What's New on Embedded.com (9-8-11) - Embedded.com

What’s New on Embedded.com (9-8-11)

Embedded Newsletter for 09-08-11

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September 8, 2011

New on Embedded.com


Matthew P. D. Slager, Green Hills Software

Verifying certified software: making the most of the tools you have

Paul Anderson, Grammatech

Using static code analysis to support DO-178b certification


Kontron's shift to ARM; announcement soon

Heathkit returns!

Five dangerous coding standard rules

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

Although the upcoming Embedded Systems Conference in Boston is generating a lot of interest in the embedded community, embedded technology companies and teams manage to make things interesting all on their own. For example, this week researchers at Virginia Commonwealth are working on a new generation of energy harvesting processors, Tendril is offering a smart energy API to developers, Marvell builds a single chip world modem, AMD ships a 16-core “Bulldozer ,” and Netlogic is working on an 80-core network processor.

In a class by itself is the news that Intel has acquired Fulcrum. Intel may have run out of options with traditional synchronous globally clocked logic as IC design moves to 10-20 nanometer geometries. Did they look at what Fulcrum had to offer and the asynchronous logic foundation upon which its high speed and low power circuits were based, and decided to acquire the company? In “Fulcrum Microsystems: Is it about packet switching or asynchronous design? ” Ron Wilson provides his perspective on this interesting news. Also, be sure to read Chris Ciufo's #include column on “Kontron's shift to Arm,” which many may view as a no confidence vote on Intel's low power Atom lineup from a long-time Intel CPU-based board vendor.

This week there were also a number of impressive product introductions, such as TI's Qi inductive power transfer IC for contactless chargers, new multiroot PCIe devices from PLX Tech, a new NFC/EEPROM combo from ST Micro, TI's new safety critical Hercules MCU family, and Fujitsu's 8 bit flash MCU with on chip analog comparators and op amps. Design article topics this week include: DO-178b certification, certified software verification, video-grade Wi-Fi, Firewire on PCIe, and measuring jitter and phase noise.

And there is big news from Jack Ganssle: Heathkit returns! In this column he recounts his fond memories of building electronics with these kits and celebrates their return just as serious technical do-it-yourself projects are getting more popular.

Design How Tos

Verifying certified software: making the most of the tools you have

An examination of the Software Code Standard and Structural Coverage Analysis requirements of the DO-178B standard, and an evaluation of some techniques useful in meeting the needs of safety-critical software development,

Using static code analysis to support DO-178b certification

In this Product How-To, Paul Anderson of Grammatech takes you step by step through how to use his company's static analysis tools to support the safety-critical software requirements of the DO-178B standard.

The key to realizing full multicore design functionality

The TI authors describe the thinking behind the development of the Keystone multicore architecture and review elements designed to provide device capabilities for advanced communications infrastructure apps such as media servers & wireless baseband.

Fulcrum Microsystems: is it about packet switching, or asynchronous design

Did Intel acquire Fulcrum for its packet-switching technology, or for its design methodology?

Improving performance using SPI-DDR NOR flash memory

The availability of new NOR Flash memory based upon the serial peripheral interface (SPI) provides developers with performance approaching parallel NOR while greatly reducing the device pin count.

Meeting the requirements for video-grade Wi-Fi Access Points

This article shows how current-day Wi-Fi technology has matured and when properly implemented and tailored for the task, it can sustain and deliver multiple HD video streams across an entire home.

Mobile measurement supports onboard EHV high-voltage testing

On-road EHV testing calls for considerably greater data acquisition and wiring challenges than stationary applications. Onboard or road test data collection within a typical test track environment subjects instrumentation to higher-than-usual shock and vibration inputs, placing greater mechanical demands upon components and systems.

The benefits of FireWire on PCI Express

high-speed protocols such as IEEE 1394b (FireWire) to provide benefits to the consumer: increased bandwidth and more efficient performance, reduced board footprint, improved power management, increased error immunity and support for a long list of feature enhancements.

Tips and Trends: Meet the requirements of multi-carrier, multi-protocol picocells and relay designs

As the market for small cells matures, operators are looking for highly capable, infrastructure-grade picocell products. If cost-effective enough, these products will serve the bulk of indoor infrastructure deployments as well.

Perfect timing: performing clock division with jitter and phase noise measurements

Some practical pointers and observations to assist in situations where clock signals have been divided down from higher frequency voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs).

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.

Low-Power Design
Hardware and software issues in low-power design. Accurate power estimation and measurement.
Track Chair: John Donovan, Editor/Publisher, Low-Power Design (www.low-powerdesign.com)

Military/Aerospace Design

Hardware, software and methodology practices for military and aerospace applications. Use of these techniques in other application areas.
Track Chair: Dave Stewart, Director of Software Engineering, InHand Electronics, Inc.

Product News

PLX Tech expands PCIe Gen3 switch family

PLX Technologies' three new multi-root devices offer several DMA engines and multiple ports for non-transparency and spread-spectrum-clock isolation.

ST's M24LR64 wireless EEPROM memory combined with NFC technology enables new consumer apps

ST's M24LR64 dual-interface wireless EEPROM memory can transmit and receive information from within an application to a smartphone containing near-field communication (NFC)* technology or to an industrial RFID (radio-frequency identification) reader, allowing for transactions, data exchange, object identification, and tracking to occur rapidly.

NeoPhotonics Adds 40km and 80km versions to SFP+ transceivers for high-capacity metro network apps

NeoPhotonics Corporation has added 40km and 80km versions to its line of 6G SFP+ transceivers for Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) and 10G SFP+ transceivers for 10G Ethernet and OC-192/STM-64 SONET/SDH Transport.

Hercules MCU platform eases safety system certification

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