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www.embeddednews.co.

uk
April 2011

FOR DESIGNERS OF EMBEDDED SYSTEMS

microcontrollers
System level design

Also in this issue

gaming platforms
The importance of AMDs G series

fpgas

Custom-made interfaces

embedded world
All the news from Nuremberg

misra matters

Contents 3

INDUSTRIAL

AEROSPACE

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SYSTEM ON A CHIP

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CONSUMER

THREADX: WHEN IT

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REALLY COUNTS

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next critical product, they choose ThreadX.
Our ThreadX RTOS is rock-solid, thoroughly field-proven,
and represents not only the safe choice, but the most
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For a free evaluation copy, visit www.rtos.com info@expresslogic.co.uk +44 (0) 1527 597007
Copyright 2010, Express Logic, Inc.
ThreadX, FileX, and TraceX are registered trademarks, and NetX, USBX, PrismX, StackX, and Certification Pack are trademarks of Express Logic, Inc.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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contents
04 NEWS
12 Comment
12 PEOPLE
13 diary
14 EMBEDDED WORLD 2011

Steve Rogerson presents a round-up of


some of the highlights at Embedded World in
Nuremberg last month

22 Microcontrollers

Two overriding parameters now determine


the success or failure of any new
microcontroller family. Odo Akaji explains
how combining them successfully can
promote the MCU from a supporting role to
the star of the show

27 Multimedia and

gaming

AMDs G series of processors has caught


the imagination of the gaming industry.
Nick Jarmany looks at what makes them
so attractive

30 FPGAs

The latest FPGAs with integrated PCI


Express interfaces can be used as
IO hubs in industrial and automotive
applications. Bob Blake explains how and
looks at the tools available to help

36 Misra Matters

Chris Hills continues his quarterly column


keeping you up to date with the work
Misra is doing

38 Product news
Micro Technology Europe April 2011

4 News

Japan disaster hits supply chain


The disruption to the supply
chain is proving to be the biggest
impact on the worldwide electronics market from the Japanese
earthquakes and tsunami.
Market watcher IHS ISuppli
said this would have a bigger effect
than wrecked factories.
While it appears the major
impact from the recent Japanese
earthquake wont come from direct
damage to production facilities,
the disruption to the supply chain
is another matter altogether, said
Dale Ford, senior vice president of
market intelligence at IHS ISuppli.
Suppliers are likely to encounter
difficulties in getting raw materials
supplied, distributed and shipped
out over the next few weeks or
months. This is likely lead to some
disruption in semiconductor supplies coming from Japan.
Japanese suppliers accounted

for more than one fifth of global


semiconductor production in
2010. Companies headquartered
in Japan generated US$63.3bn in
microchip revenue in 2010, representing 20.8% of the worldwide
market. While not all of this production is located in Japan, a large
percentage is produced in manufacturing facilities in Japan.
Obviously, it is too early to
tell how much of the semiconductor supply chain will be impacted
or what the result of the Japanese
earthquake will have, said Ford.
Meanwhile, electronics companies that have been directly affected have been working hard to
bring production back on line. As
we went to press, Renesas for example had restarted some manufacturing at five of its eight plants
in the country and was preparing
to restart at another two. Only the

Naka factory remained shut altogether, though even there electricity had been partially restored.
Sony had restored production
at some factories but still had six
plants shut altogether and warned
that it may have to re-shut some
of those that had started if it could
not source raw materials.
Half of Fujitsus wafer capacity
has been stopped due to a lack of
water and electricity.
EBV said it was closely monitoring the effect on the supply
chain, manufacturing and logistics
from its franchise partners.
All vendors who operate factories in Japan are currently assessing the impact on their manufacturing process, said a statement
from EBV. Although a supplier
may not be physically impacted, it
is likely there will be logistics challenges outside of our control in the

short term. The extent of disruptions will become more and more
evident over the next few days and
weeks.
Geoff Brand, vice president of
marketing at TTI, said there was
little damage to its suppliers factories but said there were infrastructure problems.
Electric power and water supply services are down throughout
many areas which could delay
plant openings and hamper efforts
to ship product out of the country, he said.
Infineon is donating E100,000
to the Japanese Red Cross to help
Japans natural disaster victims.
And the companys Singapore
office is making arrangements
for humanitarian aid (worth
E100,000) in the form of batteries and drinking water for the
crisis region.

SECURE
REliAblE
SAFE

Embedded
Licence extends Fujitsus Arm relationship
Displayport to Fujitsu has signed a licence
with Arm for IP prodbecome top agreement
ucts. This will let Fujitsu offer
With VGA and LVDS facing
a phase-out over the next two
to four years, Displayport and
HDMI will ultimately be the
only display interfaces left. And,
according to In-Stat, embedded
Displayport (EDP) will become
the primary internal connection
for mobile PCs.
As a result, In-Stat forecasts
that EDP will have an over 80%
penetration into the mobile PC
market by 2014.
Samsung Electronics has been
shipping EDP-enabled notebook
panels since March 2010 and
Apple has an entire mobile PC
line with external Displayport, as
well as some models with EDP,
said Brian ORourke, principal
analyst. There are some problems with EDP. Since the technology is not widely available,
the cost is high in comparison to
LVDS, but that will diminish over
time with greater adoption.
The Displayport 1.2 spec
makes significant improvements,
including increased data rate, the
ability to daisy chain multiple
displays and the capacity to handle bidirectional USB 2.0 data.
April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

platforms using the latest Arm


technology including the CortexA15 processor, graphics IP and
Corelink systems IP.
The two companies have been
collaborating for more than a
decade. Last November, Fujitsu
launched its FM3 family of industrial and general-purpose
microcontrollers based on the
Cortex-M3 processor.
The combination of compatible and scalable low-power processor IP, including the recently
launched Cortex-A15 processor
and fabric IP, will enable Fujitsu
to provide its customers with
complete, full function SoC platforms using Arm technology.
Fujitsu is working to enhance
its product appeal and boost its
IP line-up, said Fujitsus corporate senior vice president Haruyoshi Yagi. One of the major
ways in which we are doing so
is through this comprehensive
licence agreement that we have
signed with Arm. This will allow
our customers to select the Arm
technology most suited for their
application, and use a platform
that combines it with other IP

