For most of their 20 years, EET/Embedded.com and the Embedded Systems Conference have had two roles. One is to provide the embedded systems developer with the information resources to learn about and acquire the best tools and methodologies available.
Good current examples of this mandate are: “Low-cost cooperative multitasking ,” a three-part series by Ganesh Krishna S M of Microchip running online at Embedded.com this week and “Designing more efficient stepper motor control systems ,” by Tom Hopkins of ST Microelectronics.
The second role has been and still is to foresee future problems and prepare developers with information on methodologies and tools he or she can use to anticipate and overcome them. At least two classes being presented at ESC this week fulfill that role: “Facing the Challenges for Real-Time Software Development on Multi-Cores (ESC-422) ,” by Dr. Fridtjof Siebert and “Embedded Agile (ESC-241)” by Timo Punkka.
Multicore, says Siebert, represents substantial challenges, and caution is required in the use of certain programming mechanisms due to the effect of the memory models used, as well as the effects of compiler optimizations and the use of volatile modifiers. The second challenge facing developers in the future is the sheer size and complexity of the code base that they will have to develop for such designs. If they want to maintain high software quality and reliability, it is Punkka’s opinion that Agile Software Development is the only viable way to go.
Other useful classes on multicore design include ESC-223 from David Kleidermarcher, ESC-242 taught by Skip Hovsmith, and ESC-462 by Robert Oshana. Classes on Agile programming issues include SS-IBM01 from Bruce Powel Douglas, ESC-364 presented by Mark Kraeling, and ESC-404 from Agile founder James Grenning. (EET/Embedded.com Editor Bernard Cole, firstname.lastname@example.org, 928-525-9087 )