Category Archives: Articles

Embedded Star article and contribute articles about the EDA industry

White Paper: Minimizing Energy Consumption in Inductive Sensing Applications

By Anders Guldahl

Introduction

Sensing is all about the ability to detect or measure changes in physical properties. In the context of an electronic control system, the requirement is to translate a parameter such as temperature, pressure or movement into an electrical signal. While some sensors directly produce a voltage output, which provides the ideal input for a microcontroller-based system, the majority of sensors depend on resistive, inductive or capacitive circuit elements whose behavior varies according to a known characteristic. These sensors typically require an external circuit to convert their output into a measurable signal for capture by a microcontroller (MCU).

Continue reading

White Paper: How to Minimize Energy Consumption in Resistive Sensing Applications

Introduction

The ease with which resistance can be measured, coupled with the large number of simple, low-cost devices whose resistance changes with other physical properties, accounts for the wide range of resistive sensing applications. These include measuring temperature, pressure, humidity, position, displacement, etc. using electro-mechanical devices like potentiometers or other transducers such as thermistors and piezo-resistive strain gauges.

Continue reading

White Paper: How to Minimize Energy Consumption in Capacitive Sensing Applications

Introduction

Capacitive sensing is all about the ability to measure the capacitance, or more often the change in capacitance, between two or more electrodes. As a technique it is frequently employed to detect proximity or position but can also be used to measure humidity, fluid level and acceleration. Because capacitive sensing supports such a diverse range of applications, solutions are found in many different markets — from industrial, automotive and medical through to consumer. And as more and more electronic products are being designed with touchpads and touchscreens we are seeing an explosion in the use of capacitive sensing technology to provide the vital human machine interface (HMI).

Continue reading

Leveraging Open Source Software in Embedded Software Development

Open source software has become an entrenched component of embedded systems within the last decade. Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and the key investor in LinkedIn, recently announced that “software is eating the world.” There are more instances of embedded software in the world today than any other type of software combined. It is at the heart of transportation, safety, health care, food, agriculture, defense, entertainment and therefore virtually every sector of industry that one way or another touches our everyday lives.

Continue reading

Model-Based Design Reduces ASIC Development Time

Semtech, a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, reduced their ASIC development time by adopting Model-Based Design (with MathWorks MATLAB and Simulink). Using system models for simulation and automatic HDL generation, Semtech engineers created FPGA prototypes 50% faster, reduced verification time from weeks to days, and shortened development time by 33% compared to their previous hand-coded VHDL methodology.

Continue reading

Contributed Article: Best Practices – Memory Management in C and C++

C and C++ programmers very often allocate and de-allocate memory on the heap without the proper understanding on how these low-level facilities work and what happens underneath. But these memory related problems becomes a great concern in the systems with shortage of almost all the resources including memory, like embedded real-time systems. This dynamic behavior tends to be non-deterministic and the failure is hard to contain. Similarly memory allocation failure on such systems can be fatal. Unlike a desktop application, most embedded systems do not have the opportunity to pop up a dialog and discuss options with the user. Often, resetting is the only option, which is unattractive. This technical paper attempts to discuss the strategies to achieve clean code and appropriate memory management.

Continue reading

The Importance of Integration in Product Design

Integration is important in the product development world. Nearly every manmade object we come into contact with was likely the result of a team effort. As products continue to grow more complex and more integral to our lives, so do the required interactions and values amongst the development team involved. Companies now are under ever increasing pressures to differentiate through features, functions, manufacturing or materials. Products can no longer be simply passed down an assembly line of firms, receiving strategic insight, research, industrial, mechanical, electrical and other development work separately. Development programs must now allow transparency across the team, enabling each member to become highly involved with each step. Only then can we integrate goals, expertise and methodologies successfully.

Continue reading

Power Architecture Enabled Differentiated Solution for LTE

By Fawzi Behmann

This article is intended to provide status on LTE as a key technology enabler that will have impact on the entire telecom supply chain. LTE impact affects semiconductor SoC, communications networking infrastructure, mobile devices, applications and quality services transforming means of communications to a new level – higher speed, multimedia content and enriching personal experiences. The article will cover a number of important topics covering the needs for LTE, LTE market positioning and benefits, LTE market trends, deployment and applications, and LTE roadmap. The article will conclude with how Power Architecture technology is enabling differentiated solution for LTE.

Continue reading

Speeding FPGA Prototype Debug Process with Active Debug and Full Visibility

By Joe Gianelli and Tom Huang

Introduction
System integration continues to drive the semiconductor design market. This is most obvious when looking at the increased system integration associated with System on Chip (SoC) design over the last few years. Integrating complex hardware features with complex software applications onto one silicon device makes the validation process for today’s SoC designs a tricky one to say the least.

What have been increasingly popular to aid in this complex validation process are FPGA prototype systems. They run extremely fast, almost as fast as the production SoC, and have doubled in capacity every 18 months for the last 5 years. They also enable real world system interfaces to DDRAM, PCI, Ethernet, while using high-speed serial interfaces over 10 Gb/s.

Despite their current strides in speed, capacity, and real world high-speed interfaces, using these FPGA devices to help verify and validate SoC designs are difficult at best due to the many and long FPGA P&R compile times and poor visibility. InPA Systems proposes to address these issues with their active debug and full visibility technology.

Continue reading

Selecting the Right Computer on Module Vendor

By Maheshwari

Introduction
Engineers have always been faced with the question of whether or not a Computer-on-Module (COM) company is the right vendor to partner with. To help with the decision, I have written an article to help engineers select the ideal COM partner.

Target Usage
First, it is important to identify the applications for which a Computer-on-Module will be used for. Engineers have a range of applications and want to have the computer on module working across different applications. Obviously, engineers prefer not to develop expertise with several different COMs. To avoid this situation, engineers need to focus on the target applications. Think about the applications that will most likely be deployed in the next couple of years and determine if the COM will work with the apps. Once this is done, short list the vendors that can provide the COMs that meet the requirements.

Continue reading