaAs wins the day.
Rethinking MEMS sensor design for the masses
A new, nano-based approach could move the needle toward realizing a MEMS-based inertial measurement unit for consumer electronics, says HP's Peter Hartwell.
  TOP PRODUCT PICKS by Bernard Cole, Embedded.com Editor
ARM launches M4 signal-control MCU core
ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) has announced the launch of the Cortex-M4 microcontroller core for use in digital signal control and that the core has been licensed by five companies including NXP, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments.
Embedded Workbench for ARM 5.41 achieves 13% performance improvement
The latest release of IAR Systems' Embedded Workbench for ARM is highly optimized for code size and increased execution speed. The company states it performs up to 13 percent better on CoreMark benchmarks for Cortex-M0 compared to the previous version of IAR Embedded Workbench.
Electro Power Systems launches self-recharging hydrogen fuel cell system
Electro Power Systems SpA is launching ElectroSelf, the world's first entirely self-recharging hydrogen fuel cell technology at Mobile World Congress.
  UNDER THE HOOD: Teardown
Inside the art of pulse oximetry
Few areas have the ability to turn the cold science of metrology into pure art as quickly as medical diagnostics, and few systems embody the essence of this art as the Radical-7 Signal Extraction Pulse-CO Oximeter from Masimo. We go deep inside to uncover some of the secrets and design choices, that transform a box of ICs into a cutting-edge, life-saving system.
  EDITOR'S NOTE by Bernard Cole, Embedded.com Editor

If you want to learn how to deal with the inevitable signal-integrity problems in your design, check out the TechOnLine course: Fundamentals of Signal Integrity. It will take you from a basic definition of signal integrity and what can cause it to deteriorate, right through to the interpretation of an eye diagram and how use the latest test equipment to spot problems.

Also, to learn more about multicore design using Linux check out the new Live Webinar: “Optimized Linux Development Tools for Multicore”. Presented by Alex deVries, Chief Linux Technologist, and Emeka Nwafor, Director of Product Management, Development Tools, both from Wind River Systems, it covers the basics of how to use Wind River's Eclipse based visualization enhancements to Linux command line tools to migrate existing code or developing new code for a multicore processor.

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