What’s New on Embedded.com (4-8-11 to 4-14-11)

Embedded Newsletter for 04-14-2011

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April 14, 2011

New on Embedded.com


Roni Simonian, Ariadne

Trip over threads to trap multicore bugs

Aaron Spear, VMware

Using trace to solve the multicore system debug problem

Issue Highlights

Writing in software development

Constructors and object definitions

Ten million lines in 29 months: model-driven development on the Chevy Volt

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

Jack Ganssle augments his decades-long efforts toward safer, morereliable and more secure software code in his column this week,“Writing in software development”. This time his target is not badcode specifically, but bad writing in documentation by engineers andsoftware developers, which he believes is no more than grade schoollevel. “It’s ironic that engineers produce, more thananything, documents that are supposed to communicate ideas, yetwe’re so poor at written communication,” says Jack in hiscolumn, where he outlines some possible remedies.

Jack will be teaching several courses on software development atthe Spring 2011 ESC May 2-4 , where this and a number of softwarequality topics will be discussed. Also Embedded.com columnist DanSaks will be teaching several classes on C and C++ programming. Hiscolumn this month is on “Constructors and object definitions.”Several ESC class tracks on the ever important topic of code qualityinclude: Programming languages and techniques, Best Practices, andDebugging and Optimizing.

Two stories of special interest in this issue:
Calucccino programmer’s calculator for iPhone, by Embedded.comProducts Editor Toni McConnel, on a unique new IPhone app that doesprogramming, engineering, and scientific functions.

I’m flipped out about Cisco,” by Mark LaPedus on his reaction tothe news that Cisco Systems has stopped production on the Flip videorecorder.

Important note: Starting April 18, the Embedded.comnewsletters will arrive in your mailbox about 10 -12 hourslater. Depending on where you are on the globe, you can expectto see them in your email on Mondays and Thursdays.

Design How Tos

M-PHY benefits and challenges

As the M-PHY begins to enjoy wide adoption rate in many applications, Mixel's Ashraf Takla and ST-Ercisson's Cedric Berholom review some of its benefits and challenges.

How to design next-generation RF remote controls

If you are looking for an explanation of all the flavors of ZigBee and how RF4CE plays in this area, this article if for you.

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.

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.

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.

Non-intrusive debug and performance optimization for multicore systems

While efficiently partitioned and bug-free software on multiple cores is crucial for taking full advantage of their power, debugging of such systems adds more complexity due to vanishing accessibility of the sub-system interfaces, buses and concurrency, requiring the use of advanced system trace technology.

Is lock-free programming practical for multicore?

In a multicore environment, you can do resource sharing efficiently without locks, but there are some caveats.

Dealing with the minutiae of fingerprint analysis

Fingerprint analysis involves using fingerprint sensors and sophisticated DSP-based image-processing algorithms. Here's a description of the minutiae-based system for fingerprint analysis.

The purpose-driven CPU: Multiple tasks in Carrier Ethernet

Service providers know that some functions offered by network equipment providers will be upgraded in silicon. The strategy followed by a semiconductor provider of distributing network intelligence and making devices in an Ethernet portfolio ready for advanced services, allows for future-proof network nodes from switch-routers to backhaul equipment.

8-bit MCUs provide cost effective, efficient high-brightness LED control

High-brightness LEDs are rapidly gaining popularity in the automotive, consumer, and industrial markets. But controlling luminosity efficiently and reliably is not an easy task—power stage efficiency, thermal design, and EMC are some of the most critical design challenges.

Using high-density programmable FIFOs in video and imaging applications

Many market segments, including video broadcasting, military, medical imaging, and base stations, can benefit from the use of high-density FIFO solutions that have programmable features.

Using verification coverage with formal analysis

This article looks at what “coverage” means for formal verification tools, and how formal coverage fits into metric-driven verification flows. It discusses formal coverage in terms of three questions: how good are my formal constraints, how good is my proof, and how can I feel confident my verification is complete?

It's less than a month now until ESC Silicon Valley 2011 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California and we are
getting fired up about all the great hands-on educational opportunities.
We are especially excited about the just-announced Beer and Boards training available for All Access pass holders!
Pick one of the development kits to take home:
•   Texas Instruments CC2540DK-MINI Development Kit
•   XL_STAR complete MCU development environment
•   Avnet Spartan-6 LX9 MicroBoard

Info on each board is here:

Then attend a gathering and meet with the board's designers, where you will learn about the kit and share a few beers.
Development kit supplies are only available to All Access Pass Holders – so make sure you register now, quanitites are limited.

Register Online: https://esc.embedded.com/sv/2011?cid=EET_BNBPV

Here are some additional the other hands-on training courses at this years conference:
•   Hands-on TCP/IP Half-Day Tutorial – http://schedule.esc-sv09.techinsightsevents.com/session/88?cid=EET_BNBPV
•   Capacitive Touch Workshop  – http://schedule.esc-sv09.techinsightsevents.com/session/17?cid=EET_BNBPV
•   Hands-on with USB/I2C/SPI Protocol – http://schedule.esc-sv09.techinsightsevents.com/session/26?cid=EET_BNBPV
•   Check out the full program – http://esc.eetimes.com/siliconvalley/conference
•     You can also interact with industry experts like Jack Ganssle at Shop Talks .

Use Promo Code: “Beer&Boards” for and additional 20% discount* and be entered to win a free seat
at Embedded Software Boot Camp or one of twenty copies of the Embedded C Coding Standard book.
Register Online:  https://esc.embedded.com/sv/2011?cid=EET_BNBPV

Product News

Calcuccino programmer's calculator for iPhone does programming, engineering, and scientific functions

Calcuccino from Cambridge Coders is a programmers' calculator for the iPhone that includes all the functions you would expect for programming, engineering, and scientific use.

Symtavision TraceAnalyzer 1.2 claims 10x speed improvement

Symtavision has introduced TraceAnalyzer 1.2, which visualizes timing traces for automotive, aerospace, automation and transportation electronics development.

Roboteq's programmable MDC2250 targets mobile robot & automation apps

The MDC2250 from Roboteq is an intelligent controller capable of directly driving two DC motors up to 60Amps each at up to 50V. The new controller is targeted at designers of mobile robots, automatic guided vehicles (AGVs), or any other high power motor control application.

Microchip's MCP7940N RTCC features battery switchover, digital trimming, SRAM

Microchip Technology Inc. has expanded its stand-alone real-time clock/calendars (RTCCs) with the MCP7940N RTCC, which offers battery switchover and timestamp for accurate timekeeping, digital trimming for time-of-day calibration, and 64 bytes of SRAM.

MathWorks unveils automatic C Code generation tool

MathWorks has introduced MATLAB Coder, which generates standalone C and C++ code from MATLAB code. The generated source code is portable and readable.

DownStream's BluePrint-PCB Version 3.0 includes new features and enhancements

BluePrint-PCB Version 3 is DownStream Technologies' latest release of its solution for the creation of comprehensive PCB documentation. The new version builds upon core BluePrint functionality to provide a superior set of tools to create complex PCB documentation more accurately and in a fraction of the time of traditional methods.

ARM9-based controller provides SuperSpeed USB 3.0

The first USB 3.0 controller to be developed by Cypress Semiconductor Corp. is the EZ-USB FX3 which is targeted at applications that need higher throughput than USB 2.0 such as video and imaging, printing, and scanning.


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