What's New on Embedded.com (2-3-12 to 2-9-12) - Embedded.com

What’s New on Embedded.com (2-3-12 to 2-9-12)

Embedded Newsletter for 02-09-2012

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February 9, 2012

New on Embedded.com


Paul Anderson, GrammaTech Inc.

Fixing concurrency defects in multicore design

Mark Saunders, Cypress

A new way to do firmware development on programmable devices

Daniel Proch, Netronome

Controlling network flow with the OpenFlow protocol


A SPIFI New Idea

Software Defined Networking: The next big thing?

Cavium, Freescale roll embedded processors

Video: Are tech jobs returning to the U.S.?

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

The February issue of ESD Magazine with its cover story on “Controlling network flow with the OpenFlow protocol” has only been out a few days but debate has already started about this still maturing proposal. The most recent skepticism about OpenFlow emanated from the Linley Group network technology conference. To put the criticism in perspective, read my column “Software Defined Networking: The next big thing?

Significant embedded product and technology news includes: Cavium's 48-core MIPS-based network processor , LDRA tools for Altera's Nios FPGA core processor, Methodic's SoC design version control tools , Ramtron's “energy-sipping” FRAMs , Freescale's 28nm network processors , ST's 32-bit MCU based 9-axis inertial sensor IC, an open source OpenFlow controller from Big Switch, HP's release of OpenFlow code for its switches, and NEC's support for OpenFlow in its ProgrammableFlow switches.

Article contributions this week provide insight into a number of difficult design problems. In “Fixing concurrency defects in multicore design Paul Anderson provides some hints about how to run down and correct a number of nasty multithreading concurrency bugs. In “A new way to do firmware development on programmable devices “, Mark Saunders of Cypress describes how to use the company's PSoC Creator in combination with the uVision MCU IDE tools to develop code for its ARM-based programmable devices.

Other design topics this week include mobile device sensor configuration, Powerline networking tips and tricks, building computer logic functions with neon lamps and photoconductors, and wireless network time protocol synchronization. A couple of online videos that will make you think are: HP Labs Prith Banerjee's DesignCon keynote on ARM servers and photonic terabyte/second interconnects and “Are tech jobs returning to the U.S.? “, in which EETimes staff interviewed attendees at DesignCon on their opinions.

Design How Tos

Fixing concurrency defects in multicore design

There are compelling reasons to move to multicore processor designs, but doing so introduces the risk of concurrency defects in the software. Apparently innocent code can harbor nasty multithreading bugs that are notoriously difficult to diagnose and eliminate when they occur. Paul Anderson of GrammaTech offers methods to avoid these problems.

A new way to do firmware development on programmable devices

In this Product How-To article Mark Saunders describes a new methodology for doing firmware development for the Cypress' Arm-based Programmable SoCs, using the company's PSoC Creator in combination with Arm's uVision IDE.

Controlling network flow with the OpenFlow protocol

A new twist on network flow processing gives network administrators programmatic control of network flows to strategically place traffic where resources exist. Here's why you may be building the open-source specification OpenFlow (or similar protocol) into routers, switches, and other devices to realize the benefits of Software-Defined Networks.

Neon lamps and photoconductors illuminate logic

Imagine a computer formed from logic gates and memory elements that are themselves formed from neon lamps and photoconductors…

Configuring mobile device sensors to ensure optimal performance

The Android platform is not optimized for real-time sensor data acquisition. Intelligent algorithms will help guarantee the reliability of virtual-sensor information to give developers a uniform platform environment.

Tips & Tricks: Advancements in Powerline—A grounding experience

Here's a tips and tricks article that shows some of the more recent advances in powerline technology—and how you can harness them.

Embedded digital control facilitates adaptive power control strategies

Able to swap seamlessly between utility ac line and local battery backup power, the intermediate-bus architecture (IBA) that the telecoms industry has refined over decades to become cost-competitive with traditional offline-only sources is an attractive alternative for system architects needing high availability in a wide range of industries. New developments in areas such as intelligent power management strengthens the arguments in favor of the IBA.

Addressing network time protocol synchronization for IPTV, IMS and Femtocells

Packet-based technologies have placed new demands on network-wide timing. This article discusses how the demands are creating new requirements for accuracy, security, and availability of Network Time Protocol (NTP) based time, and what constitutes a true carrier-calls implementation for NTP synchronization in order to support the changes.

New metric for phase-change memory

A team from IBM Research-Zurich proposes a new non-resistance-based cell-state metric for phase-change memory.

Mobile virtualization: Next phase of BYOD

Mobile virtualization will let users manage their work and their lives on one phone, without compromising enterprise security or their own privacy.

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

Methodics SoC dev tools now support latest release of Subversion version control system

Methodics, Inc.'s suite of SoC development tools now supports the latest release of the Subversion version control system.

LED driver reference design for high-efficiency universal voltage fluorescent tube replacement meets worldwide PF and THD requirements

Power Integrations' new LED driver reference design DER-286 describes a 30 W LED tube-replacement ballast power supply capable of achieving efficiency levels of over 90% across a wide input-voltage range.

Kontron supports OCTEON III multicore MIPS64 processors

Kontron has announced support for the new OCTEON III MIPS64 family of 1-48 core multicore processors from Cavium, Inc.

Cavium unveils 48-core, 2.5GHz OCTEON III MIPS64 CPU family

Cavium claims processor breakthrough with on-chip SoC content-addressable searchability over a 100 Gbps performance range.

RFaxis front-end IC assists ZigBee networks

RFaxis has launched the RFX2411, a 2.4GHz single-chip ZigBee® RF Front-end IC (RFeIC™) which integrates a power amplifier, low noise amplifier and antenna diversity switch in single-die CMOS process.

Ramtron energy-sipping FRAM serves low-power applications

Power-sensitive systems benefit from 16-kb serial nonvolatile memory.

LDRA Tool Suite integrates with Altera's Nios II Embedded Design Suite

LDRA has extended the LDRA tool suite to support direct integration with Altera's Embedded Design Suite (EDS) for Nios II soft core processors.


Video: HP’s Prith Banerjee discusses HP labs, ARM servers and optical interconnects

Director of HP Labs Prith Banerjee gave his DesignCon keynote on the future of optical interconnects in the industry, including photonic interconnects and light to communicate instantaneously.

Cavium, Freescale roll embedded processors

Cavium and Freescale announced 28 nm embedded processors aimed in part at data center appliances as engineers debated the future of software-defined networks.

ST adds 32-bit MCU to 9-axis inertial sensor

STMicroelectronics NV has added a 32-bit microcontroller to its iNemo inertial sensor to create a smart multi-sensor module. The module is sampling and is set for volume production in 2Q12.

NXP gives sneak peek at new engineering workbench app

Semiconductor company NXP has expanded its mobile app efforts by launching a new iPad app meant to help engineers put together projects, store and easily share them.

Sonics, Tensilica team to improve IP

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