What's New on Embedded.com (2-17-12 to 2-23-12) - Embedded.com

What’s New on Embedded.com (2-17-12 to 2-23-12)

Embedded Newsletter for 02-23-2012

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February 23, 2012

New on Embedded.com


Peter Mueller, Sinlabore

Model-based testing of a state-machine-based PLC design

Chris Main, TenAsys Corporation

Manage multiple processes and processors in a deterministic multicore design

Stuart Yoder and Rob Oshana, Freescale Semiconductor

Pick the right multicore virtualization use case for your design


Safety threats: from satellites to pods in your pocket

Study finds that software getting more important

Getting a headstart on embedding Android

John Glenn's first ride

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

The future looks bright for embedded systems developers, based on the buzz coming out of the annual Integrated Solid States Circuits Conference this week. There's news about a 128 Gbit CMOS NAND flash memory, self-propelled medical implants, terahertz CMOS , glasses-free 3-D TVs , and temperature sensors that scale.

But the present isn't so shabby either. First, there is hot news about the venerable 20-year-old 8051 MCU: Microchip is continuing 8051 production after ST Microelectronics's withdrawal and Digital Core Design has just introduced a new superfast 8051 MCU . Other news: Intel's plans for terahertz CPUs in ultrabooks, Samsung's quad-core mobile CPU , CEVA's new low-power DSPs for communications , Sandisk's resistive RAM plans ., and Energy Micro's low power ARM Cortex-M4 CPUs . Finally, Cisco reveals its Software Defined Network plans for use of the controversial OpenFlow standard,

Of the dozen new embedded design articles this week, my Editor's Top Picks are:

Manage multiple deterministic processes & processors in multicore designs
Pick the right multicore virtualization use cases
Model-based testing of a state-machine-based PLC design

In addition to reading Jack Ganssle's newest column on “John Glenn's first ride , begin your planning for the 2012 ESC DesignWest March 26-29 by reading Colin Holland's #Include on security and safety threats and my Cole /bin column on embedded Android design resources.

Design How Tos

Model-based testing of a state-machine-based PLC design

Model based testing (MBT) claims to shorten schedules, reduce cost and ensure better quality. So it's worth taking a close look at this methodlogy. To guide you, Peter Mueller provides an overview of MBT on state machines designed for used in a sump programmable logic controller.

Manage multiple processes and processors in a deterministic multicore design

How should processes running on different RTOSes communicate in systems with more than one operating system? The author suggests you can manage inter-process communications with global-object networking.

Pick the right multicore virtualization use case for your design

According to Rob Oshana and Stuart Yoder of Freescale, while virtualization enables the sharing of hardware resources on a single computer system, allowing multiple OSes to simultaneously share the system, the trick is picking the use case that best matches your application.

Best practices: Improving embedded operating system security

Bill Graham reviews some of the security best practices that embedded systems need to pay attention to in their designs, particularly those requiring the use of real time embedded operating systems (RTOS)in mission and safety critical systems used in industrial and medical devices.

Analyze FIR filters using high-school algebra

In this first part of a two-parter, the Filter Wizard – aka Kendall Castor-Perry – looks at some fundamental facts about FIR filter responses, using some basic math you might even remember from school.

How to build a self-checking testbench

Testbenches, especially those you will use often or for a number of similar projects, should be self-checking and time-agnostic…

Making Sense of RF, microwave power sensors and meters

The choice of an RF or microwave power measurement system is more complex than ever with the recent availability of new functions in power meters previously reserved for higher-end analyzers. With the large variance in product offerings and specifications on manufacturer's data sheets, it's helpful to have an understanding of the most important factors when evaluating USB power sensors/meters.

User Interface—The next battlefield–Part II

Here's Part II of User Interface—The next battlefield. In the next phase of UI adoption, rather than require user training, devices with advanced UIs will need to adapt to consumers so they can be used “out of the box”. To achieve this, devices need to become more intelligent and, as such, will require more processing power and memory.

PCM Progress Report No. 6: Afterthoughts

Phase change memory (PCM) faces real issues in scaling to the 20-nm node and beyond, but innovative structures and materials may help the technology fight off the flash memory challenge.

System-in-package provides viable integration solution

Choosing an SiP solution is a function of applications space, system requirements, yield and cost.

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

Energy Micro introduces energy-friendly ARM Cortex-M4 products

Energy Micro has extended its EFM32 Gecko range of microcontrollers with the addition of products based on the ARM Cortex-M4F core.

Microchip announces 8051 Replacements for NXP EOL MCUs

Microchip will continue manufacturing 8051/80C51 microcontrollers that are 100% compatible with NXP's EOL (End-of-Life) MCUs

Powercast's chipset and RF energy harvesting reference design enable low-cost wireless power over distance

Powercast Corporation has released an RF-based wireless power chipset and reference design for embedded, low-power, wireless charging applications.

Digital Core Design launches world's fastest 80C51 CPU

Digital Core Design has introduced what the company claims to be the world's most advanced 80C51 architecture.

WIN Enterprises' new PC/104+ Module targets space-constrained apps

The MB-73240 from WIN Enterprises is a low-power PC/104+ module that offers a choice of the Intel AtomTMD525, D425, or N455 processors.

AMD Fusion-based congatec COMs support OpenCL

congatec Inc. has announced support for OpenCL (Open Computing Language) for its Computers-on-Modules (COMs) with AMD Fusion technology across module standards ETX, XTX, COM Express, and Qseven.

Tensilica offers BBE32UE core for low-power LTE

Tensilica Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.) has produced another core in its ConnX series, the BBE32UE, which is optimized for software programmable LTE-Advanced user equipment.


ISSCC: Intel focuses on low power, digital RF

Intel will show progress in research efforts to deliver more power efficient processors and digital RF capabilities at the International Solid State Circuits Conference.

ISSCC: Voltage regulators stacked in 3-D

The world's first integrated voltage regulators can be located on the bottom of a 3-D chip stack, according researchers at IBM and Columbia University, who recently demonstrated a silicon interposer containing the necessary magnetic inductors at the International Solid State Circuits Conference.

Intel gives deeper look into Ivy Bridge

Intel gave a deeper look into Ivy Bridge, its 22 nm processor for ultrabooks and more in a talk at ISSCC where one Intel exec scoped out a vision of terascale-class clients.

Samsung gives peek at quad-core mobile CPU

Samsung gave a peek at its first quad-core mobile application processor at ISSCC, its first 32 nm chip, delivering performance and battery life boosts over current Exynos chips.

CEVA launches new low-power DSP cores for the broadest comms standards

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