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Posts Tagged ‘Altium’

Driving To the Shops with Graphics and Bluetooth

Monday, January 29th, 2018

The car’s the star this week, as bloggers look to upgrade models, examine the safety systems, and look at how to use graphics. Other posts concentrate on retail therapy and how Bluetooth can help warehouses manage stock and processes

There’s only 330 days shopping days until Christmas, and Intel’s Ryan Parker’s blog could change how those days pan out as retail is redefined with IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital signage combined with video to make the shopping experience to not only meet customer demands, but changing supply chains too.

Examining the backbone of automotive safety systems, Sandeep Taneja, Synopsys, presents an informed and well-illustrated post on what is needed and for what purpose in safety conscious vehicles.

Graphics double data rate (GDDR) memory has evolved to exceed the realm of gamers and is now used in vehicles. A blog by Rambus charts the changes and benefits of graphics technology for both inside and outside the car, and how it can be used in other markets.

The spread of the industrial IoT brings opportunities for warehouses of the future, writes Torbjørn Øvrebekk, Nordic Semiconductor. He looks at what the Bluetooth Mesh standard will mean and the benefits it will bring for networks and energy useage.

Corrie Callenbach, Cadence, has identified a great video hosted by Nick Heaton, distinguished engineer, Cadence, describing the verification challenges for SoCs when integrating CCIX (Cache Coherent Chip-to-Chip Protocol) IP.

Aligning CAD to a car leads an anonymous blogger at Altium to reminisce about old cars owned, cared for, restored, driven and abandoned when adulthood beckoned and manages to make a comparison with upgrading to the 64-bit world where PCB designers now live and work. Nostalgia mixes with practical tips on scaling up.

Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday, September 25th, 2017

This week, there are some prophecies: What does the future hold for the IoT and for vehicle design? Why is 3D facial recognition a sound idea and why the world should be divided into 3x3mm pieces.

A trillion devices in the IoT – and counting. Frank Schirrmeisster, Cadence, is worried about security, safety, design and verification and system architectures for the expanding IoT. Will next month’s Arm TechCon be able to allay some of this fears?

Calling for a holistic approach to DVFS, Don Dingee, Sonics, looks at what could be standing in the way of designers and what it might mean for IP sub-systems.

The reality of self-driving cars and the role of the connected car to achieve autonomous vehicles, is addressed by Randall Wollschlager, Maxim Integrated, in a Q&A with Christine Young.

Aiming to unite the world, Colin Walls, Mentor, calls for a universal GPS format that divides the world in to 3x3mm squares for pinpoint precision.

Channeling 007, CircuitStudio author, Altium, looks at the iPhone X and its 3D facial recognition technology, and examines how it’s done and for what ends.

Fresh from a trip to Asia, Sean Safarpour, Synopsys, is full of praise for formal verification and how it has been embraced by companies there.

Better than ‘dad dancing’ the robot dance is celebrated by Bob Rogers, Intel, who reviews the ‘Intel Day at Berkeley’. The event at UC Berkeley highlighted areas of research for AI, IoT, autonomous vehicles and surgeon robots.

Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday, August 14th, 2017

This week, the blogsphere reveals how FPGAs adopt a MeerKAT stance; OML brings life to Industry 4.0; Wearable pairing boosts charging and rigid-flex PCB design tips

A keen advocate of rigid-flex PCB design, Alexsander Tamari, Altium, offers sound design advice for the routing challenges that it may present. There is a link to an informative white paper too.

We love wearables but charging devices wirelessly can present problems, but luckily Susan Coleman, ANYS, is able to describe the company’s recent collaboration with RF2ANTENNA. She describes with tips for efficiency improvements using its tools.

Another classic challenge is taken on by Arthur Schaldenbrand, Cadence. He continues his analog design series and looks at process variation, and countering die costs, power dissipation, with reference to the use of Monte Carlo analysis.

Chip Design’s John Blyler talks to Mentor’s Director of Product Management, Warren Kurisu, about a biometrics game and increased productivity using the Cloud.

