This week Rick Merrit , in “Thunderbolt interface rattles placid PC landscape,” explains why Intel’s new dual 10 Gbit/sec bidirectional serial backplane interconnect is forcing systems designers to re-evaluate their options in the context of other alternatives such as PCIe and USB 3.0. Ironically, both of these latter interconnects also got their start also as Intel specs for use on PCs before being adopted industry wide in a variety of embedded systems designs.
Although Intel says Thunderbolt is designed to complement PCIe, not replace it, developers are not so sure about the future of USB 3.0. For further information about Thunderbolt vs. other interconnect alternatives, be sure to read “Intel’s Light Peak: Thunderbolt or flash in the pan ? ” (Also included in this issue of the newsletter is an excellent article on “Using PCI Express as a fabric for interconnect clustering .” )
This week’s Editor's Top Pick is a two-part series by Professor Alex Dean of North Carolina State University: “Lower the overhead in RTOS scheduling,” and “How PTS benefits embedded systems designs,” featured this month in ESD Magazine. In the articles he analyzes Express Logic's unique Preemption-Threshold Scheduling (PTS) technology, used in its ThreadX RTOS to minimize preemptions while still meeting all schedulability requirements in hard real-time, deeply embedded, control-oriented apps.
If you, like me, have spent more of your working life in electronics and embedded systems design as an independent “for hire” contractor or consultant rather than as an employee, you will be interested in Jack Ganssle’s newest column on “Surveying embedded design consultants ,” in which he summarizes the results of his survey and includes comments from a variety of consultants. (Embedded.com Editor Bernard Cole, email@example.com, 928-525-9087 )
Design How Tos
Lowerthe overhead in RTOS scheduling
Research shows that preemption-threshold scheduling helps tomitigate the deadline-vs.-overhead tradeoff.
HowPTS benefits embedded systems designs
Preemption-Threshold Scheduling reduces overhead while maintainingthe ability to meet deadlines under worst-case conditions.
UsingPCI Express as a fabric for interconnect clustering
A number of interconnect technologies are vying to replace GbE,with the top contenders being 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE), InfiniBand (IB)and PCI Express (PCIe). The latter, with its advanced capabilities, makesa strong case for becoming the ideal backplane interconnect solution.
Model-drivendevelopment for multicore-based software
Model-driven development helps software designers perform multicoredesign trade-off studies, refactor code for greater reuse, and automaticallygenerate code for hardware configuration and communication protocols.
Beyondcores: Unlocking multicore’s full potential
Multicore isn't the only key to performance; developers shouldalso turn their attention to system architecture key interfaces when gaugingthe quality of a new platform.
Commentary:How manycore will reshape EDA
We will see a focus not only on modifying EDA tools and algorithmsfor manycore processors and GPUs but also on distribution across server farmsand computing clouds.
Strategies for Model-Based Design in embedded applications
When transitioning to Model-Based Design for embedded systemsdevelopment, it is essential to consider an overall plan spanning people,development processes, and tools.
EMCBasics #2: Resets as critical circuits
Understand the EMC vulnerability of this ubiquitous circuitfunction, and what to do about it
Thinkstatic analysis cures all ills? Think again.
Here's how to choose the right code-analysis tools for yourproject.
Estimate the Q of spiral inductors using a planar EM simulator
In this paper, we explain a technique for calculating the Qthat does not require meshing the interior of the conductors. Therefore,planar simulators can be used.
Planningreset strategy: Flow & functionality in OVC
In this article, Applied Micro Circuits Corp. presents a methodologyand relevant code for developing a reset strategy that will work within averification process.
Maxim intros energy-measurement SoC for AC/DC power supplies
The 78M6613 from Teridian Semiconductor/Maxim Integrated Productsis the industry's first SoC energy-measurement solution for AC/DC power suppliesthat brings a higher level of management and control to servers and otherequipment in data centers, enabling the capture and reporting of real-timeenergy data and providing the ability to quantify where energy is needed,being used, and being stranded.
PSR/SSRmixed PWM controller keeps standby power under 10mW
Fairchild Semiconductor developed the FAN302HL PWM controller forlow standby power charger applications. Incorporating mWSaver technology,the device features patented technologies that allow the FAN302HL to minimizestandby input power consumption to <10mW@230VAC, exceeding ENERGY STARProgram Requirements for Computers Version 5.0 efficiency standards.
PMC-Sierra EPON ONU SoC integrates optical analog frontend
PMC-Sierra, Inc. has launched what the company claims to be theindustry’s most advanced Ethernet passive optical network (EPON) opticalnetwork unit (ONU) devices with integrated optical analog front end (OAFE)technology optimized for the rapidly-growing fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) marketsegment. PMC-Sierra’s PAS6500 family consists of three devices: the PAS6502System-on-Chip (SoC) for data and voice-over-IP (VoIP) Single-Family Units(SFUs), the PAS6500 SoC for data SFUs, and the PAS6501 SoC for Multiple DwellingUnits (MDUs).
Atlas-I-Ζ7eprocessing module to use Xilinx Zynq-7000
iVeia used Embedded World to provide details of the developmentof the Atlas-I-Z7e, small form factor processing module based on the Zynq-7000 Extensible Processing Platform from Xilinx.
News & Analysis
ARM adds to Cortex processors and fills out roadmap
The ARM Cortex-R5 MPCore and the Cortex-R7 MPCore processors have been launched for use in 3G and 4G mobile baseband, mass storage, automotive and industrial markets. A roadmap for the Cortex R-Series processors also enables ARM's customers to future-proof their designs based on a single consistent architecture.
Sony goes 'coreless' in Cell processors
Sony Corp. revealed to EE Times Japan that they have been successfully mass-producing high-end processors with coreless substrate packaging technology.
Xilinx provides details on ARM-based devices
Xilinx Inc. released deails for the first products in its Extensible Processing Platform (EPP) at Embedded World today. The Zynq-7000 family integrates a complete ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor-based system with 28nm, low-power programmable logic for system architects and embedded software developers to extend, customize, optimize, and differentiate their systems.
Fujitsu signs license deal for ARM IP
Fujitsu Semiconductor will incorporate ARM technology into its platform offerings under the terms of a comprehensive license agreement between the companies.
TI adds HD accelerators to DaVinci
Texas Instruments is unveiling two new DaVinci media processors featuring what the company proclaims the industry's highest performing video engine.
Thunderbolt interface rattles placid PC landscape
Intel's Thunderbolt interface, supporting two 10-Gbit/second bidirectional channels, has emerged in an Apple notebook and could leapfrog work on USB 3.0.