Advertisement
On Design
Subscribe to On Design
View Sample

FREE Email Newsletter

When Good Memories Go Bad – Data Recovery of Flash Media

July 2, 2009 7:55 am | by Sean Barry, Kroll Ontrack, www.krollontrack.com | Articles | Comments

Computer hard disk drive storage has an impressive history of technological advances, from the RAMAC storage systems in the 1950s to perpendicular recording introduced a few years ago. The advancement of these technologies has increased the density of today’s hard disk drives to the terabyte range. Along the way frustrations with new storage technology have been proprietary equipment formats, initial high investments, and failed expectations of reliability.

New PICMG 2.30 Draft Standard for cPCI Can Extend Legacy System Life

May 22, 2009 10:14 am | by Charles Staley and Lindsay Powell, 3M Electronic Solutions, www.3m.com | Articles | Comments

To take advantage of advances in high-speed serial data transmission technologies, PICMG is releasing a new option for its popular CompactPCI standard. The new PICMG 2.30 Compact PCI PlusIO standard is based on PICMG 2.30 core specification and defines the migration path from parallel PCI to the serial PCI Express.

A Visit to the 2009 Embedded Systems Conference – Part II

May 18, 2009 11:37 am | Articles | Comments

With over 8,000 attendees, this year’s Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) was a pleasant surprise to an industry expecting a low turnout. Held in San Jose from March 30 to April 2, the event had a nice assortment of new tech and devices. Here is our second portion of our two-part coverage of the event.

Advertisement

Embedded Systems 2009

April 23, 2009 7:23 am | Product Releases | Comments

Here are a few pictures we took ont he floor of the 2009 Embedded Systems Confernce. Recognize anyone?

A Visit to the 2009 Embedded Systems Conference

April 16, 2009 6:55 am | Atmel Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

With over 8,000 attendees, this year’s Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) was a pleasant surprise to an industry expecting a low turnout. Held in San Jose from March 30 to April 2, the show demonstrated that while the economy may be depressed, the design engineering community isn’t.

Two Paths Lead to FIR Filters

March 23, 2009 11:07 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Because finite impulse response (FIR) filters use a mathematical algorithm to process information, engineers rely on them when an analog filter just won't do. “FIR filters appeal to people who don't want to become filter designers”, explained Grant Griffin, President, Iowegian International. "They just want to use a filter to solve a problem

6LoWPAN Goes Where ZigBee Can't

February 12, 2009 8:25 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Many “standard” and proprietary protocols use the media-access controller (MAC) and the physical circuits (PHY) associated with IEEE 802.15.4 radios. Those protocols use their own arrangements of bits and bytes to transfer information between nodes, but none of them use the Internet Protocol (IP). So they cannot directly communicate with Internet-based devices and Web servers/browsers.

Linux Update

January 20, 2009 6:19 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

A view of Linux from several perspectives will help embedded-system designers better understand how they can use this open-source operating system. Experts at Eurotech, Texas Instruments, and Rowebots share their approaches. "Contrary to what some engineers might think, Linux provides a mature operating system," said Arlen Nipper, president and CTO at Eurotech. "You can obtain best-in-class security, TCP/IP stacks, and support for wireless networking, for example. The associated code drops into Linux and works right away."

Advertisement

Embedded Systems: Ethernet Modules Act Like SBCs

December 23, 2008 8:45 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers offer a variety of small modules that let engineers easily add an Ethernet port to a design. They may need only a UART or I2C port in a main system to communicate with and control one of these modules. But if engineers stop there they will miss many other capabilities offered by these modules--actually single-board computers (SBCs).

FPGAs Offer More Flexible, Affordable Embedded System Solutions

December 23, 2008 5:51 am | by Stephen Cunha, MEN Micro, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Potential solutions for providing application-specific functionality in embedded systems typically come with trade-offs in terms of cost and time to market. With few projects having the lead-time, budget or high-volume payback potential to tool-up for custom chip or hardware production runs, the best answers often revolve around "modular" solutions.

Embedded Systems: A Legacy and a Bright Future for the VMEbus

December 5, 2008 11:05 am | by Ray Alderman, Executive Director, VITA | Articles | Comments

In October of 1981, three semiconductor companies announced the open-architecture VMEbus, spawned by the introduction of the Motorola 68000 microprocessor. After 27 years, the VMEbus still holds the largest market share of all buses and boards. Today's bus technologies have lives measured in months, so why has the VMEbus survived and prospered while other buses have rapidly gone by the wayside? (Engineers use the terms VMEbus and VME interchangeably.)

Embedded Systems: C and C++ Tools Reduce Code Errors

November 19, 2008 8:44 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Programmers now have many tools that help reduce or eliminate problems. Unfortunately, they might not know these tools exist. "In 1998, the UK's Motor Industry Software Reliability Association (MISRA) published their standard for the C language to promote 'safe C' in the UK automotive industry," explained Chris Tapp, a field-applications engineer at LDRA. "The software industry has seen MISRA-C as a way to encourage good programming practice, focus on coding rules, and ensure well designed and tested safe code."

