What's New on Embedded.com (9-22-11) - Embedded.com

What’s New on Embedded.com (9-22-11)

Embedded Newsletter for 09-22-11

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September 22, 2011

New on Embedded.com


Jakob Engblom, Wind River Simics

Transporting bugs with virtual checkpoints

Matteo Bordin, Jérôme Lambourg, Ben Brosgol of Adacore

The “Big Thaw” – An Agile Process for Software Certification

Matt Gordon, Micrium

Real-Time Kernels in medical device development (ESC-214)


Hope and horror

ESC Boston – Hope and Change

ESC preview: Connected devices, security & telehealth

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

There's been a lot of bad news this week about the state of the electronics and embedded markets in a still uncertain economy: Chip sales slowing rapidly, a hard year for chip makers, worrisome chip inventories , market forecasts revised down, and lowering book to bill ratios.

While such warnings from the market analysts are not to be dismissed, a skeptical attitude in general is recommended by Jack Ganssle in “Hope and horror. ” His conclusion: “The standard deviations are so huge, over such short periods of time, that one is inexorably drawn to the conclusion that their reports are meaningless .”

A further antidote to such dire warnings is to focus on what is going on in the here and now, which makes me much more optimistic than reading the analysts. Included in the news this week: Intel's Parallel JS for many core programming, Intel's tri-gate quantum well FinFET, Samsung's 20 nm logic process, the Hynix 15 nm NAND process, Sonic's 200 core SoC, and Nvidia's five core SoC for mobile apps.

There are some outstanding product launches this week as well, including: Energy Micro'sEFM32 dev kit , Samsung's Cortex-M0 motor control MCUs, the SuperH audio MCUs from Renesas, Atollic's generic ARM tool and Freescale's low power 32-bit Kinetic MCUs.

Design article activity on the site this week has included smarter single battery designs, embedded software test automation, and hardware design project management. My Editor's Top Picks are:

The “Big thaw” – an agile process for software certification
Transporting bugs with virtual checkpoints
Real-time kernels in medical device development

For some perspective on what's coming up at the Boston ESC next week be sure to read Jack Ganssle's “ESC Boston: hope and change , ” and Rich Pell's survey of all things connected at ESC.

Design How Tos

The “Big Thaw” – An Agile Process for Software Certification

To deal with a problem in software certification known as the “Big Freeze” (where all components and tools are frozen in place once a workable design has been achieved) the authors use the “Big Thaw”: continuous monitoring of all activities affected by a change, to keep all artifacts up to date and to preserve the complete system's certifiability.

Transporting bugs with virtual checkpoints

Developers can overcome the issues of reliable bug reproduction and communication of the target state using virtual platform checkpoints. By such mechanisms, any bug can be captured, communicated, and reproduced any number of times, in any location.

HD aggregation & packet services accelerate video switch/router bandwidth

As video architectures evolve, existing dedicated point-to-point architectures are likely to give way to packetized router technologies that resemble standardized, high-bandwidth Ethernet switches used in carrier and telecommunications applications.

Real-Time Kernels in medical device development (ESC-214)

Micrium's Matt Gordon provides an introduction to real-time kernels with a particular focus on what embedded developers of medical devices will need to know to begin writing multi-task applications.

EMI and transient protection for MIL-compliant systems

Learn to design filters to meet MIL-compliant limits for EMI and transient protection.

In-target embedded software test automation and quality

Meeting the challenge is to find automated in-target software testing tools that can be easily integrated into developers' embedded development environments.

Designing smarter: single-battery applications

Designs using a single boosted battery can reduce your project's overall cost and size.

A new approach to hardware design project management

In which we discover how Methodics has enhanced its ProjectIC solution to address a new wave of needs in complex IC environments…

Making Embedded Processing Development Easy – part 6

Erik Welsh, a security architect in TI's Application Specific Products Organization answers the question “I'm not sure I need to secure my embedded design? If I do, how do I begin and which type of security should I enable?”

APIdeology: Application Programming Interface best practices

Best practices in the development and maintenance of application programming interfaces (APIs) dictate that software interfaces do not change once they have been released, with the exception of adding new entry points. So, it's important to design concise, extensible interfaces that can be adapted to survive in an evolving hardware/software ecosystem.

CWE: what developers of connected embedded systems need to know

Use of the Common Weakness and Enumeration (CWE) database allows security quality attributes to be specified for a project, allowing them to be measured and verified before an embedded design is put into service, significantly reducing in-the-field exploitation of latent security vulnerabilities

Rethink your project planning with a virtual platform

Virtual hardware platforms can be leveraged to obtain significant project and product planning improvements in terms of development time, time-to-market, and development process risk.

Call for Abstracts, ESC Silicon Valley

Click here for Call for Abstracts.

Calling all embedded systems engineers! Teach other engineers about embedded systems design techniques at the Embedded Systems Conference, Silicon Valley 2012. Click here to see the ESC SV 2012 tracks . September 30th is the submission deadline.

ESC Boston 2011 Tracks

System Integration & Test
Integrating hardware with software, developing test strategies, managing and executing system test.
Track Chair: Bruce Douglass, Chief Evangelist, IBM

Linux, Android, Open-Source
Evaluating, understanding and using Embedded Linux, the Android platform and other open-source software.
Track Chair: Bill Gatliff, Freelance Consultant

Real-Time Systems
Fundamental real-time concepts, selecting and understanding an RTOS, developing and verifying real-time systems.
Track Chair: Dave Stewart, Director of Software Engineering, InHand Electronics, Inc.

Project Management
Development methodologies, traceable design, developing and managing requirements, agile development, build and change management and other aspects of making a project succeed.
Track Chair: Rob Oshana, Director, SW R&D, Networking & Multimedia Group, Freescale

Understanding, evaluating and programming multiple-processor systems.
Track Chair: Robert Cravotta, Principal Analyst, Embedded Insights

Networking & Connectivity
Understanding and implementing Internet connections into embedded systems, networks within embedded systems and interfaces such as USB and PCI Express.
Track Chair: Christian Legare, Vice President, Micrium

Safety & Security
All aspects of developing and testing systems that must be safe to deploy in life-critical applications, and systems that are secure against malicious attacks.
Track Chair: Mark Kraeling, Product Manager, GE Transportation

FPGAs in Embedded Systems
FPGAs as alternatives to microcontrollers, as signal-processing units, as configurable accelerators, or just as a way of implementing an interface: Selection, design and verification. Understanding and using the FPGA tool chain and how it differs from software development tools. Employing CPUs inside or beside FPGAs.
Track Chair: Mike Santarini, Publisher / Sr. Manager Xcell Journal & Editorial Services, Xilinx

Prototyping Embedded Systems
Model-based prototyping, use of simulation, selection and use of development kits, FPGAs as prototyping aids.
Track Chair: RC Cofer, FAE, Avnet

Microcontrollers & SoCs

Understanding, selecting and programming microcontrollers; Sorting out the ARM architectures; Peripheral and memory issues in MCUs and SoCs, evaluating an application-specific standard product SoC for a project.
Track Chair: Mark Kraeling, Product Manager, GE Transportation

Embedded I/O Systems

Storage, display and input devices for embedded systems.
Track Chair: Larry Mittag, Lead Consultant, Mittag Enterprises

Software Engineering
Reviewing programming fundamentals, building programming skills, software architectures, optimization and best practices.
Track Chair: Niall Cooling, Director, Feabhas Ltd.

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