Discovering new galaxies is exciting but is demanding on processing power and memory speeds. Steve Leibson, Xilinx, reflects on what the MeerKAR radio telescope has achieved and how FPGAs have played a part.

Ruminating on this year’s SMT Hybrid Packaging event, Danit Atar, Mentor Graphics, reviews what she claims is the world’s first IoT live public demonstration of a manufacturing line, and how Open Manufacturing Language (OML) bring Industry 4.0 to life.

Software integrity is never far from an engineer’s mind, and David Benas, Synopsys, presents a compelling argument for implementing security measures into the software development life cycle (SDLC) from start to finish.

By Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Blog Review – Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday, July 24th, 2017

Let’s hear it for High Fidelity Gaming and it’s all about the IoT, with PCB schematic tips from Mentor and security from Maxim; Inside NI’s 5G test lab and hope for Parkinson’s Disease research

Serious gamers are intriguing Freddi Jeffries, ARM. She looks at High Fidelity Mobile Gaming (HFMG) and who’s adopting it and where. Can mobile devices, based on Mali graphics processing units (GPUs) take on the console market?

A personal and heart-felt post by Altium Designer, Altium, looks at medical advances in treating Parkinson’s Disease. An overview of research by assorted technology companies manages to combine various uses for spoons, concludes with a gentle plug for PCB design software.

Stil with PCBs, John McMillan, Mentor Graphics Design presents part four of an IoT PCB design-themed series. The topic is schematic and layout design, from creating the schematic to component placement and constraint management for effective manufacture.

IoT security is keeping Christine Young, Maxim Integrated occupied – she is keeping busy finding out the scale of cybercrime, and the worrying lack of action companies to take steps for security. She flags up a free webinar on how to safeguard connected devices.

Taking a practical approach is applauded by Michael DeLuca, ON Semiconductor. He likes the attitude of the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart, whose students are preparing to launch its Flying Laptop satellite.

Taking a sneaky peek at the National Instruments’ 5G Innovation Lab, Steve Leibson, Xilinx, celebrates the company’s Virtex-7 and Kintex-7 FGPAs use in Verizon’s 5GTF (Verizon 5G Technology Forum) test equipment. The Forum is developing a 28/39GHz wireless communications platform to replace fiber in fixed-wireless applications.

By Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

Embedded World 2015 – An International View

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

With an accompanying conference program entitled ‘We are the Internet of Things’, the organisers of this year’s Embedded World, in Nuremberg, Germany, set out its stall with a clear message.
By Caroline Hayes, Senior Editor

The halls of Messe Nuremberg were teeming, as visitors came to find out what the 900+ exhibitors were showcasing. They came from 37 countries, the organisers say, for a true cross section of the embedded industry.

902 companies exhibited at this year's Embedded World, Nuremberg, Germany

As the companies battled for space on the exhibition floor, a number also partnered up to make announcements about collaborative efforts.

Green Hills Software was one such company, announcing tools and compilers for Imagination Technolgies’ MIPS CPU IP and also an announcement with ARM for the automotive space.

The Green Hills’ tools and compilers for Imagination’s MIPS CPU IP includes support for the microMIPS code compression instruction set architecture. It is available now and supports MIPS 64bit Warrior M-class and I-class CPUs. Hardware virtualization versions will be available in the second half of this year.

The collaboration with ARM is a compiler optimized for the ARM Cortex-R5 processor for automotive design. The latest version of the compiler scored 1.01EEMBC Automarks/MHz using the Cortex-R5 Traveo automotive MCUs from Spansion – a 30% increase on previous performance scores.

As an international show, Embedded World offers the chance to discover other cores from other nations. One such is Cortus, based in the south of France. The company announced three new partners porting to its architecture, and simultaneously highlighted its two latest cores (the 32bit APS23 and APS25, based on a Cortus v2 instruction set). There was also collaboration news, with the announcement that Blunk Microsystems is to offer Target Tools IDE for Cortus software development. The Eclipse-alternative embedded software CrossStep IDE and TargetOS RTOS is available now for the APS processor cores. It is, says the company, fast, small, and pre-emptive RTOS ported to the APS architecture.