Embedded Systems: Take a New Look at Ada

October 28, 2008 11:14 am | by Robert Dewar, President and CEO, AdaCore | Articles | Comments

The world of computer technology has two incompatible characteristics. First, many computer systems have long lives. Second, students and many engineers pay attention to only the latest technologies and they believe old technologies have died out. The "yesterday's-fashion” phenomenon has applied to the Ada programming language, too. If engineers have heard of Ada at all, they may assume it is an old US Department of Defense technology that disappeared long ago.

Advertisement

Embedded Systems: Kits for Kids

October 15, 2008 6:17 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

I'll begin this column with a recommendation: Start kits with a set of basic hand tools. When my son went to college, he had tools to hang pictures, connect TV sets and CD players, and tighten desks and shelves. As a result, he met most of the people on his co-ed floor. When our daughter went to college she got a tool kit, too. I suggest Phillips and flat-blade screwdrivers, pliers, diagonal cutters, wire strippers and a couple of adjustable wrenches. Later you could add a set of nut drivers, sockets wrenches and an inexpensive soldering iron.

Embedded Systems: Safeguard Ethernet Interfaces from Cable Discharges

September 26, 2008 4:39 am | by Timothy Puls, Product Marketing Engineer and Hani Geske, Senior Applications Engineer, Semtech Corporation | Articles | Comments

Protecting Ethernet interfaces from cable discharges can create a challenge for engineers because good protection must meet two criteria. First, and most important, a protective device must effectively clamp a transient to a safe voltage. Second, the device must present an acceptable capacitive load on high-speed differential transmission lines. Good planning and careful selection of transient voltage-suppression devices can adequately protect Ethernet interfaces from electrostatic discharges (ESDs) and cable discharge events.

Embedded Systems: Sniff ZigBee Packets

August 29, 2008 9:14 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

When engineers tackle a project that uses ZigBee communications they may get a surprise. Unlike point-to-point communications, ZigBee involves a network that can establish nodes, repeaters and complex mesh topologies. The proper test tools--often called "sniffers"--help engineers diagnose ZigBee-network problems that could otherwise turn into nightmares.

Embedded Systems: The 16-to-32-Bit Migration Gets Smoother(2)

August 4, 2008 12:30 pm | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

At one time, the gulf between 16- and 32-bit processors seemed wide and deep, so engineers had a difficult time making the transition from one realm to the other. Many processor manufacturers have helped eliminate that gulf and many development boards and tools simplify the migration between those realms.

Embedded Systems: ESC Update

July 1, 2008 12:50 pm | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

If you have not recently--or ever--attended the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, you owe it to yourself and your company to go. This conference and its many exhibits give you opportunities to talk with colleagues and technical experts. Unlike some shows, vendors send their engineering gurus to ESC, so when you stop at an exhibit you can talk about hardware and software with fellow engineers who speak your languages. You will get a taste of some of the products introduced at ESC in this column. Our online column includes information about more new products announced at the show.

Embedded Systems: Two Routes Lead to Software Defined Radio

June 30, 2008 6:35 am | Articles | Comments

A bit of C code that runs on a microprocessor does not create a software-defined radio (SDR). Most SDRs use a traditional signal-sampling technique, followed by much software massaging of data. But semiconductor companies can now put more of the analog signal-handling elements on a chip. This column provides an update on both techniques.

ESC Update(2)

May 19, 2008 1:45 pm | Articles | Comments

Kits for Kids 2008

April 28, 2008 10:55 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

With summer vacation on the way, keep kids occupied with engineering-like activities and projects.

Side Bar: Get a Trusted Security Certificate

March 24, 2008 6:46 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Jon Titus exlains that you can buy digital certificates to identify your products and provide a public/private key for each.

Security Goes Beyond Cryptography

March 20, 2008 9:45 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

“When engineers start to network devices, security becomes a top design requirement,” said Tim Stapko, lead software engineer at Digi International. “But many designers of embedded systems just don’t think about security. When they do, they might consider security as an add-in option or think of security as simply encrypting communications.”

Books and Boards 2006

March 5, 2008 5:56 am | Articles | Comments

Jon Titus reviews Silicon Labs ToolStick Starter Kit and Robert Oshana's DSP Software Development Techniques for Embedded and Real-Time Systems.

Small Logic Analyzers Pack in the Bits

February 25, 2008 10:09 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Small logic analyzers put many digital channels, trigger options and I/O capabilities in an instrument that engineers can consider as their own. These small analyzers connect through a USB port to a host PC that controls functions and displays, and saves information.

X
You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
Loading