What's New on Embedded.com (3-02-12 to 3-08-12) - Embedded.com

What’s New on Embedded.com (3-02-12 to 3-08-12)

Embedded Newsletter for 03-08-2012

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March 8, 2012

New on Embedded.com


Anders Guldahl, Energy Micro

Understanding MCU sleep modes and energy savings

Joseph Coombs, Texas Instruments

Bare metal embedded software development with & without an RTOS

Abhishek Gupta, Cypress Semiconductor

RoHS: An update on this important Green Initiative


Who wins when Cortex-M adds RTOS?

The Heartbreak of Nomophobia

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

Big news this week is Intel's withdrawal from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics effort. In their commentaries. Junko Yoshida and Peter Clark look upon this move as a mistake. Read their columns and let us know what you think.

In “Who wins when Cortex-M adds RTOS ,” Richard Barry analyzes the impact of ARM's decision to add RTOS functionality to its Cortex-M hardware abstraction layer. Other featured articles this week which deal with topics important to the future of electronics and embedded systems design include:

Test problems grow as chip integration increases
Manufacturing by design: New skills needed
Let the debate begin over U.S. patent fees
How best to reduce power on future ICs

If you are planning to attend ESC DESIGN West, March 26-29 , there are a number of keynote speakers you should take time to listen to and discuss with fellow participants. They include: musician and technical innovator Thomas Dolby, Tesla Motors' CTO JB Straubel, and Robert Vamousi, author of “When Gadgets betray us.”

Of the 12 design articles published on Embedded.com this week on such topics as RoHS, synchronous SRAM selection, ruggedizing USB, and implementing PMBus hot swap, my Editor's Top Picks are: “Bare metal embedded software development with & without an RTOS, ” and “Understanding MCU sleep modes and energy savings “. On a lighter note, read Jack Ganssle on “The heartbreak of Nomophobia” on the fear of being without a cell phone – another insidious plague inadvertently inflicted on humanity by the high tech electronics industry.

Design How Tos

Bare metal embedded software development with & without an RTOS

In this Product How-To article, TI's Joseph Coombs describes the problems developers have in meeting the strict real-time requirements of embedded systems and how use of the company's StarterWare set of lightweight OS-independent libraries and utilities will help in designs based on TI's ARM, DSP and ARM/DSP processors.

Understanding MCU sleep modes and energy savings

Anders Guldahl of Energy Micro describes the energy cost of implementing functions in software and how changes in the distribution of responsibilities between hardware and software reduce that cost. As there is a wide range of sensing interfaces on the market, dedicated sensing logic units that are geared to a particular sensor may not be useful. The author explains how more generic needs can be catered for by making it possible to extract relatively complex processing from software and embed it in hardware designed for low energy consumption.

RoHS: An update on this important Green Initiative

In this update on the Restrictions of Hazardous Substances directive (RoHS), Abhishek Gupta provides some clear guidelines of why the directive is important to consider in your design strategies and what you need to do to achieve compliance.

Choosing the right synchronous SRAM for your application

Different SRAM specifications provide varying latency, speed, power efficiency, and utilization levels.

Implement PMBus hot-swap circuits in space-constrained applications

Understand the circuit analysis and design for this critical, challenging application area

Ruggedize USB connections for tough environments

USB is ubiquitous, it's useful and it's here to stay. But it isn't inherently rugged or reliable. It's up to you to make it that way.

Powering an LED-based replacement for a T8 fluorescent tube

Two approaches: a retrofit which replaces the traditional tube with an LED tube and only requires short-circuiting the starter; or replacing the traditional tube and the ballast

Modern power line communication for the smart grid

From the early usage of Power Line Communication, in Automatic Meter Reading, to replace the technician from the utility company, reading power meters in person, with an automated process, the industry has come a long way.

EIS simplifies battery measurement and characterization

Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is increasingly important for measuring and characterizing batteries and other electrochemical systems. This non-invasive measurement method can be exploited not only in modeling energy storage such as batteries and fuel cells, but also in basic battery research and diagnostics.

How DOCOMO Beijing Labs cut development time in half

In this 'RF in Action' piece, DOCOMO Beijing Labs reports that it has cut development time in half while enabling its researchers to verify about five times more test cases, parameter settings, and operating scenarios than was previously possible. How did they do it?

On-chip ESD protection for High Voltage applications in TSMC BCD technology

A growing set of IC applications require a high voltage interface. Examples include power management, power conversion and automotive chips with interfaces typically between 12 V and 100 V…

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

Cypress graphical software tool for EZ-USB FX3 USB 3.0 controller speeds up apps

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has launched its GPIF II Designer Software for EZ-USB FX3 Controllers for SuperSpeed USB 3.0.

Microchip introduces general-purpose 8-bit PIC MCUs with next-gen digital and analog peripherals

Microchip Technology Inc. has launched a new family of 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) featuring next-generation analog and digital peripherals, which the company is touting as ideal for general-purpose applications, as well as battery charging, LED lighting, ballast-control, power-conversion and system-control applications.

R&S radio communications tester expands LTE options

Platform tests signaling and audio quality of VoLTE-enabled user equipment.

First dual 100 Gbps Gearbox Solution to I/F CFP2 optical modules to Xilinx Virtex-7 HT FPGAs

Virtex-7 HT FPGAs, with 25G/28G transceivers and 2x density advantage, ensure connectivity for up to four new-generation 100 Gbps optical modules

World's first optical FPGA technology demo from Altera

Changing how bandwidth-intensive applications can be designed and built, the folks at Altera have announced the world's first demonstration of the company's Optical FPGA technology.

Cadence reveals latest RTL to GDS flow

The latest release of the Cadence Encounter RTL to GDS flow has something for everyone and plenty of stuff to grow in to…

First high-performance 28-nm production FPGAs from Altera

The folks at Altera have announced delivery of the industry's first high-performance 28-nm FPGAs in production.

Software speeds cellular UE testing

Agilent's N5972A interactive functional test software provides an automated and simplified interface for testing cellular user equipment in a controlled laboratory environment

Symtavision launches SymTA/S 3.1 and TraceAnalyzer 3.1

Symtavision has launched SymTA/S 3.1 and TraceAnalyzer 3.1, major new versions of its integrated system-level tools for planning, optimizing, and verifying embedded real-time systems.

Silicon Image offers GameChanger 60 GHz WirelessHD Reference Designs for Mobile Products

Silicon Image has announced GameChanger 60 GHz WirelessHD low-power reference designs for notebooks PCs, tablet computers, and smartphone accessories.

STMicroelectronics leverages STM32 “DNA” to target budget applications

Development of home and industrial electronic applications is simplified using new feature-rich, value-packed family of ARM Cortex–M0 microcontrollers

Atmel launches Studio 6 for MCU design, 40 new SAM3 ARM Cortex-M3 MCUs

Atmel Corporation has introduced Atmel Studio 6, the latest version of its integrated development environment (IDE) that now supports both Atmel 32-bit ARM Cortex-M series processor-based and Atmel 8/32-bit AVR-based microcontrollers (MCUs).


Microsoft previews Windows Embedded 8

Microsoft has posted the community technology preview for its forthcoming Windows Embedded Standard 8 operating system.

January chip sales down 14% on annual basis<

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