Embedded.com Weekly Newsletter: Jan. 4-8, 2010 - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Weekly Newsletter: Jan. 4-8, 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
The year in the embedded systems design is off to a fast start – maybebecause of the energy and resolve to keep all those New Year'sresolutions.

For example, at CES 2010 in Las Vegas, Nev., this week, animpressive collection of embedded consumer hardware and softwareintroductions are on display, including 3DTV, e-books, smartbooks, and wirelessvideo, a hybrid x86/ARMnotebook, an ARM based netbook and a dozen new 32 nanometer MPUs from Intel.

In other industry news, Marvell revealed a quad-core ARM processor,startups go after low power operation with asynchronous nulllogic, and Google is readying its Nexus One smartphone.

Even though we are coming off a long holiday, some of you camethrough with thought-provoking design articles that make me optimisticabout the year to come. For example, Spirent Communication's TomMcBeath details the design of a Linux, open sourceSQL network performance analysis test system and MindTree'sRajagopal Nagarajan provides a perceptive analysis of multicoretechnology and software tradeoffs .

I particularly enjoyed – and learned a lot from – two otherarticles: How to travelsafely in embedded code space and How to use adebugger as a bug preventive tool .” Other recommendedarticles include A new approach to improving systemperformance ,” and “Designing for performance with softwareoptimization.” Good reading! (Embedded.com Editor Bernard Cole,bccole@acm.org )

The CES tsunami hits
While I slept last night, more than a dozen of the companies fired off press releases about new or improved platforms at the Consumer Electronics Show that could change the way something happens for the average Joe–two days before CES even begins.
What to expect at CES 2010
In a video preview of the Consumer Electronics Show, editor-at-large Rick Merritt shares his thoughts about what to look for at CES this week including analysis of 3DTV, e-books, smartbooks and wireless video.
ON LINE VIDEO: Cool gadgets at CES press preview
A consumer drone that could be the next big thing in gaming, a handhald radar device, broadcast TV on the cellphone and a smartbook were four of the hot new gadgets we saw at CES Unveiled–a loud, crowded cocktail party that marks the beginning of a press tour at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Lenovo shows hybrid x86/ARM notebook
Lenovo is launching at CES a hybrid x86/ARM-based notebook, the IdeaPad U1, on the heels of announcing an ARM-based smartbook.
Intel to launch 32-nm MPUs at CES
Intel plans to launch more than a dozen new 32-nanometer procesors at the Consumer Electronics Show from its Westmere series, including Clarksdale for desktops PCs and Arrandale for laptops.
Lenovo announces ARM-based netbook
Lenovo has become the first top tier PC maker to announce an ARM-based netbook, the Skylight which uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running at a gigahertz and Lenovo's own variant of Linux.
Marvell claims first quad-core ARM processor
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Santa Clara, Calif.), a supplier of chips for storage, communications and consumer electronics, has claimed to have developed the world's first “quadruple” core processor based on the ARM architecture.
Startups try to revive null convention logic
Wave Semiconductor Inc. has agreed to acquire low-power circuit technology based on an asynchronous form of logic expression called null convention logic from Camgian Microsystems Corp.
Analyst bullish on IC firms amid 'super cycle'
A Wall Street analyst increased earnings estimates and share price targets for several chip vendors, citing reports of steadily improving business trends throughout the fourth quarter of 2009.
Google preps launch of 'Nexus One' phone
Google will reportedly preparing to launch its Nexus One smartphone.
  GUEST EDITORIAL by Jerry Krasner
Making the case for commercial communication integration middleware
The research explains why “roll your own” OS may not have the expected ROI.
  EDITOR'S TOP PICK by Bernard Cole, Embedded.com Editor
Building a network performance analysis test system with Linux, Tcl/TK, SQL & extremeDB
Here's how a test system for network performance analysis and emulation of virtually any network traffic scenario was developed using a combination of the Linux OS, the Tcl/Tk scripting language, the eXtremeDB in-memory embedded database and an open source, SQL-based relational database.
  DESIGN FOCUS: Multicore Programming
Multicore technologies and software challenges
Multicore processors, which are basically processors with more than one core, are entering mainstream. Today, even desktops are having two or four cores and this trend is picking up and will only accelerate in coming years. This article looks at the drivers for the multicore, the challenges posed to the software community by the emergence of multicore technologies, the different options available in software and how the software community is likely to react to the challenges.
Optimizing Video Encoding using Threads and Parallelism: Part 1 – Threading a video codec
In this two part series on optimizing the design of an H.264 video encoder using threads and parallelism, the authors illustrate how multithreading based on the OpenMP programming model is a simple, yet effective way to exploit parallelism that only requires a few additional pragmas in the serial code. Up first: Threading a video codec.
How to travel safely in embedded code space
Anderson McKay of Green Hills provides a list of ten tips to help you find your way through your software development environment safely.
How to use a debugger as a bug preventive tool
Nathan Fields describes using a debugger as a preventive tool before you know you have a bug to track down and reviews some of the basic requirements a debugger must have to apply this technique.
A new approach to improving system performance
Here's how significant performance increases can be achieved when acceleration techniques are applied to software that resides above the operating system.
Designing for performance with software optimization
Optimization of your embedded software application should not be a final step in project development, but rather an ongoing design philosophy that begins from the planning stages all the way through completion.
  TOP PRODUCT PICKS by Bernard Cole, Embedded.com Editor
PetaLogix Launches First Linux SDK for FPGA-based Embedded Systems
New tools and design flow automatically synchronizes Embedded Linux to target new Xilinx embedded design platforms
18-pin PIC MCUs feature Enhanced 8-bit Core, low power consumption
Microchip's 18-pin PIC MCUs feature Enhanced 8-bit Core, low power consumption, and provide higher speeds and lower cost than legacy PIC MCUs.
ICs combine Flash and ARM Cortex-M3 processing for M2M cellular communications
STMicroelectronics' robust, low power ST32-M ICs combine Flash and ARM Cortex-M3 processing for M2M cellular communications. The family is software compatible with ST's ST32 SIM card IC family.

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