Design West Summit – 23-25 April 2013

Design West 2013, previously known as the Embedded Systems Confertence, will take place later this month, on 23-25 April to be exact, at San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, US. The event will be divided into 22 tracks dealing with software development, hardware design, operating systems, security and more: Android Certificate Program – Two-day hands-on embedded android workshop. Black Hat Summit – The Black Hat Embedded Security Summit will provide electronics professionals with essential information and tools, as well as a forum for the discussion and evaluation of the latest solutions for securing their embedded systems. Training courses will focus on topics such as Network Security, Incident Response, Web Application Security, and Exploit Development. Connectivity and Networking – The Connectivity and Networking track educates design engineers on wired and wireless communications, spanning need-to-know topics from essentials of USB device development to antenna and RF system design. Debugging […]

$299 Microsemi SmartFusion2 Starter Kit (Cortex M3 + FPGA)

Microsemi SmartFusion2 SoC family combines an ARM Cortex-M3 Core @ 166 Mhz and FPGA Fabric with up to 12M Gates, and comes with up to 512 KB eNVM and 64 KB eSRAM, 1 CAN A & B interface, 1 GbE port, 1 USB 2.0 OTG, and diverse serial interface. Last year I received Emcraft SmartFusion Starter Kit using the first generation of the starter kit, and Microsemi (previously known as Actel) and Emcraft Systems have recently announced the second generation with the SmartFusion2 Starter Kit. The main hardware features include: SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA in FG896 package (M2S050T-FG896ES) with 256KB eNVM, 64KB SRAM,  and 48,672 logic modules. JTAG interface for programming of the SmartFusion2 device 10/100 Ethernet interface and RJ-45 connector USB OTG interface and mini-USB connector USB based Wi-Fi Module 64MB LPDDR, 16MB SPI flash User push-button connected to GPIO on the SOM Two user-controlled LEDs connected to GPIO on […]

$199 Gizmo Explorer Kit Powered by AMD G-Series APU is Now Officially Available

Back in November, I came across the Gizmo Explorer Kit, an embedded development platform based on AMD G-Series G-T40E dual core APU that includes the development board itself (Gizmo Board), two expansion I/O boards, Sage SmartProbe JTAG development tool, some accessories such as cables and power supply, and a DVD with the documentation and SDK. Today, Sage Electronic, Texas Multicore Technologies, and Viosoft officially launched GizmoSphere community that aims at “fostering innovation and development for x86-based embedded Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), and driving and enabling technology projects of interest to independent developers with a focus on stimulating and encouraging innovation for existing and new applications that leverage APUs”. To help with this initiative, they also produce the Gizmo Board, and corresponding Gizmo Explorer Kit, a development board that boots with coreboot, and can run a variety of operating systems such as Android, Linux, Windows, and other RTOS. You can refer to […]

Understanding PREEMPT_RT (The Real-Time Patch) – ELCE 2012

Steven Rostedt, working at Red Hat, talks about Real-Time Linux at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe, in Spain on November 6, 2012. Abstract: The real-time patch (which provides CONFIG_PREEMPT_RT), has been around since 2005. Started by Ingo Molnar and maintained by Thomas Gleixner and several others, it has grown from a hobby RTOS into a very serious contender. Several distributions (Red Hat, SuSE, Debian, Ubuntu) supply a kernel version that includes this patch. The embedded world has started adding the -rt patch to their own devices that they ship. But do the embedded developers understand what the -rt patch supplies? Programming for real time, and especially when writing kernel code requires special knowledge to avoid real time traps. This talk will explain what the real time patch provides and special programming tips that will ensure embedded developers will get the best from their devices. He goes through the following key […]