TRUS TED S OFTWARE FOR DEFENCE


Fujitsu and Arm
sign licence
agreement
that we have provided.
He said the platforms would
use Fujitsus proven design and
authentication technology, enabling it to achieve high levels of
quality and functionality, as well
as a dramatic reduction in LSI
development time.
Fujitsu Semiconductors products meet its customers needs
in a timely manner over a wide
range of applications, he said.
We are already moving ahead
with the provision of IP to asic
customers and the development
of our own ASSPs, which are
scheduled to be rolled out in the

second half of 2011.


Fujitsu plans to share its product roadmap with Arm and closely collaborate in the development
of future Arm technologies, from
the specification stage onwards.
As a strategic partner, we
look forward to an even closer
relationship with Arm, he said.
Tudor Brown, president of
Arm, added: In a constantly
evolving marketplace, Arm is
committed to empowering its
partners with the resources they
need to not only remain competitive today, but to meet future
technology challenges head-on.

For nearly 30 years the worlds leading defence companies have trusted Green Hills
Softwares secure and reliable high performance software for mission-critical and
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From the Joint Tactical Radio System, through naval anti-surface missiles, to the F-35
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and secure underpinning technology.
To find out how the worlds most secure and reliable operating system and software
can take the risk out of your defence project, visit www.ghs.com/s4d

Copyright 2011 Green Hills Software. Green Hills Software and the Green Hills logo are registered trademarks of Green Hills Software.
All other product names are trademarks of their respective holders. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans/Released.

6 News

News 7

BVM restructures to attack


M2M market
BVM has formed a mobile division to help it penetrate the
growing machine-to-machine
(M2M) and mobile markets.
Called BVM Mobile, it will
initially concentrate on four
products aimed at the M2M
market, which the company believes is about to take off in a
big way.
And the company is collaborating with Microsoft and RS
Components to help designers
develop products for this market using the BVM platforms.
There is a vast range of
markets in which our products
can be used, said BVMs sales
director Deborah Sweeney.
The biggest area involves
wheels, such as haulage, shipping, transport and so on. Security and surveillance is also a
big area. Another area is digital
signage. You can use our technology in places where there is
no fixed line; it provides your
mobile office.
The entry-level product is the
OB100 mobile PC using an Intel
Atom D510 dual-core processor. The scalable version is the
OB200 with a choice of Core
i3, i5 or i7 processors, see page
41. The IKar is a dashboardmountable PC that provides 3G
and GPS and is aimed at the delivery industry. And the Icerock
is a tablet PC for mobile office
applications.
If none of these meet your
requirements, we can produce a

Deborah
Sweeney: We
can take your
idea and make it
happen.

Robert
Wainwright:
Between the
three of us we
were able to
bring it
together.

complete custom design that is


built from the ground up, said
Sweeney, from the concept level through to production. It will
exactly meet your requirements.
We can take your idea and make
it happen.
The arrangement with RS
Components and Microsoft
means that users can purchase
from RS a development board
with a 120-day free trial of
Windows Embedded. This can
then be upgraded to a full version of Windows Embedded
and even to a full production
licence.
This is the first time Microsoft has teamed up with a major
distributor such as RS in this
way, said Robert Wainwright,
general manager and director
of BVM. It was a bit of an
achievement. Between the three
of us we were able to bring it
together.

Paul KieltyWhite: It is
about
giving them the
technical building
blocks.

Glen Jarrett: We
are bringing together the hardware, software
and production
versions of the
software.

Glen Jarrett, head of electronics marketing at RS Components, added: We are bringing


together the hardware, software
and production versions of the
software.
And Paul Kielty-White, partner technology manager at Microsoft, said: Windows Embedded lets our OEM customers
make almost bespoke products.
It is about giving them the technical building blocks to make
their own systems.
BVM is also working with
Wireless Logic, so that airtime
can be offered as part of the
package.
To handle the new division,
BVM has restructured the way
it operates including bringing in
extra sales and marketing people on an outsourced basis. The
company is also about to open
an office just outside Dublin to
cover all of Ireland.

IPC Number 1 Panel Computer


Industrial Grade Multi-Touch
Infotainment

Avago and
Xilinx in
optical test
Interoperability
testing
has been completed between Xilinx Virtex-6 HXT FPGAs and
Avago SFP+ and QSFP+ optical
transceiver modules. The testing
proves the design and interoperability of 10 and 40Gbit Ethernet ports using optical interfaces
from Avago with the transceiver
jitter performance of the FPGAs.
Xilinxs Virtex-6 HXT FPGA
with integrated GTH transceivers was designed to meet the demanding jitter requirements for
the 10Gbit/s optical interfaces,
said Nick Possley, director of
wired communications at Xilinx.
The superior jitter performance
enables us to support Avagos
10Gbit Ethernet SFP+ optical
module connectivity without the
need for external re-timers.
He said that the proof of that
effort was evident in the companys ability to support 10Gbit
SFP+ Ethernet optical ports up to
300m for 10GbaseSR using modules from Avago.
Xilinx designed the GTH transceivers in Virtex-6 HXT devices
to be optimised for demanding
optical interfaces.

Masterclass
rescheduled
THIS YEARs Embedded Masterclass has been rescheduled for
5th October 2011 in Cambridge.
More details will be in the May
issue of MTE.

