What's New on Embedded.com (12-01-11) - Embedded.com

What’s New on Embedded.com (12-01-11)

Embedded Newsletter for 12-01-2011

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December 1, 2011

New on Embedded.com


Pete Decher, Mentor Graphics Corporation

Embedding HPC: A rocket in your pocket

Syed W. Ali, Nexlogic Technologies

Evaluating PCB layout tools: A board developer's perspective

Dave Thompson, LSI

Tips on using expanded memory dumps to improve 1394 kernel debug

Andrew J. Thomas, SDL

DITA and the death of technical documentation as we know it


Microprocessors change the world

Using member new to map devices

Documenting your Agile embedded design

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

Of the dozen or so new design articles featured on Embedded.com this week, my Editor's Top Picks are:

Evaluating PCB layout tools,” in which Syed Ali uses his experience as a printed circuit board designer to guide you through the pros and cons of the various PCB tools available.

Tips on improving 1394 kernel debug , ” where Dave Thompson outlines how to use the expanded memory on many desktop platforms to make embedded kernel debug more effective.

Embedding HPC: A rocket in your pocket, ” by Peter Decher, which looks at some of the ways you can make use of the high performance computing capabilities of today's embedded processors.

Other design topics covered this week include choosing the right sensors for your application, virtual versus physical prototyping, making sensors more energy efficient, hi-fi digital audio streaming and more efficient ways to document your design's hardware and software.

Our columnists have been busy as well. From Dan Zaks there is “Using 'member new' to map devices, ” on another way to manipulate and represent devices in C and C++. And “Microprocessors change the world” by Jack Ganssle is the fourth column in a series in honor of the 40th anniversary of the 4004 microprocessor. In my Cole /bin column , I write about the need to come up with better ways to write documentation for embedded designs. If you are a follower of the International Electron Devices Meeting (and are an iThing user ) – be sure to read “IEDM: I've got an app for that .

Design How Tos

Embedding HPC: A rocket in your pocket

New embedded processors, single-board computers, and software development tools are enabling super-computing-like applications on embedded systems. Here are a few recent advances in HPC for embedded systems.

Evaluating PCB layout tools: A board developer's perspective

A look at some popular printed circuit board layout tools by an experienced PCB designer, who evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of some of them and provides tips on some work-arounds as well as features he thinks should be in the perfect PCB tool.

DITA and the death of technical documentation as we know it

In this introductory article, Andrew J. Thomas argues for shifting product and system design documentation development to new approaches such as the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) to support the growing use of Agile techniques to deliver reliable systems based on increasingly complex hardware and software designs.

Tips on using expanded memory dumps to improve 1394 kernel debug

With the explosion of installed memory per system values from 64 megabytes to 64 gigabytes, 1394 now makes it possible for system developers to analyze increasingly large memory dump files easily through kernel debuggers.

Choosing sensors: Specsmanship vs. reality

Compared with individual parameter specification, the total error band envelope yields results that are more representative of how a sensor will respond in actual use.

Virtual Versus Physical Prototyping — Get it Right Faster

Should you build a virtual or physical prototype? This paper will help you understand the tradeoffs and make the right decision…

Ratiometricity, digital signal correction enable high-res, low-noise smart sensors

Use of specific analog and digital sensor signal processing concepts enables interference-immune, highly accurate sensor signal measurements. Proper application of concepts, such as ratiometricity or signal conditioning, is paving the way for energy-efficient, high-performance standard solutions.

Hi-fi digital audio streaming comes of age

This article examines some of the technology trends supporting high-end digital audio streaming.

Transfer from FPGAs for prototype to ASICs for production

Find out how you can save money, minimize non-recurring-engineering hours, enhance performance, and speed time-to-market.

Validating embedded flash memory products to endure power faults

Validating embedded flash memory products for power fault resilience establishes their ability to reliably endure the power faults that embedded system designs inevitably encounter during their normal operation.

Understand and reduce DC/DC switching-converter ground noise

There are two primary, different noise sources; you can minimize them once you know them.

Embedded Systems Bookshelf


Embedded Books Reading Room
Bernard Cole's favorite links to book excerpts.


Engineer's Bookshelf
Airport fiction blows. A look at books other engineers are reading and why you should read them, too. Recommend and write a review yourself. E-mail Brian Fuller.

Jack Ganssle's Bookshelf
A list of book reviews by Jack Ganssle, contributing technical editor of Embedded Systems Design and Embedded.com.

Max's Cool Beans
Clive “Max” Maxfield, the editor on Programmable Logic DesignLine, often writes about interesting books.

Product News

Movea's GestureBuilder enables gesture control in broad range of consumer electronics

Movea has announced it is making gesture recognition and gesture database design capabilities available to consumer electronic OEMs and systems integrators though its GestureBuilder software.

Microchip integrates wireless transmitter with MCU

The single-chip design targets remote control, security, and keyless entry systems.

Rugged COM Express Type 6 module targets mobile apps

ADLINK's latest Express-HRR COM Express Type 6 module offers a modular, power-efficient design with Intel Core i7 processor, QM67 chipset, and standards-based design to support multi-vendor interoperability.

World's smallest dual-axis gyroscopes stabilize optical images in Smartphones

InvenSense Inc. has launched a family ofdual-axis gyroscopes, IDG-2020 and IXZ-2020, that address the marketneeds for optical image stabilization (OIS) in smartphones.

TI's MSP430 ultra-low-power automotive MCUs improve fuel efficiency, battery life

Texas Instruments Incorporated's MSP430 line of 16-bit ultra-low-power microcontrollers for automotive applications has achieved AEC-Q100 certification.

IAR offers starter kit for ST's high-performance STM32F407ZG MCU

IAR Systems has launched a new 32-bit KickStart Kit for STMicroelectronics' STM32F407ZG, a microcontroller (MCU) in ST's STN32 F4 series, the first ARM Cortex-M4 based MCUs.

ST's 32-bit TPM supports next-gen TCH standards

STMicroelectronics has rolled the ST33TPM12LPC Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which the company claims is the industry's highest performing TPM, enabling significantly stronger security and trust for activities such as e-commerce and cloud-computing services.


PCI Express 4.0 drives to 16 GT/second

PCI Express will double its data rates to support up to 16 GTransfers/second in an upcoming version 4.0 of the spec due by the end of 2014.

ISSCC: Samsung preps 8-Gbit phase-change memory

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is set to re-ignite debate about whether phase-change memory is commercially viable with the presentation of an 8-Gbit, 20-nm phase-change random access memory at the 2012 International Solid-State Circuits Conference.

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