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GlobalSpec: Embedded Computers & Networks Special Edition
Embedded Computers & Networks
Avoiding Soft Errors
Avoiding Soft Errors

Keeping data stored in memory from becoming corrupted is essential in any system, but is critical in embedded systems, particularly those in safety-, life-, or mission-critical applications. But as device dimensions shrink and functional density skyrockets, as on-chip memory size increases into the gigabytes range, the mean time between failures shrinks. The cause is soft errors, primarily from single-event upset (SEU). As this article at eetimes.com points out, because such soft errors are unavoidable, designers should consider implementing error correction in their memory system design.

Coming Soon: GlobalSpec's ONLINE Aerospace Technology Event — October 24, 2012
Coming Soon: GlobalSpec's ONLINE Aerospace Technology Event — October 24, 2012

Join key manufacturers and industry professionals from around the globe at GlobalSpec's Aerospace Technology event. Explore the latest trends impacting aircraft design, assembly, and test, and meet with leading suppliers and component manufacturers. Watch for registration details.

Exhibitor Opportunities
Speaking Opportunities

NXP Lighting Boards at Mouser
NXP Lighting Boards at Mouser
Mouser Electronics, Inc.
 

NXP LPC ARM® Cortex™-M0 Lighting Solutions deliver the industry's first development platforms for DALI (office and dimmer applications), DMX (stage and architectural lighting), and KNX (home and building control) lighting control systems based on NXP's low-cost, low-power 32-bit ARM® Cortex™-M0 processors. Learn more at Mouser.

Closed Loop Servo Inclinometers/Accelerometers
Closed Loop Servo Inclinometers/Accelerometers
Meggitt Sensing Systems — Measurement Group

Meggitt Sensing Systems has announced the North American market introduction of its Sensorex SX41200 series, a family of single axis, rugged, gravity referenced closed-loop servo inclinometers/accelerometers, designed to provide high-reliability tilt or acceleration measurements within harsh environments.

Better Things in Small Packages

Better Things in Small Packages Shrinking the form factor of military-grade embedded computers to the size of the average paperback allowed designers to pack more computational power into ground vehicles, robots, UAVs, and other platforms. Now, with complete computer systems down to the size of credit cards, it is possible to increase the functional density of onboard electronics on these platforms even further. In addition, individual soldiers can carry or wear complete systems without adding unduly to their weight burden. This overview piece at militaryaerospace.com highlights the latest advances in shrinking embedded computer form factors.

New 70MIPS dsPIC® Digital Signal Controllers!
New 70MIPS dsPIC® Digital Signal Controllers!
Microchip Technology, Inc.
 
 

Microchip's new dsPIC33E family enables advanced control algorithms with 70MIPS of performance! Offering the simplicity of an MCU with the computing power of a DSP, the dsPIC® DSC accelerates real time applications including motor control, digital power conversion, solar energy systems, and advanced sensors.

For more information, Visit the Microchip Web site.

LSM 2020X Series, High Current Inductor
LSM 2020X Series, High Current Inductor
Precision Incorporated
 
 

Precision Inc. introduces three new LSM product families: The LSM-2020X, the LSM-22221, and the LSM-2828X. The LSM 2020X series offers three pad construction, low core loss, and high efficiency performance. Product family segments six groups, based on device height, ranging from 8.64 mm to 13.97 mm.

MCASE Embedded Computer with Mini-ITX Enclosure
MCASE Embedded Computer with Mini-ITX Enclosure
Emerson Network Power Embedded Computing

The MCASE series of embedded computers from Emerson Network Power consists of a Mini-ITX enclosure featuring the MITX-CORE-800 motherboard. MCASE is a fully configured application-ready platform ready to be powered up and loaded with applications.

Securing ARM-based Systems

Securing ARM-based Systems Xilinx's Zynq-7000 programmable platform is being designed in to industrial, medical, automotive, software defined radio, and other embedded applications. The Zynq-7000 EPP is built around a dual-core Cortex-A9 MPCore processor with programmable logic. Most systems based on the device must be secure, and one approach to achieving the required level of security is a combination of an RTOS with inherent security features, an IDE, JTAG, and trace-enabled processor probes. The combination is now available in a development package from a single vendor.