Compulab computer-on-module
from Anders, part of the range
covered by the venture

Anders joins with


Compulab
A strategic joint venture
aims to combine Anders Electronics skills in developing user
interfaces (UIs) and Compulabs
ability in core modules and ultraminiature PCs.
Compulab is an Israeli manufacturer of computer-on-module
boards and miniature PCs. The
venture aims to expand the product range and value proposition
that the two companies can provide European customers.
Anders will be providing more
resources for sales, support and
marketing channels.
Anders has supplied European
OEMs with Compulabs com and
embedded motherboard technologies for a number of years.
More recently the company established a channel to support
growth of the Fit-PC family of
miniature, low-power, enclosed

industrial PCs.
Relationships are at the core
of everything Anders does and it
is exciting to be able to take the
successful Compulab relationship to the next level, said Rob
Anders, CEO of Anders.
A key focus for the venture will
be enhancing the Fit-PC value
proposition through the development of products for kiosks
and other specific applications;
integration with multi-touch
monitors; and the availability of
software application bundles and
additional hardware peripherals.
Irad Stavi, Compulabs director
of business development, said:
We look forward to building on
the success of this relationship
with a venture that will add value
to our respective offerings while
strengthening the sales and support channel across the region.

Industry moves on from recession


Most economies around
the world have fully recovered
from the 2008 to 2009 recession,
and the majority of electronics
industry segments are still experiencing strong but slowing
growth, according to market
watcher IPC.
In its recently released winter
2011 edition of its quarterly business report, Electronics Industries Market Data Update, IPC
says economically 2010 was a
better year than expected in most
parts of the world. Although Japan experienced exceptionally
high growth in 2010, this was
the year that China overtook Ja-

pan to become the second-largest


world economy after the USA.
Markets are returning to normal, it says.
In North America, the top performers in year-on-year growth
for fourth quarter 2010 were PCB
assembly equipment, flexible circuits and the EMS industry.
The microcontroller market will
likely exceed a value of US$16bn
for 2011, according to Databeans. The research company is
expecting 9% revenue growth.
Databeans also projects that the
market for sensors and mems devices will reach nearly $11.1bn in
global revenue for 2011.

ACP Series
21.5/ 18.5/ 15.6 Projected Capactive T/S

Intel Atom Dual Core D510 or Intel Core 2 Duo on Board


Fanless & Slim Design
Water-Proof IP-65 & IPX1
Multi-Touch Wide Screen (16:9)
Anti-Scratch Front Bezel
G-Sensor for Vertical & Horizontal Reading
Applications:
Interactive Infotainment, Check-In System, Patient Data,

Streamlined Polished Chassis

Slim Design
Only 56mm

Multi-Touch & G-Sensor

AAEON Technology Europe B.V.


Ekkersrijt 4002, 5692 DA Son, The Netherlands
saleseurope@aaeon.com
Tel: + 31 499 462 020
Fax: +31 499 462 010
www.aaeon.eu

April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

Micro Technology Europe April 2011


MTE-Automotive-NL-92x278mm-20110316.indd 1

2011/3/16 05:24:43

8 News

Vita sees mixed reactions to


financial stability and political doubt
The telecoms market is set
to suffer in Europe due to reduced spending but this is being
countered by the rollout of LTE,
according to Ray Alderman, executive director of Vita in his latest state of the industry report.
Overall, he said that the economic situation worldwide had
stabilised but the uprisings in
Africa and the Middle East were
producing political uncertainty.
The military market he believes is looking healthy helped
by a policy of upgrading existing VME based systems. But he
warned: Commodity consumer
ICs made in China, counterfeit
chips, commodity PC software
and commodity programmed
FPGAs have found their way into
critical military systems over the

years, as a result of inexpensive


commodity hardware and software being deployed, and lax security oversight on military programme components.
Both industrial and telecoms
markets are showing low margins
for hardware due to increases in
commoditisation. The industrial
segment has proved fertile for
small form factor computers and
this is now spreading into telecoms.
Stalwart form factors like
PC/104 are now giving way to
newer, faster, more powerful
SFF form factors such as Com
Express, said Alderman. Competitively speaking, Asian board
vendors are challenging US and
European industrial board makers, creating margin pressures.

Digi-Key breaks sales


record

The fragmented industrial IO


segment offers the best defence
against total commoditisation,
particularly with mezzanine cards
and SFF cards using FPGAs.
He welcomed the news that
spending on fab equipment looks
set to rise this year but said the
industry should be wary of short
life cycles on small-geometry
semiconductor products.
Market growth for medical applications using embedded computing devices was very bright,
he said, but was being driven
hard by the demand for smaller,
more mobile devices for homebased consumer medical equipment, fitness equipment, disease
management, life monitoring and
other wellness applications.
But he said medical equipment

makers were reacting to lower


cost PC technology by producing
more specialised products to increase the amount of added value
and shore up margins.
Highly integrated semiconductors and small form factor
boards and systems will benefit
the most from the growing demand in wellness devices, he
said.
Finally, he welcomed the semiconductor industry taking up the
challenge of bringing out more
optical components.
Optical technology will be
critical to overcoming the physical limitations of copper-based
interconnect technology that is
hindering performance of future
embedded computing systems,
he said.

