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).
McObject published a white paper about solutions for database durability and recoverability. The technical paper shares tests using the eXtremeDB IMDS and on-disk DBMS technology, along with commercially available hardware including Fusion ioDrive2 NAND flash memory from Fusion-io. The title of the article is: Seeking Fast, Durable Data Management: A Database System and Persistent Storage Benchmark.
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.
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).
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.
Intel sent us a technical paper about fanless design for embedded applications. Here is the abstract:
Embedded systems opportunities for Intel architecture components exist in point-of-sale, digital signage, and digital security surveillance, to name a few. When selecting Intel architecture, several key metrics are performance/watt, thermal design power (TDP), and fanless thermal solutions. The objective of this article is to provide readers with key reference fanless system design considerations to utilize in embedded applications. This article emphasizes analytical hand calculation for first-order approximations and provides computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation techniques to determine Intel architecture feasibility in fanless systems. Examples depicted illustrate fanless cooling design considerations for a point-of-sale system.
ITTIA published a white paper about the challenges of hard-coded data management. The white paper explores the use of custom binary and text file formats, and shows how they are inadequate for applications that are better served by a more suitable lightweight relational database solution. The technical paper is titled, Breaking the Flat File Barrier for Embedded Developers.