Other partners were highlighted at the show, namely, the CycloneTCP, from Oryx Embedded, a dual IPv4/IPv6 stack which is interoperable with existing TCP/IP systems and ready for the next-generation of Internet connected designs, using the IPv6 protocol.

There was also the news that Nabto’s device software now offers Cortus licensees “Skype-like” secure point-to-point connectivity from devices to smartphones, PCs and big data systems. The device software has a small firmware footprint for minimalist processor cores.

Cloud Services
Announcements at the show related to IoT, including Wind River’s IoT-Enabled Helix Portfolio. The company announced additional application and data services in the cloud to its OS and IoT software platform via Wind River Edge Management System, its recent, cloud-based technology stack that is part of the Intel IoT Platform. The Helix portfolio covers secure and managed intelligent devices at the edge of the network, through gateways, across the network, and up into the cloud. The company has integrated Edge Management System, with VxWorks RTOS, Wind River Linux, and Wind River Intelligent Device Platform.

Wind River's Helix platform address IoT Cloud services

IoT professional services were also announced, such as an IoT start-up package, device agent configuration, application/agent interfacing, cloud applications development, and IoT safety and security requirements support.

The company also addressed the emerging markets of wearables and HPEC (High Performance Embedded Computing) markets with the Microkernel Profile for VxWorks. The small-footprint RTOS is designed to create IoT-ready differentiated devices, such as sensor hubs, microcontrollers, and wearables, as well as HPEC’s intensive data processing.

Automated testing
LDRA announced a collaboration, with Texas Instruments, supplying automated unit testing as part of the SafeTI Compliance Support Packages (CSPs) for the Hercules microcontroller software components. .

Safe-TI saves development time and is an example of the spirit of collaboration at this year's Embeddd World

The SafeTI CSPs save verification and development time by streamlining software validation and the static and dynamic analysis test results, with code traceability covering code quality metrics help customers comply with functional safety standards. The CSPs are now available for the HALCoGen software, a graphical device configuration and driver generation tool for Hercules MCUs, and also for the Hercules SafeTI Diagnostic Library, made up of software functions and response handlers.

LDRAunit is an IDE for automated unit test generation and management which can be used to re-execute the unit-level tests within their own environment in order to speed up system verification. Jim McElroy, Vice Presidnet of Marketing, LDRA, explained that it takes the smallest piece of testable software in an application, and isolates it from the rest of the code and determines whether it is behaving as it should. Code units can be tested separately before being integrated into modules and then systems. The benefit of this is that it is easier to identify parts of the code which may be falling short of expectations. It is also able to generate test case drivers in the application language, which can be C, C++, Ada or Java so that it is executable on the host development and target platform.

Lynx moves to ARM
Security was another mentioned in the same breath as IoT at Embedded World, and Lynx Software Technologies focused on security with its announcement that it is moving to ARM-based processors for its LynxOS 7.0 RTOS and LynxSecure separation kernel hypervisor.
Initially, the LynxOS 7.0 will migrate to the ARM Cortex-A processor cores, such as those available from Freescale, Texas Instruments and Xilinx.

LynxSecure is being migrated to Cortex-A processor cores that offer hardware virtualization support.
“Data security is always important, but in industrial, transport and health systems it is absolutely vital as the equipment may be implementing life-sustaining functionality,” said Nandan Nayampally, vice president of marketing, CPU group, ARM. “Moving LynxOS 7.0 to the ARM Cortex-A processor family will help our partners deliver on the promise of a secure, reliable and connected world,” he added.

The LynxSecure separation kernel hypervisor adds security features, such as isolation on a single hardware platform, and separating the memory, CPU and devices without requiring an auxillary OS. The hypervisor’s virtualization technology sits above the separation kernel, and uses hardware virtualization features found in the newest ARM cores, can provide performance very close to the native speeds for guest operating systems running in the isolated domains. The kernel can securely separate different networks in the IoT gateways, and it can securely partition persistent storage to isolate critical information from malicious threats.