Stitch up for rtos

EVOC launched the first


product with display port!
MEC-7003

Display Port is a new digital display interface


standard put forth by the Video Electronics
Standards Association(VESA).
Support 2nd generation Intel Core I7\I5\I3 processor
Mobile intel QM67 chipset
2x204PIN DDR3 memory,up to 16GB
Adopts Intel sandy bridge CPU internally integrated
graphic controller display chip, support DX10.1,Support
VGA+DVI,VGA+HDMI,VGA+Display port
DC 12V input
8xUSB2.0,4xSATA,1xHDA,1xGbE

Display Port
MEC-4005
Industrial Fanless Atom N450/N470 Embedded PC

Supports Intel Atom N470 1.83G/N450 1.66G


Supports 1 x 200-pin DDR2 SO-DIMM, up to 2GB
Supports 6 x USB, 4 x RS-232,2 x GbE, 1 x CF, 1 x 8-ch DIO
Supports 1 x PCI-104, 2 x Mini-PCIe

MEC-5006
Industrial Fanless Dual-core Embedded Box PC

Onboard Intel CoreTM2 Duo P8400 CPU


Supports 1 x DDR3 SO-DIMM 2G DDRIII
Memory,optional up to 4G
Supports:6xUSB,4xCOM,2xLAN,1xVGA,1xAudio,1xPCI,1xPCIe,1xMini-PCIe

EC5-1813L2NA
Mark Larson: Our
customers know we have
the products they want.
Electronic components
distributor Digi-Key surpassed
US$1.5bn in global sales for the
first time in 2010, generating a
half-billion dollars in the fourth
quarter alone. The record-setting
total represents a 64% year-overyear sales increase.
Design engineers, equipment
manufacturers, innovators and
hobbyists use Digi-Key for prototype, design and production
quantities of electronic components. The company offers more
than 1.8 million products from
more than 470 brand-name manufacturers worldwide, as well as
April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

engineering know-how, technical


expertise and educational information to help customers.
Our sales continue to grow
because of our unparalleled presence online and immediate access
to products and information,
said Mark Larson, Digi-Key president and COO. Our customers
know we have the products they
want and we deliver around the
world faster than anyone else.
The largest annual 2010 sales
gains over 2009 were in Europe
(120%), Africa (118%), AsiaPacific (115%) and the Middle
East (78%).

5.25" Embedded SBC with Intel QM57 chipset & Multi-BUS


TM

Bernina has selected Express Logics ThreadX rtos for use in its 830
sewing and embroidery machine. Aimed at home users, the 830 is
highly programmable, delivering touch-screen programmability, graphics scalability and other advanced features.
Bernina chose the rtos because its small memory footprint can
reside in limited on-chip MCU memory.
As a provider of sewing and embroidery systems for a market
segment with the uppermost performance demands, we rely on the
stability and flexibility of the ThreadX operation system, said Ralf
Wasserman, certified senior project manager for Bernina. ThreadX
provides excellent real-time performance on the Arm 9 platform along
with being compact and versatile for add-on modules. These aspects
together with a responsive development support makes it the os of
our choice.
William Lamie, CEO of Express Logic, added: Berninas 830 is evidence that technology is moving further and further into our everyday
lives. Its exciting to participate in this movement, and were proud
and honoured that Bernina has chosen to use our ThreadX rtos for
this ingeniously innovative sewing machine.

Supports Intel dual core Arrandale CPU i7-620M i5-520M


2 x DDR3 SO-DIMM Slots, up to 8GB DDR3 memory;
Supports 8 x USB,6 x COM, 4 x SATA port,2 xLAN,1 x VGA,24bit 2ch LVDS,
1 x HDMI,1 x PCI/104-Express&PCIex4 &Mini-PCIe;

EC7-1817LNAR
Intel i7/i5/i3 Mini-ITX SBC
Intel CoreTM i7, i5, i3 Processor
Up to 16GB DDR3 memory
Support VGA+LVDS VGA+HDMI VGA+DVI VGA+Display Port

May 31-JUNE 4,2011

10 News

News 11

Linux Foundation
push on Meego
The Linux Foundation has
formed a Meego smart TV working group. Meego is an open
source Linux project targeting
multiple segments including automotive systems, netbooks,
tablets, TVs and set-top boxes,
among others, and uses Qt to enable cross-device applications.
The working group is designed
to help drive the evolution of
Meego within the television
ecosystem and provide an open
framework for industry creativity and innovation.
Early working group participants include Amino, Intel,
Jethead Development, Locatel, Mips Technologies, Nokia,
Nokia Siemens Networks, Sigma
Designs, Telecom Italia, Videon

Central and Ysten.


Intel is working with leading
OEMs and service providers to
revolutionise the TV industry,
said Keith Wehmeyer, general
manager of the IPTV segment for
Intel. Meego smart TV will play
a crucial role by providing a robust framework for new devices
and services, and were looking
forward to helping provide highperformance processors needed
for media-rich applications and
user interfaces, as well as for
cross-device integration.
Working group members will
define software components and
a compliance programme as well
as focus on building an ecosystem of developers and content
providers.

Cambridge Consultants picks


Coverity for static analysis
Cambridge Consultants
has selected Coverity Static Analysis to automate code testing to
identify and eliminate critical
defects in software code during
the development process. This
should let it resolve software issues earlier.
The decision to use Coveritys solution is driven by our
need to achieve the highest levels
of software quality in the rapid
development timescales that our
clients require, said Mark Wilson from Cambridge Consultants. Automated code testing
via static analysis allows us to

reduce timescales by identifying


issues early in the development
cycle. Our decision to deploy
Coverity Static Analysis demonstrates our commitment to delivering the highest quality products
to our customers and Coveritys
leading position in the market.
Using Coverity is also key to our
successful business growth.
The decision followed an evaluation period. The top functional
requirements were a technology
that could generate a high hitrate in detecting the most critical
software bugs and low false-positive rates.