InnoDisk SATADOM: Supporting New Intel Romley Serv
InnoRobust II SATA SSD: Rugged Design for Military and Mission Critical Applications
InnoDisk USA Corporation

InnoRobust II SSD features iCell technology, Quick Erase, Security Erase, Write Protect, and Destroy functions to protect and secure data in mission critical environments. Furthermore, InnoRobust II, compliant with MIL-STD-810-F/G, includes an integrated thermal sensor for temperature control and iSMART feature to monitor product lifespan. InnoRobust II: Your best data protection solution!

Highest Density Embedded Flash MCU
Highest Density Embedded Flash MCU
Atmel Corporation
 
 

With 2MB of embedded Flash, the SAM4SD32 from Atmel Corporation is the ideal device for industrial and consumer applications requiring increased program memory, data storage, and low power consumption. Such applications include wireless thermostats, GPS sport watches, smart meters, and 1D bar code readers.

RISC-based Embedded Computers with GSM/GPRS
RISC-based Embedded Computers with
GSM/GPRS
Moxa Inc.
 

The W315A and W325A are embedded Linux computers that feature one or two software selectable RS-232/422/485 ports, one Ethernet port, and quad-band GSM/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 MHz for cellular communications. Both the W315A and W325A come with an SD socket for external storage expansion. From Moxa Inc.

See C++ Coding for Embedded Explained

See C++ Coding for Embedded Explained There are different categories of "real time." Probably the most demanding, in terms of coding, is "hard" real time. C++ is considered by many to be less than ideal for hard real time embedded programming, but as shown in this (one hour, 36 minutes) video from the C++ Now 2012 conference, the language provides facilities that allow for code that executes faster than plain C while being easier to maintain. The case study examines a hard real time embedded system over a two-year period, during which aspects of the data handling bandwidth of the system were improved by an order of magnitude without changing hardware.

Develop on a New Launchpad

Develop on a New Launchpad There is a new Launchpad development kit based on TI's Piccolo™ 32-bit TMS320F2802x floating-point microcontroller. Included in the kit is a development board, with all necessary components and on-board XDS100 JTAG. A complimentary copy of Code Composer Studio v5 is also part of the package. The kit is intended to help designers develop code for applications such as digital motor control, lighting, and power conversion. For those interested in lighting control alone, an LED BoosterPack is available as an extra.

New Multicore for Automotive Mixes It Up

New Multicore for Automotive Mixes It Up While not as safety-critical as engine, braking, and traction control systems, automotive infotainment centers do convey important information to the driver. Glitch-prone, improperly coded software could therefore distract a driver with display problems and compromise safety. A new asymmetric multicore processor (ARM® Cortex™-A5 + Cortex™-M4) is specifically designed for embedded automotive applications that run on Linux platforms. An important feature of the new device is on-chip error correction code (ECC) for all on-chip memory controllers. Memory complement includes up to 1.5 Mbytes of SRAM on-chip and a controller for off-chip NAND Flash. A brief video from the manufacturer elaborates on the device's features.

Multicore Eases Some Constraints

Multicore Eases Some Constraints Traditionally, embedded systems were constrained by the need for simplicity — cost, reliability, thermal management, support, and life-cycle reasons have been, and in many cases still are the drivers. But with the advent of new process and power-conservation technologies, more flexible and powerful multicore processors can be used in embedded platforms. Thus, some of the historic constraints are loosened, allowing designers to create more powerful embedded systems without straying from the fundamental principles of embedded systems design.

Debugging Embedded C Code on a Desktop

Debugging Embedded C Code on a Desktop Many embedded systems do not offer a convenient user interface, making it problematic to perform debugging during the development phase. A senior engineer at an aerospace electronics firm explains how, for code written in C, he uses simple shell programs, also written in C and running under a desktop operating system, to create simulated sensor data. The writer has used Linux, as he was developing in that environment and the OS has a decent array of shell tools, but the approach works as well under Windows or OS-X. The advantage here is that problems can be identified early in the development process, without having the processor and associated hardware connected to actual sensors.

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August 17, 2012 - Volume 2 Issue 3
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