What's New on Embedded.com (8-4-11) - Embedded.com

What’s New on Embedded.com (8-4-11)

Embedded Newsletter for 08-04-11

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August 4, 2011

New on Embedded.com


Nick Lethaby and Denys Dmytriyenko, Texas Instruments

Open Embedded: An alternative way to build embedded Linux distributions

Mark Lee, Cypress Semiconductor

Making capacitive touch sensors water tolerant


Assume nothing

How to enforce coding standards automatically

Difficulties constructing memory-mapped objects

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

The embedded market sector this week seems to be ignoring divergent economic reports ( one optimistic and one pessimistic) and is forging ahead with products and specs designed to produce long-term positive results.

Among many news stories reflecting an optimistic outlook in the industry: Qualcomm has a quadcore processor and 28 nm process in the works, C*Core has a new Power CPU family, HiSilicon extends its ARM CPU licenses for nextgen wireless, and NI has updated Labview . In addition, progress has been made on a number of new specs: a new embedded browser benchmark , an API for multicore task management, the Smart Energy 2.0 Profile , and a new wireless Zigbee gateway spec .

If you are thrown off balance by market uncertainties, read “ Assume nothing , by Jack Ganssle. While he focuses on the importance of this attitude in embedded systems development, I found it a good guide to follow when trying to understand market behavior as well.

Two blogs in the Chips In Space series are especially interesting this week: “The importance & challenges of collaboration” and “The building of an amateur satellite ” by Microchip engineer Steve Bible on building the electronics for OSCAR (Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio). I also recommend “ Making capacitive touch sensors water tolerant,” a Product How-To article by Mark Lee and “ Open Embedded: An alternative way to build embedded Linux distributions,” by Nick Lethaby and Denys Dmytriyenko.

Design How Tos

Open Embedded: An alternative way to build embedded Linux distributions

Nick Lethaby and Denys Dmytriyenko of Texas Instruments provide an overview of the key elements of the Open Embedded Linux (OE) build environment and show how to use them to build and customize Linux distributions.

Migrating from proprietary to Linux (Open) development platforms

Linux specialist Rajaram Regupathy provides some tips on making the transition from a design based on a proprietary RTOS to one that makes use of the Linux (Open) standard.

Making capacitive touch sensors water tolerant

In this Product How-To article, Mark Lee of Cypress uses the company's CY8C21434 PSoC to explain the methods by which to integrate water tolerant capacitive sensors into consumer white goods where operation in wet environments is important.

Haptics technology: picking up good vibrations

Understand the existing and new techniques for implementing this motion-transducer function

Touch-screen technologies enable greater user/device interaction

Understand the workings of capacitive- and resistive-screen sensing, as well as the role of haptics

Capacitors can reduce size and improve efficiency
 of cellular handset antennas

Applying thin-film technology to the manufacture of capacitors has enabled the development of components where both electrical and physical properties can be tightly controlled. These devices can be used to improve the efficiency of antennas used in mobile handsets.

Ultra-low power microcontrollers for compact wireless devices

This paper describes design strategies for ultra-low power microcontrollers for use in various existing and emerging wireless applications. Emphasis is placed on practical techniques to reduce both active and standby mode power. Design examples draw from experience with the ARM Cortex-M3 core.

Network test specs promote multi-vendor interoperability in the lab

Here is an overview of the first technical specifications developed by the Network Test Automation Forum to automate multi-vendor network test automation in the lab. The NTAF's simplification of lab automation efforts reduces time, complexity and cost of product test cycles.

Spread-spectrum clocking reduces EMI in embedded systems

PCI Express technology incorporates the use of spread-spectrum clocking to reduce EMI.

Managing signal integrity in tomorrow's high-speed flash-memory-system designs

Next-generation flash-memory technology will tout data-transfer rates as much as 10 times faster than currently available. However, increasing distortions in the data-carrying digital signals can cause data-transfer failures, complicating the management of signal integrity. Proper design strategies can help you deliver reliable, high-performance products.

Optimizing Power Line Communication for Distance, Lowest Packet Error Rates, Cost and Reliability

Recent advancements in technology, increasing growth in machine-to-machine connectivity, and the need for better resource management, are giving narrowband power line communications the attention it deserves as the most universally-available network medium.

Want to go Green? Reuse Powerline infrastructure and get there fast

If you are an engineer who cares about, or are working on, three of the most important Green technologies of our lifetime – Smart Grid, Solar, and LED Lighting – the ability to reuse the existing Powerline communications (PLC) infrastructure is an essential element for adding intelligence to applications based on these technologies.

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

Multicore module joins the ranks of CompactRIO

National Instruments has expanded its NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) platform with the addition of the first multicore NI CompactRIO systems and smallest NI single-board RIO devices

Lauterbach TRACE32 now supports MIPS32 M14K

Lauterbach TRACE32 debuggers now support MPS Technologies' MIPS32 M14K andM14Kc processor cores.

SmartBear releases peer review tool to coordinate hardware/software design

PeerReview Complete from SmartBear Software is a new peer review tool that bridges the gap between software and hardware engineers to share, review, and annotate schematics, 2D drawings, diagrams, images, HTML, and other digital content.

Axiomtek's Atom-based HMI touch panel computer sports wide temp support and IP65 protection

Axiomtek's GOT-3156TL-830 is a heavy-duty & fanless HMI touch panel computer utilizing a 15-inch high brightness (400 nits) XGA TFT LCD with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.

VIA launches dual core VB8004 Mini-ITX Mainboard

VIA Technologies, Inc has announced a dual core version of the low power VIA VB8004 Mini-ITX board. Coupling the 1.6GHz VIA Nano X2 E-series processor with the VIA VX900 media system processor, the VIA VB8004 provides a high performance and highly scalable solution for advanced digital signage and gaming systems.

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