Robert Day, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, LynxWorks Software described the separation kernel and “Type-0” hypervisor bare-metal architecture, as being designed from the ground up, which is the differentiating feature, he notes, as it removes the unnecessary functionality from the security sensitive hypervisor mode, yet virtualizes guest OSes in a small, standalone package. This combination allows it to run one or more guest OS (real-time or GPOS) on embedded, desktop or server platforms.

In addition to support for ARM, LynxOS 7.0 currently supports the most popular reference targets in the Intel and PowerPC architectures, explained Robert Day, including the Intel 4th Generation Core, and the Freescale QorIQ processors. LynxOS 7.0 Board Support Packages are available for targets from GE Intelligent Systems, Curtiss Wright, and Extreme Engineering.

Security was also a theme for Vector Software, as it announced the latest verison of its VectorCAST 6.3, with a micro harness architecture to address the smaller microprocessor of IoT and M2M applications.

The company believes that IoT and M2M will drive some intelligence back to the periphery of the network, making autonomous operation of end points a critical focus.

The new version also provides enhancements for test collaboration, Change-Based Testing (CBT), and massively parallel testing, designed to leverage test cases and test results across the enterprise. Code changes can be independently test by running only those tests affected by the source code changes, reducing test cycle times.

ARM mbed
Two more big names, ARM and IBM, used the show to unveil the ARM mbed IoT Starter Kit – the Ethernet Edition, engineered to channel data from Internet-connected devices directly into IBM’s Bluemix cloud platform.
ARM supplies the secure sensor environment and IBM provides cloud-based analytics, mobile and application resources, for prototyping both devices and services for the IoT.

The kit consists of an ARM mbed-enabled development board from Freescale, powered by an ARM Cortex-M4 based processor, together with a sensor IO application shield.

Future versions of the kit will run the new ARM mbed OS and use ARM mbed Device Server software to increase the range of security, communication and device management features that can be integrated. The pair also talked about future versions for cellular, Wi-Fi and Thread technologies.

“The Internet of Things is about bringing the physical and digital worlds closer together, to allow businesses to better understand and interact with what is happening around them,” said Meg Divitto, Vice President for IoT, IBM. “In order to make this work for businesses, it needs to be simple to connect physical devices into the cloud, and to build applications and insights around them. IBM Bluemix and the new ARM mbed starter kit are designed to substantially enhance that effort.”

Other ARM mbedOS news in Nuremberg, was the Express Logic announcement that it was to join the ARM mbed ecosystem for IoT product development. Its ThreadX RTOS and NetX Duo IPv6 network stack will support mbedOS with RTOS capabilities and networking for IoT networked applications, with the connectivity, security and device management for IoT devices.

Express Logic joins the ARM mbedOS ecosystem

ThreadX brings priority-based, pre-emptive scheduling and Preemption-Threhold Scheduling, priority inheritance, event chaining, event-trace, runtime stack analysis and deterministic processing, as well as safety certification for TUV IEC 6150 and IEC 62304 for medical, industrial and transportation applications, with DO-178B for avionics.

The addition of NetX Duo provides both IPv4 and IPv6 functionality for developers to configure interface addresses automatically through its Stateless Address Autoconfiguration protocol, to harness the billions of additional IP addresses that will be available with IPv6.

Australian company, Altium, made several announcements, including updates to its Designer PCB design tool. Atium Designer 15.1 now includes a wizard for xSignals that is claimed to save time on configuring length-matching rules, and a bikini overlay support has been added for rigid-flex designs, so that users can add layer to view in 3D. There is also now a 3D PDF output documentation, to view a PCB design in 3D from any compatible PDF viewer.

The company also announced the release of the TASKING C compiler for the Renesas RH850 microcontroller family and for the Generic Timer Module (GTM-IP MCS) from Robert Bosch.
The RH850 is used in many automotive applications and hte GTM IP module is used in generic timing for power train, power steering, chassis and transmission control.

The first stable release of the C compiler for the GTM/MCS will be available this month and joins the C compilers integrated into releases of TASKING’s automotive tool suites for Infineon’s TriCore/AURIX, Freescale’s Power Architecture Qorriva, STMicroelectronics’ Power Architecture SPC5xx as well as the Renesas RH850.

Caroline Hayes

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