Top ten most-viewed articles in 2012

In embedded systems, life is hard. Back in 2000, Lindsey Vereen, the editorial director of magazine, conference, and web site, told his editors never to use the word “easy” in describing a product or technique. “Nothing is ever easy in embedded systems,” he said. Instead, we were to use words like “straightforward” to maintain some editorial integrity around claims we could never verify. Straightforward, I guess, was the best you could hope for as an embedded systems developer.

Articles or video that clearly explain the basics of any subject or technique will always be popular on the Web, but because embedded systems programming and development is so varied and complicated, having a clear, basic explanation available does make a developers' job a little easier, if not guide him or her on the path to a better answer. Perhaps that is why the older articles are still popular: six out of the top ten articles are older than five years, many written in the early 2000s. It's not the only reason why they're popular, but it's the easiest.

Here are the top ten most-viewed articles on Embedded.com in 2012. These include the articles  viewed on EE Times.com, as Embedded.com spent the first three quarters of the year as part of EE Times.com, before becoming a separate site in mid September.

Click through the pages using the navigation below, or start by clicking here. Tenth most-popular article in 2012

PID without a PhD
by Tim Wescott
October 1, 2000
Summary: PID (proportional, integral, derivative) control is not as complicated as it sounds. Follow these simple implementation steps for quick results.


Click on image to enlarge.

Interesting article. When I was an undergraduate I was somewhat overwhelmed by the concept of PID control. After taking few classes in control theory helped a lot. This article is right to the point. Thanks.   –a readerNinth most-popular article in 2012

The Goertzel Algorithm
by Kevin Banks
August 28, 2002
Summary: The Goertzel algorithm can perform tone detection using much less CPU horsepower than the Fast Fourier Transform, but many engineers have never heard of it. This article attempts to change that.



Brilliant article Kevin 🙂 Almost after 9 years after this article is published, I am coming across this 😉 This article is a real simplified one .Thanks for this.
–ReaderEighth most-popular article in 2012

ParaSail: Less is more with multicore
by S. Tucker Taft, AdaCore
June 19, 2012
Summary: S. Tucker Taft surveys the impediments developers face in doing effective multicore programming, discusses the problems they create, and illustrates how parallel programming in ParaSail is simplified by doing without them.

Seventh most-popular article in 2012

The education of embedded systems software engineers: failures and fixes
by Robert Dewar, New York University and Adacore
March 18, 2012
Summary: A professional embedded systems software engineer requires specific knowledge in a number of areas, together with problem-solving skills to apply this knowledge as a team member in building safe, secure, and reliable systems. Regrettably, says Adacore's Robert Dewar, emeritus professor at New York University, the educational approach typically seen in university computer science programs, especially in the U.S., fails to provide either. Changes in course content and focus are needed.

This article addresses concerns I have as well. Many of the young software developers coming out of the university system have a focus on web design and do not have the right toolset for the type of work environment I offer. We use a company internship program to grow our young engineers internally. –ReaderSixth most-popular article in 2012

Understanding analog to digital converter specifications
by Len Staller
February 24, 2005
Summary: Confused by analog-to-digital converter specifications? Here's a primer to help you decipher them and make the right decisions for your project.

Fifth most-popular article in 2012

How To Calibrate Touch Screens
by Carlos E. Vidales
May 31, 2002
Summary: Touch screens are finding their way into a variety of embedded products. Most touch-enabled devices will require a calibration routine. Here's a good one.

Fourth most-popular article in 2012

Comparing the real time scheduling policies of the Linux kernel and an RTOS
by Le Trung Thang
April 25, 2012
Summary: Le Trung Thang takes a hard look at the real-time scheduling policies of the Linux standard kernel, the Linux Real-time kernel and of RTOSes, provides a detailed analysis (with code examples) of ways to take advantage of the differences and similarities.

Is it the subject that's controversial, the author's treatment of it, or the author's English-language skills? This code-heavy article collected quite a few thoughtful and appreciative comments from readers, along with some criticism.  Third most-popular article in 2012

Introduction to embedded vision and the OpenCV library
by Eric Gregori, BDTI
May 2, 2012
Summary: BDTI's Eric Gregori explores the opportunities for embedded vision and how to use the open source OpenCV function library to speed creation of embedded vision software. He also reviews available demonstration and development tools.


Clickon image to enlarge.
Second most-popular article in 2012

FPGA programming step by step
by Ed Klingman
March 4, 2004
Summary: FPGAs and microprocessors are more similar than you may think. Here's a primer on how to program an FPGA and some reasons why you'd want to.


Figure 4: The FPGA programming process

Thanks for the article, I really enjoyed it. I'm trying to learn FPGA programming and your article has helped me in understanding FPGAs and their benefits a little better.
–ReaderMost popular article in 2012

References vs. Pointers
by Dan Saks
March 15, 2001
Summary: Knowing how references really differ from pointers should help you decide when to use references and when to stick with pointers.

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