Category Archives: Research

R&D, studies, surveys

Intel Architecture White Papers

Why Intel Architecture is Right for your Embedded Application
“Make” versus “buy” is a complex business decision faced by all embedded system Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Expediency, time-to-market challenges, upfront hardware development costs, and the broad availability and breadth of commercial solutions frequently tilt the scale in favor of using proven, off-the-shelf products. The top-to-bottom scalability of the embedded IA product line enables hundreds of board-level solutions ranging from small form factor modules to full ATCA systems. Available from a wide range of board and solution providers within the Intel ECA, these solutions deliver scalable, power-efficient processing for a wide range of applications, an established programming environment, and a clear product roadmap for a reliable path to the future.

Implementing Firmware on Embedded Intel Architecture: Design Guidelines
Embedded Intel architecture designs include a firmware stack which initializes CPU cores, memory, IO, peripherals, graphics and provides runtime support for operating systems. This paper gives a high-level overview of a number of firmware technologies to be considered on Embedded Intel architecture designs. Many links to external references are included. Because of its inherent complexity and number of technologies to be considered, the general recommendation is made that OEM Embedded Intel architecture firmware design teams consider starting with an available solution from an IBV, ISV or the Intel ecosystem and build on it to meet their particular product requirements.

An Introduction to Intel Architecture: The Basics
Intel architecture is a powerful computing architecture that utilizes some fundamental ingredients for specific functions. The basic workings of these ingredients may not be intuitive to those who have never designed with Intel architecture in the past. The goal of this paper is to describe the basic operation and function to the platform for the ingredients used in three classes of Intel architecture platforms. The paper will focus on the platforms featuring the Intel Atom processor, the Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and the Intel Core i7 processor.

ADRES Processor Architecture for Dynamically Reconfigurable Embedded Systems

IMEC announced the second generation of their ADRES processor architecture (architecture for dynamically reconfigurable embedded systems). ADRES now supports multithreading, and has doubled its performance and energy efficiency compared to the first ADRES generation. This positions ADRES as a building block for future 4G devices. ADRES can be licensed from IMEC and is targeted at chip manufacturers. Companies interested in further developing this technology are welcome to join in IMEC’s collaborative research.

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VDC Embedded Real-Time and Mobile Application OS Research

According to VDC Research Group’s research report on Embedded/Real-Time & Mobile Application OSs, the challenging economic climate has led to a more cautious embedded systems development approach. Previously, engineering staffs would have made more of the software purchasing decisions. Now the process has become more controlled and process-oriented. As a result of reduced engineering resources, tighter budgets, and sustained time-to-market pressures, OEMs are vigorously reevaluating their “build-versus-buy” cost analysis.

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Embedded Processor Market

According to VDC’s Embedded Systems Practice, embedded processor unit shipments in 2008 were over 10 billion in the year ended 2008. Embedded processor categories included embedded CPUs, DSPs, FPGAs, and MCUs. The vast majority of this embedded processor market are microcontrollers, which are low-cost autonomous embedded processing units used in embedded applications that have lower-end processing requirements. Embedded CPUs, DSPs, and FPGAs all typically provide higher levels of processing performance than MCUs and command much higher average selling prices (ASPs), but exist in far smaller unit quantities, making MCUs also the largest dollar volume segment of the four embedded processing technologies.

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Embedded Software Engineering Market Statistics

VDC Research’s Embedded Systems Market Statistics reports offer a detailed, vertical-by-vertical analysis of key embedded industries. The provides estimates for the Total Market for Embedded Software Engineering (TMESE), which VDC believes represents more than $25 billion worldwide. The TMESE calculation stems from recent upgrades to VDC’s Embedded Systems Market Statistics Model. This model also provides key metrics regarding the global engineering population and embedded projects, with an emphasis on vertically-, regionally-, and task-specific analysis.

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White Papers – 2009.02.08

Recent additions to our white papers directory:

Benefits of Embedded Database
This white paper discusses the benefits of incorporating an embedded database into applications for embedded, intelligent, and mobile devices

Near Field Communication in the Real World – Moving to System on Chip Integration
This paper outlines the business case for NFC integration and highlights the key considerations that need to be taken into account when implementing a custom NFC design

Data Management for Portable Media Players
A relational database stored on inexpensive NAND flash memory is a simple solution for the organization of media on a portable media player

What are Femtocells and Picocells?
This white paper is about the business opportunity and challenges of Femtocells and Picocells

AWR Visual System Simulator
The white paper demonstrates how AWR Visual System Simulator (VSS) software suite for design and optimization of communications systems offers a modern solution

Data Management Challenges in Industrial Control Systems
This white paper from ITTIA provides an overview of industrial control systems and the role of embedded database in real-time processing

How to improve the Performance of a Mesh Wireless Sensor Network
This white paper presents Diversity Path Mesh, a technology designed to maximize the most important performance factors of wireless mesh networks, as well as their trade-off envelope

Trust me, I’m not a doctor
This white paper explains these new developments and highlights the opportunities that exist for new players to disrupt the market for consumer healthcare

VDC Embedded Real-time and Mobile Application Operating Systems Study

Venture Development Corporation (VDC) recently released their Embedded/Real-time and Mobile Application Operating Systems study. According to VDC, the overall embedded software code base is growing at a rate of approximately 9% per year. VDC concludes that system complexity is driving the need for greater amounts of software content per project. VDC expects projects using commercial and open source operating systems to represent the bulk of total embedded software code base growth going forward. In addition, VDC’s findings suggest that engineers working on projects using commercial, open source, and in-house operating systems, as well as those using no formal operating system (running on their target system), to employ significantly greater amounts of software code on their next embedded design.

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532-MHz Freescale i.MX31 EEMBC Benchmark Scores

The Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) recently published certified benchmark scores for the ARM processor-based Freescale i.MX31 multimedia applications processor. Tested with the ARM RealView RVCT 3.1 build 559 compiler, the new results supersede a previous set of certified scores using a GCC version 3.43 compiler. The 532-MHz Freescale i.MX31 was tested in an out-of-the-box environment against four EEMBC benchmark suites – AutoBench 1.1, ConsumerBench 1.1, OABench 1.1, and TeleBench 1.1 – yielding extensive data on the processor’s expected performance in automotive/industrial, digital imaging, office automation, and fixed telecom applications.

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VDC Releases Embedded Linux Research

According to a recently published research by Venture Development Corporation (VDC), embedded systems manufacturers and their suppliers are driving the development of open source and industry-specific standards around Linux as a means to increase availability of more robust underlying solution platforms and development environments. The new standards enable OEMs to reduce development costs and time-to-market while at the same time keeping pace with the advancing and unique requirements of the customers.

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Google Android and the Wireless Ecosystem

Mobile Consumer Lab and Mind Commerce recently published a report about Google’s Android. The 55-page report, entitled “Google Android and the Wireless Ecosystem” looks through the hype and cynicism that has surrounded Google’s official unveiling of Android and analyzes the significance of Android versus competitive platforms such as Symbian, Windows Mobile and MontaVista, as well as competing devices such as Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s Blackberry.

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