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Articles & Papers

When should you plan for Power in FPGS System?

It’s important to think about and plan for a power system at the outset of the design. As FPGAs continue to become increasingly powerful, adequately powering these devices becomes even more critical to unlock their full potential. Lower voltage requirements for FPGAs and processors create additional challenges, especially at higher currents, that require serious attention when designing the power architecture for a new platform.

Software Design Considerations to Minimize Power Consumption on Freescale i.MX

New demands on embedded devices are pushing power capacities to their limits. Power optimizations are often left to the very end of the design cycle, almost as an afterthought. In this session we will explore design considerations that should be made early in the development process. View on-demand Web Seminar

Using ARM Modules for Secure Applications

As communication between devices in the consumer world become more prevalent so does the issue of security. Recently TQ has partnered with two operating systems’ companies to demonstrate how a user of the TQ modules can protect their product from being compromised by hackers.

Is Google a threat to electronic component distributors?

Google is synonymous with search, and due to its overwhelming dominance, nearly everything a search engine optimising professional does is to ensure we comply with best practice, and avoid the penalties. One such best practice is the use of structured markup – using tags to define the context of content – which helps Google (and other search engines) understand products, events, people, etc, which helps them to deliver more relevant search results. But a problem is looming.

Building Blocks for the IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming industries across the globe. By connecting billions of devices to the Internet, each other, and the cloud, businesses can save trillions of dollars each year in operating costs. Yet the growth of IoT has not accelerated as quickly as it could due to market fragmentation and a shortage of end-to-end solutions.

SIMPORT MOSFET Simulation Tool

SimPort makes it easy to calculate efficiency, predict real-word performance, simulate a design, and track your findings. NXP's SimPort is a live interactive environment to simulate MOSFET performance and provides analysis beyond that available from a data sheet. The Active Datasheet lets you vary the test conditions and redraw many of the graphs typically provided in a conventional datasheet.

Cracking the Android Code

With its rich application framework, native multimedia capabilities, massive app ecosystem, familiar user interface, and rapid time to market, Android offers exciting new opportunities for developers to create innovative new embedded systems and devices and open up new markets.

Addressing Design Challenges in 32-bit Microcontrollers

This paper outlines the design features that are implemented in MIPS® processor cores that contribute to its industry-leading performance. Additionally, we’ll compare and contrast MCU design solutions based on the MIPS and ARM architectures– the two most popular embedded processor IP architectures.

Grounding in mixed-signal systems demystified - Part 1

The need for processing analog signals with a wide dynamic range imposes the requirement to use high-performance ADCs and DACs. Maintaining performance in a noisy digital environment is dependent upon using good circuit design techniques like proper signal routing, decoupling, and grounding.

Welcome to the Wizard of OS, a bi-weekly blog where we will pull back the curtain to share insights from a leading wizard in the embedded industry. The next 8 episodes will feature Bill Lamie of Express Logic in:

Multitasking Mysteries Revealed

Episode 2

Back in the “old days,” around the time of the UNIVAC and CDC mainframes, embedded systems were emerging, mainly for military applications that required real-time operating systems (RTOS) or “executives.” These systems could respond to real-time events and handle other tasks in the background while waiting for the next event. These early RTOSes employed foreground/background architectures, where the background was controlled by a “Big Loop” type of sequential scheduler and the foreground was a glorified ISR.

The Big Loop Scheduler became a problem. As memory expanded and applications grew, the loop expanded and responsiveness declined. Multitasking offered a mixed mode of adjusted background scheduling, where real-time events could influence the scheduling of background tasks.

Multitasking proved to be a lot more efficient than the Big Loop, and became the backbone of all modern RTOS architecture and even multithreading hardware schedulers like those found in MIPS and Intel processors.

What does this have to do with today’s embedded systems?  Check back in two weeks for some thoughts on that!. But, if you can’t wait, here is a link to the entire article. (PDF)

Energy Harvesting for Ultra-Low-Power MCUs

Portable designs have long been hampered by the laws of supply and demand—an insufficient supply of energy and an excess of demand for it. Battery technology hasn’t progressed much since the advent of Li-Ion cells, and unless you’re comfortable with a thorium-based energy source there isn’t a lot of room for improvement.

On the demand side semiconductor engineers have made great strides over the last 10 years or so reducing power consumption. Moore’s Law has helped a great deal, but so have a host of other clever innovations including multiple clock and power domains, dynamic voltage and frequency scaling, power gating, and multiple sleep states. Today Renesas is well justified in referring to their RL78 and RX100 families of MCUs as “ultra-low-power.” More

Industry News