I must admit that I'm generally more focused on the actual “doing” side of things rather than the business-level “who is doing what to/with who” end of the stick. I'm not saying that this is a good or bad thing — it's just the way I'm wired. Thus, when I see an announcement about a group of companies forming an alliance, I may be vaguely interested, but I typically don't get overly excited, unless something catches my eye…
Which leads us to today's announcement that a group of like-minded companies have formed the Embedded Tools Alliance (ETA). The reason this particular announcement attracted my attention is that I know one of the players — Jacob Beningo, who is the founder of the Beningo Embedded Group. In addition to presenting numerous papers at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) over the years, Jacob has kindly sat on a number of panels hosted by yours truly. This is, of course, one of the reasons for attending conferences in the first place: meeting one's peers and networking furiously.
So, what is the ETA and why have these companies formed it? Well, as we all know to our cost, the embedded developers' toolbox is complex and involves many components: the IDE (Integrated Development Environment), compilers, debuggers, trace tools, test tools, debug and flash programming hardware, the target operating system, and the target middleware, to name but a few. Choosing the right components is enormously complex and prompts a huge number of questions, each of which takes time to answer and poses risk to the project's success:
Do they work on the same host OS? Which versions need to be used? How should they be configured? Do they interoperate correctly? Do they work together to produce an optimal result? Have they been validated? Has the combination of these components been validated or certified?
Just to add to the fun and frivolity, the embedded marketplace is fragmented with a huge number of suppliers. Some large, vertically-integrated companies try to offer every component required, but the members of the ETA feel that this approach may stagnate innovation, limit choice, and prevent users from choosing best-in-class solutions that address the specific needs of their projects.
Thus, the ETA's mission is to help customers select the best components from a number of different suppliers, safe in the knowledge that the individual components are of the highest quality, proven to work together, and do exactly what's required, thereby allowing users to concentrate on their development work rather than fighting with a disparate set of legacy tools and environments.
The Embedded Tools Alliance is a collaboration of industry-leading independent embedded system vendors.
Individually, our members offer high-quality solutions addressing at least one aspect of embedded software development. When combined together, our members' offerings provide best-in-class solutions for embedded developers seeking the widest range of features to help complete their project on time, with the best possible technical results, and highest quality.
Through technical collaboration, we ensure our products interoperate correctly, smoothly, and simply.
Through marketing and sales, we promote our combined solutions to ensure we can offer our customers a superior choice of components to meet their specific requirements.
Members of the ETA are recognized industry leaders supporting a wide range of embedded microcontrollers from multiple vendors. They offer proven products and solutions with validated quality and interoperability whilst offering leading edge features, benefits, and support. At the time of this writing, these members are as follows:
SOMNIUM Technologies: SOMNIUM is a leading supplier of embedded C/C++ development tools. SOMNIUM DRT is the only product on the market offering a seamless upgrade path from entry level tools to a professional, fully supported environment with leading edge debug tools and validated, highly optimized code generation using SOMNIUM's patented resequencing technology. Using DRT will save you time, money and help you get the best technical results.
SOMNIUM will be exhibiting at Embedded World 2017 on March 14- 6 in Nuremberg. See them in Hall 4 stand 170 for a demo of SOMNIUM DRT. SOMNIUM will also be exhibiting at Microchip's partner village in Hall 1 stand 510 where they will also be giving presentations and demos of DRT products every day March 14-16. SOMNIUM will also be presenting and demonstrating DRT working with VectorCast on the Vector Software stand on March 14 at 13:00.
P&E Microcomputer Systems: An industry trendsetter since 1980, PEmicro provides high-quality in-circuit development and production programming solutions for the embedded market. Features of PEmicro's products include in-circuit debug, trace, live data streaming, power measurement, RTOS awareness, GDB integration, stand-alone programming, gang programming, automation, and more.
PEmicro's debug technology and Multilink hardware provide for a cost-effective and feature-rich development platform. PEmicro's Cyclone production programmers provide unrivaled features and performance to enable high quality manufacturing. PEMicro are committed to providing prompt, knowledgeable, customer support.
PEmicro will be exhibiting at Embedded World 2017 March 14th – March 16th in Hall 4 Booth 123 where they will be demonstrating new RTOS awareness features in our debug software as well as barcode driven production programming.
Percepio: Percepio Tracealyzer reveals what is actually going on in embedded and IoT systems during runtime. Trace the real-time behavior of your operating system and application, gain insight with sophisticated visualization, avoid guesswork, boost your productivity, locate bottlenecks, and improve performance. Over 25 linked views designed to illustrate different aspects of runtime behavior and relationships. Available for multiple operating systems, including FreeRTOS, SafeRTOS, µC/OS, ThreadX, Keil RTX5, Linux, and VxWorks.
Percepio will be exhibiting at Embedded World 2017 in Hall 4 stand 305, and Microchip's partner village (Hall 1 stand 510) where they will be presenting and giving demonstrations of Tracealyzer.
Runtime: Runtime provides cloud-based IoT device management and is a complete solutions provider for consumer, medical, commercial, and industrial IoT applications. Free, open source software is essential to all Runtime offerings. Apache Mynewt includes the world's first open source, controller-level Bluetooth Low Energy 4.2 stack for MCUs and a highly efficient OIC 1.1 application framework. The OS was built for manageability, both pre- and post-deployment. Runtime also contributes to the Linux Foundation's Zephyr Project, embedded middleware components, and network protocol stack initiatives.
Runtime provides commercial support for Apache Mynewt and, soon, Zephyr. Runtime's Developer Cloud exploits the intrinsic management hooks in Apache Mynewt and includes secure boot and over-the-air upgrade, continuous integration, crash dump analysis, and rich performance statistics across MCU, transceiver, and OS tasks. Deployment Cloud exploits the same hooks, but at massive scale.
Runtime will be attending Embedded World 2017. To speak with Runtime, please email .
Solid Sands: The C programming language is powering the fabric of our infrastructure as well as the embedded systems in our cars, factories, and homes. We'd better make sure it is good. Solid Sands is the one-stop shop for C and C++ compiler and library testing, validation, and safety services. Solid Sands' SuperTest is the largest compiler test and validation suite and it has a unique level of coverage. It also includes tests aimed at compiler internals such as analyses, transformations, and optimizations, and the code generator. Its POSIX-based user interface seamlessly integrates into any compiler development or user environment, and allows for easy addition of new tests and cross-platform validation support. SuperTest helps its customers to achieve the compiler quality level that is required by the ISO language and functional safety standards.
SOMNIUM use Solid Sands' SuperTest as part of their compiler test and validation process. Solid Sands will be attending Embedded World 2017 and will be presenting at the Vector Software stand on Wednesday March 15 at 13:00. Contact for an appointment at EW2017.
Beningo Embedded Group: Beningo Embedded's mission is to accelerate innovation, time-to-market and technical expertise. Our mission is accomplished through world-class consulting, design, and training services. We dramatically transform our clients' businesses by improving product quality, cost, and time-to-market. Resource-constrained, microcontroller-based systems are our expertise and we have helped clients in areas such as software and process audits, architect and design software, optimize for low power operation, remotely update their systems securely, develop drivers, and integrate middleware, along with designing, educating, and advising on real-time, RTOS-based systems.
Jacob Beningo will be demonstrating SOMNIUM DRT and Percepio TraceAlyzer at Embedded World 2017 in Microchip's partner village (Hall 1 stand 510).
Arrgggh — I so wish I was going to be at Embedded World this year. I was planning on attending, but too much other “stuff” came up. Maybe next year…