TI Releases TI-RTOS, a Free Real Time Operating System for MCUs

Texas Instruments announced TI-RTOS, a complete real-time operating system based on a preemptive multithreading kernel for its MCU platforms. TI-RTOSs includes SYS/BIOS real-time kernel and network developer kit (NDK) TCP/IP stack. TI expects this new OS to speed-up software development by eliminating the need to write complex system software such as schedulers, protocol stacks, and low-level drivers. TI-RTOS features and benefits: Complete embedded operating environmentthat provides full middleware and drivers including: Deterministic, real-time multitasking kernel (SYS/BIOS) TCP/IP stack, including network applications USB, EMAC, MMC/SD host and device stacks and class drivers FAT-compatible file system fully integrated with C RTS file I/O functions Ethernet, USB, UART, I2C and SD device drivers Low overhead core-to-core communication mechanism for dual-core devices Ability to move functions between dual core devices to optimize performance by using the same TI-RTOS kernel on both the ARM and C28x DSP cores. Documentation and examples to augment designs, including examples and […]

$199 GIZMO EXPLORER KIT – Embedded Development Kit Based on AMD G-Series G-T40E APU

I’ve just stumbled upon a low cost and open source embedded development kit featuring AMD G-Series G-T40E dual core APU that comes with the following: The Gizmo Board – A compact (10×10 cm) development board for powered by an AMD G-Series APU. The Explorer Board – An expansion I/O board providing an alpha-numeric keypad, a micro-display, and a breadboard area for prototyping and customization. Sage SmartProbe JTAG Development Tool – The kit includes the SmartProbe hardware and 20 hours of trial time use. Ethernet & USB Cables – The USB cable lets you connect the SmartProbe to your PC. The Ethernet cable is for networking connectivity, which can be used to access the SmartProbe as well. USB wall charger Power Supplyand Cable – A universal power supply for the Gizmo board, with a U.S.-standard cord. 6x standoffs with nuts Alpha-numeric keypad – To connect to the explorer board Installation DVD […]

Express Logic Releases ThreadX-Lite RTOS for ARM Cortex-M

Express Logic has unveiled its ThreadX-Lite Real-Time Operating System, a priority-based, preemptive scheduling RTOS for ARM Cortex-M development. It is exclusively be available via IAR Systems and is integrated with the C/C++ compiler and debugger tool suite IAR Embedded Workbench. ThreadX-Lite  is “designed to be small, fast, and easy-to-use, while maintaining the functionality and efficiency of a highly optimized RTOS”. ThreadX-Lite targets Cortex-M0, M0+, M3, and M4-based microcontrollers from Atmel, Freescale, Fujitsu, Infineon, NXP, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments. ThreadX-Lite is a subset of ThreadX RTOS, both RTOS share features and capabilities packaged in an object library as well as ThreadX API, but it is not very clear what the differences between the two are from the resources available. Here are the key feature of this RTOS: Small-footprint (small as 2KB, automatic scaling) Fast execution (sub microsecond context switch) Unlimited threads, semaphores, timers, queues, block pools, byte pools, and event flag groups […]

Freescale Vybrid Controllers: Cortex A5 + Cortex M4 Solutions

Freescale announced the new Vybrid platform based on Cortex A5 application processor and Cortex-M4 MCU (VF6xx and VF7xx family only) which targets building/home automation and control, industrial automation, point-of-sale systems, medical devices, smart energy equipment, and appliances. There are 5 families of Vybrid Controllers which support the following common features: Video/Camera Interface Unit + optional OpenVG GPU (except VF3xx) Up to 800 MHz data rate DDR3 and LPDDR2 support (except VF3xx) USB 2.0 OTF with Integrated PHY (1 or 2 depending on model) Ethernet 10/100 MAC (1 or 2 depending on model) Display controller (WQVGA to XGA resolutions) High-assurance boot with Crypto Acceleration Up to 1.5 MB on chip SRAM NAND Flash controller and Dual Quad-SPI with eXecute-In-Place(XIP) Dual 12-bit ADC and DAC Here are the 5 families of Vybrid platforms and key differentiating features: VF3xx: ARM Cortex-A5 up to 266 MHz, 1x USB 2.0 OTG, 2x Ethernet, display up […]