Arm challenge at NEW


Arm is to sponsor this
We are delighted
months National Electo have Arm as an extronics Week at Birminghibitor and as our main
hams NEC from 12th to
sponsor, said Claire
13th April.
Saunders, the shows
Arm will challenge
event director. Arm
attendees to test their
is a leading light in the
development and racing Claire
electronics industry and
skills at the MBed Ro- Saunders: Arm at the heart of todays
is a leading light
bot Racing competition.
most wanted high tech
in the electronThey will have to work ics industry.
products.
against the clock to opA new feature will be
timise and race MBed-powered the addition of a brokerage stand
robots.
run by ESP KTN.
April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

Picmg says yes to


rugged Micro TCA
Picmg has adopted Micro
TCA.3, the hardened conduction
cooled version of the Micro TCA
specification. This defines the requirements for systems that meet
more stringent levels of temperature, shock, vibration and other
environmental conditions. This
will allow the development and
deployment of Micro TCA in
more rugged environments such
as outdoor telecoms, military,
shipboard and other harsh mobile equipment environments.
One goal of the Micro TCA.3
working group was to demonstrate the ability to meet extended environmental requirements

including temperature, vibration


and shock. This was accomplished by independent qualification testing of the connector and
documented in reports available
for viewing via the resources and
conduction cooled Micro TCA
links at www.picmg.org.
Successful testing of the Micro
TCA connector system based on
requirements from the MIL801
and RTCA/DO-160 standards
combined with the adoption
of this new specification opens
harsher military and other rugged environments for Micro
TCA, said Doug Sandy, Picmgs
vice president of technology.

Intel buys Sys DSoft to boost LTE


Intel, through its standalone business entity Intel Mobile
Communications, has acquired
most of the assets of Sys DSoft,
a privately held software company based in Cairo. The firm
designs IP in the software stack
and physical layer domain, and
RF and analogue circuits embedded in mobile platforms.
About 100 of the companys
electrical engineers and computer
scientists will move over to Intel.
The acquisition of engineering and design talent from an
Egypt-based company in the
field of cutting-edge wireless and
communications technology is
the first of its kind for Intel in
the Middle East, said Arvind
Sodhani, executive vice president

of Intel. The acquisition shows


Intels continued long-term strategic commitment to the region
and its appreciation of its young,
growing talent pool.
Sys DSofts products are used
in Intels multi-communications
portfolio, specifically accelerating its 4G LTE efforts with the
addition of software development and design capabilities.
Intel is making the necessary
investments to further enhance
its existing world-class wireless
product portfolio and to offer the
most reliable platforms to our
customers that will work seamlessly across a range of global
networks, said Hermann Eul,
president of Intel Mobile Communications.

Gpel plans ninth technology day


Gpel Electronics will
run its ninth UK technology day
on 5th May 2011 in Duxford,
Cambridgeshire. The seminars
will cover latest developments,
applications and outlooks in
JTag and boundary scan, functional test and optical inspection
technologies.
During the day, Gpel and
partner companies will give presentations, demonstrations and
live workshops. The companies
include Teradyne, Flying Test
Systems, Reflex Technology, Fire-

cron, Aeroflex, Pickering Interfaces, VTI Instruments, Thurlby


Thandar Instruments, Accelonix,
Mydata Automation and Zen
Production Equipment.
The event is focussed on electronics design and production
related technologies and will
provide information for test engineers, design engineers and
production managers.
These technology days are run
by application engineers and are
not primarily planned to present
new products.

Multimedia router wins prize

Alan Egan (16), who attends King Edward VI Camp Hill Boys School
in Birmingham , has won The Duke of Yorks Award for the creative
application of electronics in the Young Engineer for Britain awards.
The national final was held at the Big Bang Fair, which took place at
the ICC, London Excel, from 10th to 13th March. The event attracted
about 30,000 visitors.
Egan, who was one of 46 national finalists in the competition,
designed a multimedia router, which facilitates the quick and easy
routing of multimedia content from various inputs to multiple output
destinations using a simple and intuitive colour-based interface.
Among the other prize winners was Roxanne Pollard (19) from
Chipping Sodbury School, Bristol, who designed a bicycle helmet
incorporating special indicator safety features and has been invited to
represent Great Britain at the 2012 Intel-sponsored International
Science & Engineering Fair in America.

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email: info@displaysolutions.co.uk Tel: 01480 411600

Micro Technology Europe April 2011

12 News

news in brief
Ittia ports DB to ThreadX
Ittia has formed a technology alliance
with Express Logic leading to its
Ittia DB SQL being available for the
ThreadX operating system. DB SQL
is a relational embedded database for
special-purpose systems that require
self-contained data management software. A free evaluation kit contains a
complete embedded database library
and support for both on-disk and inmemory data management.

Imex lands Tektronix deal


Tektronix has appointed Imex Systems to provide pre- and post-sales
support across the UK for its products, including oscilloscopes, signal
generators, spectrum analysers, logic
analysers and bit error rate testers.
The move comes as part of Tektronixs strategy to increase sales support
across the UK.

Licence deal marks


tenth birthday
Green Hills Software is marking
the tenth anniversary of the first
customer deployment of its Integity178B rtos by offering it for the first
time as a prototyping licence. The
operating system will be available as
part of a complete rapid prototyping
kit that includes the Multi integrated
development environment, a JTag debug probe and an operating system
licence.

Agilent delivers in Warsaw


Agilent Technologies has delivered
and installed a 500GHz mm-wave
system at the Institute of Radio-Electronics, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland. The system, based
on the PNA-X series of microwave
network analysers, allows measurements from 10MHz to 500GHz.

Gpel and DMP


cooperate on x86
Gpel Electronic has developed Vario
Tap IPs for testing Vortex x86 chip
series in cooperation with the Taiwanese company DMP. This will
enable the use of dynamic processor
emulation tests for fault detection
and diagnosis at board and system
level, additionally supporting embedded flash bios programming.

Forum postponed
Future Horizons has postponed its
International Electronics Forum due
to be held in Morocco in May until
the autumn due to the recent events
in Japan.

