Embedded.com Weekly Newsletter: March 8 - 12, 2010 - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Weekly Newsletter: March 8 – 12, 2010


03-11-2010
The Embedded Newsletteris delivered to you free of charge from the staff of Embedded.com. Toview the Embedded.com site , visit: http://www.embedded.com

  IMPROVING SOFTWARE/ ARM DECOMPILED/ PREVENTING UNWANTED ALLOCS
We all know developingfor embedded systems is a tough job, and it's getting tougher all thetime, as evidenced by the calls for higher quality at all levels ofelectronics design in the wake of the Toyotarecall .

In The Non-qualityrevolution, Jack Ganssle reiterates the importance of aconstant focus on improving software quality and points out that “if a nation(or perhaps even a company) starts a software quality revolution, likeJapan, they will corner the market for their products .”

If you are serious aboutgetting your company more involved in improving software quality, agood place to start is the three partseries from Jack Ganssle on Getting disciplinedabout embedded software development .”

Also, inPreventing dynamicallocation ,” Dan Saks describes a simple technique forwarning about unwanted dynamic allocation in C/C++ code. And becausethe ARM architecture is so ubiquitous in embedded designs, anothermust-read is Decompiling the ARMarchitecture code .”

Of course, software is notthe only place where attention to high quality is crucial. Here aresome more articles this week related to quality worth reading,including: enhancing MCUperformance with DMA , ICE debugging,designingenergy efficient systems, dodging Amdahl's Lawwith FPGAs, and improvingthe thermal integrity of IC packaging and board design. Goodreading! (Embedded.com Editor BernardCole, bccole@acm.org )

P.S. – The deadlineto submit abstracts for ESC Boston is upon us. You have untilMonday, March 15, 2010 to submit an abstract for the technical programat the Embedded Systems Conference Boston, September 20-23. Here's the link to see the tracks and submit anabstract.

 TOP INDUSTRY NEWS
VITA calls forparticipation in optical architectures research
New study group to focus on innovation that enables architectures forhigh density optical interconnects in critical embedded systems.
ARM upgrades AMBA spec foron-chip comms
Processor intellectual property licensor ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge,England) has announced the availability of phase one of the AMBA-4specification for on-chip communication.
New version of HDMI specadds 3-D formats
The latest version of the High-Definition Multimedia Interface wasreleased. As promised, it adds mandatory 3-D formats for broadcastcontent.
MathWorks automatesindustrial programmable control
MathWorks has introduced Simulink PLC Coder for industrial controlengineers to automatically generate IEC 61131 structured text forprogrammable controller devices.
 BREAKPOINT by Jack Ganssle
The Non-Quality Revolution
Deming is dead. Both literally and figuratively.
 PROGRAMMING POINTERS by Dan Saks
Preventing dynamicallocation
Here's a simple technique to generate a warning that your C++ code isusing dynamic allocation against your wishes.
 EDITOR'S TOP PICK by Bernard Cole, Embedded.com Editor
Enhancing MCU performancewith a DMA-based event system controller
This article describes the processing bottlenecks of currentmicrocontroller architectures and explore how to achieve higherprocessing efficiency by offloading the CPU via coprocessors,accelerating memory access using multi-channel DMA, and eliminatinghigh-speed peripheral and I/O bottlenecks through an integrated eventmanagement system.
 UNDER THE HOOD
Decompiling the ARMarchitecture code
At UBM TechInsights we are often tasked with proving patentinfringement of a software algorithm as part of our IP ManagementServices. Our example algorithm is based on the ARM architecture.
 DESIGN FOCUS: Managing Software Design
Getting disciplined aboutembedded software development
Here's a three part series from Jack Ganssle on doing softwaredevelopment in a disciplined way to reduce both errors and the time ittakes to complete a project. 
 DESIGN ARTICLES: Week of March 8-12
ICE debugging: The end ofthe battleship game
Lauro Rizzatti at EVE-USA explains why the “Battleship Game” remindshim of trying to debug a system-on-chip (SoC) design using thein-circuit-emulation (ICE) mode.
Designing high-tempelectronics for auto and other apps
High-temperature semiconductor technologies can survive temperaturesapproaching 400°C, but careful design of the product is required todeliver cost-effective devices achieving stable, predictableperformance.
Designing intelligent smartgrid systems that promote energy efficiency
Low-power analog, mixed-signal, and RF building blocks are needed totransform the power-grid plans into reality
Dodging Amdahl's Law withmessage passing, FPGA-based, parallel processing
Most design teams agree that the basic plumbing of memory managementcan be the real bottleneck in heterogeneous processing. Today the onlyreal solution is the microprocessor and co-processors sharing memory onthe node, and then interconnecting many nodes with a GigE, Infiniband,or a custom interconnect configuring the nodes in a distributed memorylayout.
Ensuring the thermalintegrity of your IC package/PC board design
Some basic tests will verify your PCB/IC thermal modeling and reality
 TOP PODUCT PICKS by Bernard Cole, Embedded.com Editor
Digi launches industry'sfirst 'foolproof' programmable ZigBee module
Digi launches industry's first 'foolproof' programmable ZigBee modulewith isolated software that speeds ZigBee development.
Undo updates its Linuxreversible debugger
The UndoDB reversible debugger lets developers step or run theirapplication backwards, enabling them to work through code sequences todetermine where errors occurred.
Raima adds OPC industrialinterface to its embedded database
Raima uses Softing's Unified Architecture (UA) toolkit to bring the OLEfor Process Control (OPC) standard interface to embedded databaseapplications
Enea provides Androidintegration for Scalado
Scalado AB (Lund, Sweden), a provider of imaging technologies, has usedthe Enea (Stockholm, Sweden) Android Competence Center to deliver anAndroid-based proof of concept platform.
 EDITOR'S NOTE by Bernard Cole, Embedded.com Editor
ESC 2010 is just aroundthe corner (April 26-29) and EETimes has prepped a series of specialpanels dealing with critical issues and opportunities facing ourindustry. In “The Rx for medical electronics”, Rich Merritt will lead agroup that will explore the challenges facing a field that is stillmaking the historic transition to the digital, networked era, while in”Turning on the smart grid”, George Leopold and his panel of expertswill give the outlook on the challenges and opportunities ahead forsmart grid. For more info, see the full roster here.

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