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Articles & Papers

Should you buy an embedded module or build your own integrated design?

New product features, certification, increased performance and quicker design cycles are pressuring device manufacturers to reduce costs and still meet time-to-market requirements. Considerations like balancing increased performance and demands for lower design, manufacturing costs, freeing up engineering resources, or selecting the right OS and BSPs complicate the decision-making process. Sign up now for an innovative webinar using an on-line tool that calculates when and if you should buy or build.

Beagle I2C/SPI Analyzer & KatySat - Debugging on an educational satellite

The Space and Systems Development Laboratory (SSDL) develops innovative technologies for robust distributed systems, with special interest in space environments. The current satellite mission under development at the SSDL is the KatySat satellite, which provides a powerful educational outreach tool for K-12 students that can be readily expanded for future missions. To facilitate the KatySat mission, SSDL partnered with Total Phase, to provide students the tools necessary for embedded system development.

Power Integrations' New LYTSwitch-2 Family of Isolated LED-Driver ICs

Power Integrations’ new LYTSwitch-2 LED drivers facilitate repeatable driver performance and reduced component count, with up to 12 watts of accurately controlled output power for bulb, tube and ballast applications. LYTSwitch-2 devices deliver constant current and constant voltage output (CC/CV), achieving CC output regulation of +/-3% in a typical design. Circuits designed with LYTSwitch-2 parts deliver long lifetimes and high reliability – in even the toughest lighting conditions.

Introduction to SHA-256 Master/Slave Authentication

For years, SHA-1 authentication has been used to effectively protect intellectual property from counterfeiting and illegal copying. As computer technology advances, customers need an even higher level of security. Today a new group of secure authenticators and a companion secure coprocessor implement SHA-256 authentication. This new system provides advanced physical security to deliver low-cost IP protection, clone prevention, and peripheral authentication.

Securing Intelligent Systems from the Ground Up

Ever since 1982, when a Pennsylvania high school student unleashed Elk Cloner -the first known microcomputer virus to spread in the wild- cybersecurity technology has been playing catch-up. Viruses, Trojan horses, worms, back doors, spoofing, and other cyber-security threats are now part of everyone’s computer vocabulary. What’s next? For all of its promise, the Internet of Things is likely to become the greatest challenge for security technology to date, defying conventional security solutions, paradigms, and tools.

Scalable electronics driving autonomous vehicle technologies

Vehicles capable of autonomous operation are in the early stages of development for use on the roads. To move self-driving cars from vision to reality, auto manufacturers depend on enabling electronic technologies for sensing, sensor fusion, communications, and high-performance processing. Autonomous vehicle control systems have to be scalable to accommodate evolution as car models change and data loads increase with additional features and improved sensors. Innovations that can result in scalability include the use of distributed processing and localized sensor fusion.

Introduction to Electronic Circuits- Part 3

In this session we look at operational amplifiers (‘op-amps’) and their uses in amplifiers and comparators. An op-amp operates on analog input. It can be used to amplify or attenuate this input, and to carry out mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, integration, and differentiation. Because of their wide range of uses, op-amps are encountered in most electric circuits.

Prototyping the IoT with mbed from ARM

Developing smart connected products for the IoT creates a unique set of challenges for product development. Simultaneously, time-to-market pressures make switching to a modern 32-bit architecture challenging. More powerful devices and new tools must be mastered and this can work against timely execution of a product development cycle. This is a common scenario that mbed™ can address. mbed represents a paradigm shift for developers, allowing seamless transitions in the product development lifecycle.

Micrium's embedded systems solutions help drive the industry's biggest trend

As the industry progresses and the demands for embedded systems grow along with the rise of the Internet of Things, embedded developers are looking for a dependable way to support increasingly powerful MCUs for device communication. Christian Legare, Executive VP & CTO of Micrium talks about the ways in which the company plans to help develop the IoT and just how big the IoT will be in the embedded space.

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:

The Benefits of Multitasking

At the beginning of this column, I said multitasking can reduce overhead. Now, I’ve introduced overhead as one of the pitfalls of multitasking. What gives? Yes, multitasking does reduce overhead, compared to the alternatives. But, there still is a lot of overhead lurking in some designs, and that can be minimized. One of the most overlooked ways to reduce overhead in multitasking environments is to reduce the number of context switches.  This sounds like a great idea but how is it done?  The first technique is to limit the number of tasks.  The fewer tasks in the system, the fewer context switches.  Although reducing the number of tasks is a good start, it’s really task priorities that need close consideration. 

Next week, we’ll summarize and try to give you an idea of how to determine if multitasking, and a commercial RTOS is good for you. Comments

Should You Buy or Build?

Part 2: When is it best to use an embedded module? The simple answer is when there are not enough resources available, and resources take many forms: People, expertise, time, etc.

The configuration of the product circuit board is determined by its most complex part – the processor. Taking into the account the associated memory, power and the glue logic, it takes a 12-14 layer board to implement correctly. If an embedded module is used then the product circuit board can be implemented with a lot less layers which means a lot less design time, risk, testing and lower production costs particularly when the board needs to be respun either because of a bug or improvements in the product life cycle.

If overall development costs are less then the interest paid on these investments will also be less, reducing the overall project costs. Stay tuned for how the cost savings can add up. Comments

Learn True Low Power Design in a Day

If any field has been moving swiftly it’s low-power design. No matter how involved you are in the field there’s always something more to learn. Unfortunately the learning process is usually haphazard and time consuming: reading datasheets, articles, white papers, and books and searching numerous web sites.

Renesas has set out to address this problem with DevCon Extension 2014, a series of short courses and lab sessions to keep you updated on the latest hardware and software solutions and services for enhancing embedded system designs and overcoming development obstacles.

Click here to find out where when and how.

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