April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

Diary 13

diary dates

comment
Patience and understanding

here are times when a natural disaster is so


immense that it overshadows everything
else that we do, and there is no doubt that
the recent events in Japan fall into that category.
There can be hardly anybody who has not been
moved as the tragedy unfolded on television and
in the newspapers, and it may be some time for the
full extent of what has happened to be revealed.
What has been impressive in the wake is the way
the Japanese people have rallied around and knuckled down to try to bring some semblance of normality back into their society, and the electronics
industry has played its part in that as engineers have
been moved from their normal companies to help
repair infrastructure and manufacturing plants have
worked hard to bring production back on line.
But, as we report on page four, it may be a long

time before it is business as usual. Even when and


if all the factories are working again, there are still
serious supply line problems and some factories that
have started operations may have to close again as
they struggle to source raw materials.
For those in the west dealing with Japanese partners, the two key words must be patience and understanding, patience in giving our Japanese friends
time to recover and understanding at the difficulties they face
in doing so. Where we can, we
should help them through this
and look forward to the day
when our working relationships
can be resumed in full.

Steve Rogerson

people
All change at STM
ST Microelectronics has made
changes at executive management
level, starting with Fabio Gualandris
rejoining as corporate vice president
responsible for product-quality matters throughout the companys operations.
Gualandris takes the position previously held by Georges Auguste,
who has been appointed executive
VP for packaging and test manufacturing. He will officially take over
in May following a brief transition
from Jeffrey See, who is to retire following 41 years with the company.
Claudia Levo has also joined to
take up the position of corporate
VP of communications. He was
previously senior vice president and
head of global communications for
ST-Ericsson. Levo steps in following
the recent death of Carlo Ottaviani.
Loic Lietar, executive vice president of new ventures, will manage
a recently set-up organisation to
investigate new areas of potential
strategic interest.
Philippe Lambinet has taken responsibility for the strategic functions formerly managed by Lietar.

Veteran moves
from Cisco to
Mips
Dave Singhal has
joined Mips Technologies as VP of
corporate development and strategy. He has more than
20 years experience with both earlystage and established companies.
He joins from Cisco, where he was
a director in the corporate development and strategy organisation.
Prior to Cisco, Singhal was founding CEO at Luxxon.
Before that, he held engineering
roles at Neomagic, Trident Microsystems, Cirrus Logic and Advanced
Micro Devices.

Burns flight
to Sarsen
Sarsen
Technology has appointed
Robbie
Burns
as sales account
manager in the
UK. Previously, he was field sales
manager for Acal Technology and
has worked for many years in both
engineering and sales for technology
companies.

Markopoulos rises at GE Intelligent Platforms


Jody Markopoulos has been named president and CEO of
GE Intelligent Platforms. She succeeds Maryrose Sylvester
who has become president and CEO of GE Lighting.
Markopoulos, a 17-year GE veteran, has led the sourcing
organisation for GE Energy since 2005. She is responsible
for the management and procurement of over US$16bn in
materials and services worldwide and leads a 1300-person global team.
Markopoulos came to GE after graduating from Clarkson University in
New York, where she earned a bachelors degree in interdisciplinary engineering and management. Today she serves on the Deans Leadership Council for
the Wallace H Coulter School of Engineering at Clarkson.

Billon-Lanfrey to head Sofradirs


technology department
David Billon-Lanfrey has taken over as vice-president of
R&D, technology and products for Sofradir, replacing
Philippe Tribolet who died November 2010 aged 51. Sofradir makes infra-red detectors for military, space and industrial applications.
As the head of the technology department Billon-Lanfrey will oversee a
team of 100 that includes engineers in metallurgy, semiconductor materials,
microelectronics, optoelectronics, micromechanics, cryogenics and other
specialty areas in physics and chemistry.

AMD Fusion Developer Summit


13th-16th June 2011
Bellevue, Washington
www.amd.com

DSEi
13th-16th September 2011
London
www.dsei.co.uk

Energy Harvesting & Storage


21st-22nd June 2011
Munich, Germany
www.idtechex.com/munich

Electronica India
13th-16th September 2011
New Delhi
www.electronica-india.com

PCIM Asia
21st-23rd June 2011
Shanghai, China
www.pcim-asia.com

LED Professional Symposium


27th-29th September 2011
Bregenz, Austria
www.led-professional-symposium.com
MM Live
27th-29th September 2011
Birmingham, UK
www.mmliveuk.com

Software Safety Workshop


5th April 2011
London
www.scsc.org.uk

RFID World Asia


12th-15th April 2011
Singapore
www.terrapin.com/2011/rfid

Printed Electronics & Photovoltaics


5th-6th April 2011
Dusseldorf, Germany
www.idtechex.com/dusseldorf

The Gadget Show Live


13th-17th April 2011
Birmingham, UK
www.gadgetshowlive.net

Exploiting the Informatics Potential


5th-7th April 2011
Birmingham, England
www.hcshowcase.org

Mobile Research Conference


18th-19th April 2011
London
www.mobileresearchconference.com

Digital Manufacturing
22nd-24th June 2011
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
www.imiconf.com

Electro Test Expo


7th April 2011
Milton Keynes, UK
www.electrotestexpo.co.uk

Embedded Systems Conference


2nd-5th May 2011
San Jose, California
esc-sv09.techinsightsevents.com

Consumer Electronics Conference


5th July 2011
London
www.intellectuk.org

IPC Apex Expo


10th-14th April 2011
Las Vegas, USA
www.ipcapexexpo.org

PCIM Europe
17th-19th May 2011
Nuremberg, Germany
www.pcim.de

Embedded Systems Conference


20th-22nd July 2011
Bangalore, India
www.esc-india.com

Autotronics
12th-15th April 2011
Taipei, Taiwan
www.autotronics.com.tw

Computex
31st May-4th June 2011
Taipei, Taiwan
www.computextaipei.com.tw

Flash Memory Summit


9th-11th August 2011
Santa Clara, California
www.flashmemorysummit.com

Sophia Antipolis
Microelectronics Forum
12th-13th October 2011
Sophia Antipolis, France
www.same-conference.org

