What’s New on Embedded.com (4-29-11 to 5-5-11)

Embedded Newsletter for 05-05-11

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MAy 5, 2011

New on Embedded.com

Exclusives

Jean Labrosse

Adopting C programming conventions

James Grenning

Agile embedded software development

Jack Ganssle

Mars ate my spacecraft!

Highlights

Vendors roll products at ESC

It's extra work to avoid failure

Challenges of safety-critical multi-core systems


Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor
Embedded.com

On Wednesday evening, halfway through the Embedded Systems Conference, a power outage rolled through San Jose’s downtown area – including the Convention Center. The cause was an explosion in a nearby underground utilities site.

In the two hours or so before the power was restored I was able to observe the mixed preparedness of the hotels, convention center facilities, public transport, and local businesses surrounding the convention center.

Some facilities, after a temporary hiccup at the moment of interrupt, were up and running almost immediately. Other services were out for minutes before coming back on, while for quite a few it took about an hour before local emergency backups kicked in. And still others did not come back on until normal power had been restored.

As noted in “It's extra work to avoid failure ,” by Ron Wilson, the mixed capacities to respond to the crisis demonstrated how far embedded systems technology has come as well as how much farther it has to go. Many of the facilities that were back and running without a hiccup were based on technology and products I have seen at previous ESC events. What surprised me was how quickly they have become widely available: low power and low interrupt latency MCUs, double and triple redundant controllers, and high speed fault tolerant network connections.

In other cases, I am sure some of the technologies and products I have seen this week at ESC would have made the difference between failure and uninterrupted operation, including, as noted below: safety critical multicore designs, agile systems design, secure MCU-based USB tokens, advanced real time execution profiling, memory protected application modules, and nonvolatile FRAM- based MCUS.


Design How Tos

Agile embedded software development

Developers flee engineering for marketing and management. Why? Big processes are not delivering, and neither is coding chaos. This author says Agile helps address the problems of late projects, high defect levels, and stressed teams.

Adopting C programming conventions

This ESC paper discusses some common problems found in a lot of code and suggests strategies for avoiding them.

Mars ate my spacecraft!

Fun with failure: The spectacular failures of others are spectacular lessons for engineers. Jack Ganssle recounts the riveting lore of engineering failures.

Challenges of safety-critical multi-core systems

In this article, the challenges involved in migration to multi-core processor architectures are reviewed in the context of the particular ones related to their use in safety-critical systems.

Analyzing multithreaded applications—Identifying performance bottlenecks on multicore systems

Here's a step by step method for identifying and analyzing bottlenecks in multithreaded applications on multicore systems.

Using trace to solve the multicore system debug problem

In this article, Aaron Spear of VMware outlines current multicore development trends, explores the deficiencies in traditional software development tooling when applied to multicore systems, introducing the “Common Trace Format” (CTF), a coming standard for tracing multi-core systems over time.

Trip over threads to trap multicore bugs

Here is how developers of concurrent programs can find software bugs caused by intermittent failures, non-deterministic behavior and asynchronous events and reproduce them in a controlled environment using a new X86 Linux platform development tool.


Embedded Systems Conference Chicago

Register today for the Embedded Systems Conference Chicago in June for the most complete embedded conference this summer!

Attend and be part of the most valuable and efficient professional development you will experience all year. See, learn and get hands-on training on emerging embedded products and technologies.

In-depth conference tracks:
Designing for embedded Linux or Android
Graphics, displays, and lighting
Medical systems
Networking and connectivity
Open-source software
Project management
Real-time system development
Robotics and motion control
Safety and security in a Stuxnet world
Software debugging techniques

This year, ESC Chicago is bigger, better and more exciting than ever with 3 days of comprehensive training and an expansive expo floor.

Highlights include:

For more information on ESC Chicago 2011, including registration, please visit our web site: esc.eetimes.com/chicago


Product News

Embedded MPU integrates 2x ARM Cortex A9 cores

STMicroelectronics introduced its new embedded microprocessor with advanced multimedia capabilities.

ESC: New INSIDE Secure MCU for USB tokens is secure, cost-optimized, and has wide temp range

INSIDE Secure has introduced the AT90SO72, a secure, embedded microcontroller (MCU) tailored to meet the needs of USB authentication token applications.

ESC: Veridae's Corus software suite simplifies validation and debug of complex FPGA-based systems

Veridae Systems has launched its Corus validation and debug software suite for complex FPGA-based systems. The company claims that the Corus software suite is the first on the market to deliver a synchronized view of multi-FPGA systems both on- and off-chip, across devices and timing domains.

ESC: Express Logic's Advanced Execution Profiling speeds real-time system analysis in IAR Workbench

The integration of Express Logic, Inc.'s ThreadX Execution Profiling in IAR Embedded Workbench opens new opportunities to develop performance-optimized embedded applications in shorter time and with greater ease.

ESC: Express Logic introduces memory-protected application modules for ThreadX RTOS

Express Logic, Inc., has introduced ThreadX RTOS Memory Protection for downloadable application modules, and will be displaying them at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, booth 1729. Downloadable application modules, introduced earlier this year, enable ThreadX-based applications to execute functions dynamically loaded from local mass storage or a network.

ESC: Logic PD rolls industry's smallest embedded SOMs

Logic PD has announced what they claim to be the industry's smallest embedded modules: the Torpedo System on Modules (SOM) based on Texas Instruments' DM3730 DaVinci video processor and AM3703 Sitara ARM microprocessor.

ESC: ADLINK's PICMG 1.3 SHB features 2nd Gen Intel Core i7 processor and Q67 Express chipset

The ADLINK NuPROE340 utilizes the 2nd generation quad-core Intel Core i7 processor at core speeds up to 3.4 GHz integrated with the Intel Q67 Express Chipset PCH, and supports the latest high-speed data transfer interfaces such as USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s (SATA III).

ESC: VIA Nano X2 E-Series dual core processors for 64-bit x86 apps debut at ESC

VIA Nano X2 E-Series processors combine two 64-bit, superscalar VIA Nano cores on one die, offering enhanced multi-tasking and multimedia performance on a low power budget.


From the Experts

Break Points

By Jack Ganssle

A rumble, a wave, and iPads dry up

The disaster in Japan makes you think about the fundamental chemistry that makes all our modern smart devices possible.

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