One of the many things I like about hard-edged technical conferences such as the ARM Technical Conference this week in Santa Clara, Ca., is that if you have the endurance and interest, you can learn everything you need to know about ARM hardware and software development.
With such a grounding, you are well on your way to a good understanding of an architecture that directly dominates smartphone and embedded consumer platforms and is already making itself in servers, high performance computing and the Internet of Things.
And indirectly you will also have a good understanding of the fundamentals of the architectures of several competitors to ARM Ltd., such as Apple which in its iPad and iPhone 5 uses the Cortex A6 which incorporates a tweaked version of the ARMv7 and features some elements of the ARM Cortex-A15, and Qualcomm, whose Snapdragon CPU has many similarities with the ARM Cortex-A15 CPU and is based on the ARMv7 instruction set.
In previous recent blogs and associated Tech Focus newsletters in the last three or four weeks, I have drilled down into particular interest areas embedded developers may have and provided you with my picks of relevant classes to attend at ARM Techcon and Embedded.com papers and design to supplement what you learn at the show: the Internet of Things and sensors, wearables, power efficient design, ARM security, system on chip design and heterogeneous computing.
But ARM Techcon can also provide a good well-rounded and up-to-date education in embedded software development on the ARM architecture. In addition to the several dozens of papers scattered throughout the conference on such issues, there are at least two tracks that I highly recommend for the kind of over-view you will need: software development and optimization and software optimization for infrastructure and the cloud. And if you are focused on development using one particular ARM licensee implementation, there are several of the three dozen presentations in the Sponsor Sessions you should check out as well.
Of the many classes on software development, several that appealed to me because of their timeliness, relevance and depth of detail are:
Software Interoperability and Trends in the New Virtualized Network Paradigm taught by Bob Monkman of ARM Ltd.
C++ Exception Handling on the ARMv7 Architecture which will be presented by Niall Cooling of Feabhas Limited
Utilizing Features in a Cortex-M Processor to Create Robust Systems taught by Tim Menasveta and Joseph Yiu of ARM Ltd.
Love Your Code? Optimize It The Right Way! taught by Anton Lokhmotov of ARM Ltd.
Advanced debugging on ARM Cortex target devices, taught by Magnus Unemyr of Atollic
How to Measure RTOS Performance, presented by Colin Walls of Mentor Graphics Corp., a regular contributor to Embedded.com of such articles as: “A multitasking kernel in one line of code – almost,” and “Blocking and non-blocking RTOS APIs .”
The ARM Techcon 2014 in Santa Clara, Ca. is only two days away this week, Wednesday through Friday and there is still time to register to attend. Included in this week's Tech Focus newsletter are a number of related ARM software development design articles and technical papers (some of them by speakers at this conference ) that I have included to prepare you for this intensive data dump on all things ARM. My Editor's Top Picks are:
Use virtual prototyping to boot Linux on the ARM Cortex A15
How to boot Linux on the ARM Cortex-A15 using virtual prototyping to build fast, functional software models of a system that can execute production code.
Basics of porting C-code to and between ARM CPUs
ARM's Joseph Yiu provides some basic guidelines for porting your code base from other 8/16 bit MCUs to ARM and between various ARM processors. Part 1: ARM 7TDMI and Cortex-M0.
ARM design on the MBED Integrated Development Environment
A three part series on the basics of ARM-based application development using the open source mbed integrated development environment.
Taking advantage of the Cortex-M3’s pre-emptive context switches
How programmers can make best use of the Arm Cortex-M3 (CM3) processor’s hardware used for pre-emptive context switching as well as how to develop systems software routines that enable multi-tasking programs.
Also included in this week's Tech Focus newsletter is a round-up of breaking and recent ARM related product and news stories.
I am always interested in publishing blogs and design articles on Embedded.com on developer experiences with this architecture and others, comparisons of the competing approaches and how you use various licensee implementations in your designs. Let me hear from you, either in the form of an email or a call on the telephone, still the best and most effective “social networking” tool around.
Embedded.com Site Editor Bernard Cole is also editor of the twice-a-week Embedded.com newsletters as well as a partner in the TechRite Associates editorial services consultancy. He welcomes your feedback. Send an email to , or call 928-525-9087.