National Electronics Week


12th-13th April 2011
Birmingham, UK
www.neweventsltd.com

Embedded Systems Conference


6th-8th June 2011
Chicago
esc-chicago.techinsightsevents.com

Gamescon
17th-21st August 2011
Cologne, Germany
www.gamescom-cologne.com

ElectronicAsia
13th-16th October 2011
Hong Kong
electronicasia.com

Embedded Masterclass
5th October 2011
Cambridge, UK
www.embedded-masterclass.com
Taitronics
10th-13th October 2011
Taipei, Taiwan
www.taitronics.tw

Movement at Intels
mobility group
Anand Chandrasekher, senior VP
and general manager of Intels UMG
ultra mobility group, is leaving Intel
to pursue other interests.
Mike Bell, vice president of Intels
IAG architecture group, and Dave
Whalen, vice president of IAG, will
co-manage UMG.
Intel remains committed to this
business, said David Perlmutter,
executive vice president and IAG
general manager. We continue to
make the investments needed to
ensure that the best user experience
on smartphones and handhelds runs
on Intel architecture, and to ship a
phone this year.

Micro Technology Europe April 2011

14

15

Steve
Rogerson
presents a
round-up of
some of the
highlights at
Embedded
World in
Nuremberg last
month

David Kenyon: We want to Gina Lin: AMD will make


help our partners grow their inroads into Intels market
business.

AMD increases pressure on Intel


with follow-up launch

There was little surprise at


the show that the battle between
AMD and Intel would take centre
stage following AMDs renewed
push on the embedded market
with the G series and the release
of Intels Sandy Bridge line of second-generation Core processors.
In fact, AMD took the battle a
stage further at the show with
the launch of three low-power
processors.
The added CPUs are aimed at
deeply embedded or headless systems for environments without a

Buddy Broeker: The G


series has let us drive more
compelling products.

screen, monitor or input device


and that dont require graphics
to take advantage of the Bobcat
CPU core. These processors are
available in 5 and 18W power
bands and provide computational features such as out-of-order
execution, a high-performance
floating point unit, across-theboard 64bit capability and multicore options.
The G series has allowed us to
drive more compelling products
in markets where we have always
been but it also lets us enter new

Jane Annear: Intel lives up


to its seven year life cycle.

April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

markets such as in-vehicle entertainment with streaming video,


said Buddy Broeker, director of
embedded at AMD. These CPU
only versions will be targeted for
home and SMB storage, industrial controls and automation,
single board computers, and telecoms and networking.
AMD also added a systems and
technology track to its Fusion
partner programme. The track
will provide embedded engineers
with tools, training and technical
resources to quicken the pace of

development.
We want to help our partners
grow their business because as
they grow, we grow, said David
Kenyon, AMD corporate vicepresident. Our partners say they
need the support to help them
grow their business. We will give
them marketing tools that help
explain why AMD is better than
the competition.
Dirk Finstel, CTO at Kontron, said: AMD is back with
the embedded G series. But the
companys vice-president of mar-

Norbert Hauser: Our focus Christian Eder: Q Seven


is on the Intel core
is not yet on our roadmap
platforms.
for AMD.

Yi-Jin Huang: The AMD G


series is not yet in our plan.

keting Norbert Hauser admitted:


Our focus is on the Intel core
platforms, but with AMDs G
series we have introduced a Com
Express compact product.
With Direct X 11 and Open GL
3.2 support, integrated UVD 3.0
and long-term availability, the
Kontron Com Express compact
Micro ETX Express-OH is for
small form factor applications
that require high-performance,
high-speed graphics to produce
fluid, high-resolution image and
video displays. It is scalable in
four stages over the bandwidth
of the G series APUs: from the
1.2GHz T44R single-core APU
and Radeon HD6250 GPU up
to the 1.6GHz dual-core variant
T56N with Radeon HD6310.
Hauser added: The G series
opens up new application areas
such as mobile medical imaging
and software defined radio.
Gina Lin, Europe country
manager for Jetway, said: AMD
will make inroads into Intels
market for embedded solutions.
AMD now has a long availability
roadmap.
She said that using Intel chips
and Nvidias Ion 2 involved three
chips.
That limits what else you
can do on the board, she said.
Now with AMD you can do
a two-chip solution so there is
room for more features and the
thermal challenge is not as much
of a problem.
She said that the AMD chip
would suit digital signage applications, but when you really need CPU power, then go for
Sandy Bridge.
Congatec was one of the first
companies to announce a product using the G series in January

Peter Hoser: It is good to


have one platform to suit
different requirements.

on a Com Express board and followed this up at the show with


modules in the ETX and XTX
sizes but nothing so far to the
firms much championed Q Seven
standard.
The one missing is Q Seven,
said Christian Eder, marketing
manager. This is not yet on our
roadmap for AMD, but lets see
what the future holds. It is in discussion as to whether we do a Q

Jeff Munch: Intel can


Nick Jarmany: We like the
address our needs so we see high performance graphics
no reason to look outside. on two screens.

Peter Hoser, director of OEM


sales at Fujitsu, agreed. He said:
We need the high graphics performance to drive two monitors.
It is good to have one platform to
suit different requirements.
A number of companies though
are sticking with Intel, especially
with the launch of the secondgeneration Core products the
Sandy Bridge range.
Sandy Bridge is really impor-

portant because it is the mechanism to get you to the game.


He said that the company did
not see a compelling reason to go
to the AMD processor.
It is not part of our product
strategy, he said. We are very
much an Intel centric company
and Intel can address our needs
so we see no reason to look outside. All our new products are
based on the latest products from

AMD has not been very active in embedded

markets for a while, but AMD is back again

Seven with AMD, maybe on an


upcoming version of the G series.
He acknowledged that most of
Congatecs products were Intel
based but said this was because
AMD has not been very active
in the embedded market for a
while, but AMD is back again.
This closes the gap with the Intel
Atom and Core processors.
He said that the G series had
an excellent performance per
watt ratio and extremely good
graphics performance.
Nick Jarmany, managing director of gaming company Quixant,
said: The key feature of the G
series we like is the high performance graphics on two screens.
A lot of slot machines have two
screens and they need the good
graphics to attract people to
them.
He said though the low power
consumption was not an issue for
battery length in this industry, it
was important in reducing heat,
especially in places where there
were banks of gaming machines.

tant because of the multiple cores


and the improved graphics, said
Wolfgang Eisenbarth, director
of marketing at MSC Vertriebs.
It doubles the graphics performance. It is a high end processor.
He said that AMD would compete but on lower power applications. The AMD chip is lower
performance, he said.
Yi-Jin Huang, Aaeons engineer for marketing, added: The
AMD G series is not yet in our
plan. We are though meeting
them soon to discuss things but
we dont have a plan yet. We are
though working on the secondgeneration Intel Core and will be
launching a product in June.
Adlink does not believe that
even for gaming AMD can provide what it needs.
We have looked at the AMD
G series for gaming, said Jeff
Munch, Adlinks chief technical
officer, but we are focussed on
the high-end gaming sector so we
use the Intel Core with a separate
video controller. The video is im-

Intel, whether the latest Atom or


the high-end Sandy Bridge.
Another company firmly in the
Intel camp is Concurrent Technology and it followed up its first
two boards using the new processors in January with the launch
at the show of two more boards
using a choice of i5 or i7 processors the TP 86x/39x single-slot
air-cooled 3U Compact PCI SBC
and the AM 31x/x0x Advanced
MC processor board aimed at
telecoms applications.
The AMC board is an upgrade
from an existing card, said Jane
Annear, Concurrents commercial
director. It will be for commercial and extended temperatures
but not for rugged.
The CPCI board is also an upgrade aimed at transportation,
industrial and military applications.
The company has not been
tempted by the AMD launch.
Annear said: Our concern with
AMD is the length of the life cycle. Intel lives up to its seven year
life cycle.
>

Micro Technology Europe April 2011

16

17

Arm on high as companies


rush to back architecture
Orden.
The Arm bandwagon
So at 4MHz and 1.2V,
that has been gaining mothe performance drops
mentum for the past year
to 171A/DMips and
continued to roll forward
at 16MHz and 1.5V the
and it was hard to stroll
performance is 200A/
round the exhibition withDMips.
out tripping over yet anFreescale Semiconducother announcement. The
tor announced the latest
Arm crowd themselves
addition to its growing
were understandably on a
Kinetis 32bit microconbit of a high with this state
troller line the Kinetis
of affairs as could be seen
K50 family. This famfrom the smiling faces on
Chris Turner: There is no Stphanie Ordan: We want Wolfgang Eisenbarth: Intel
ily, aimed at medical and
their stand.
other company in our field to address healthcare as that and Arm are both
industrial applications,
What we are seeing with the breadth we have. is a huge market for us.
competitive on this.
expands the companys
from the major semiconportfolio built on the
ductor firms is they can
Arm Cortex-M4 core.
fasten on the Arm partnerThe K50 family provides
ship and have something
multiple
connectivity
for all their component
options for continuous
needs, said Chris Turner,
monitoring and an inArms product markettegrated
measurement
ing manager. There is
engine for processing of
no other company in our
analogue signals for apfield that has the breadth
plications such as porwe have.
table medical devices,
He said that Microsofts
signal instrumentation
announcement of planand industrial test and
ning to port Windows to
Bruno Baylac: We can
Andreas Kohl: This requires Glenn Steiner: This is
measurement equipment.
Arm platforms was key
target a lot of applications in quite sophisticated control radically different from what
We can target a lot of
for the companys opti- the medical market.
algorithms.
we have seen before.
applications in the medimism.
This is one of the biggest com- before with FPGA technology, of March. MCUs with 32kbyte cal market, said Bruno Baylac,
panies in the world embracing the said Glenn Steiner, Xilinxs senior memories will follow later in the Freescales director of metering,
medical and connectivity. For
Arm architecture, he said. Plus manager for embedded process- spring.
The company is aiming these example, blood glucose metering
NXP has stated their roadmap is ing. Many products today have
external processor and FPGA as at healthcare applications and its is a high-volume market and is
going to be totally Arm.
One of the major introductions a two-chip solution, but this is a USB drivers are ready for use in expected to grow rapidly. Anothat the show came from Xilinx combined processor system in- Continua Health Alliance appli- er important market is the smart
cations, but STM believes it has grid.
with its Zynq-7000 extensible cluding memory.
Freescale has announced a
There are initially four parts learnt lessons on robustness from
processor platform based on an
Arm Cortex-A9 dual-core pro- in the family with the number of its experience in the automotive smart meter reference design
based on its earlier 32bit Kinetis
cessor with integrated 28nm pro- logic cells ranging from 30,000 to market.
The robustness is derived MK30X MCU.
235,000. Early samples are exgrammable logic.
Toshiba expanded its range of
Each device is a processor-based pected by the end of the year with from our automotive qualified
process, said Stphanie Ordan, devices and tools for motion consystem, capable of booting an op- general availability late in 2012.
ST Microelectronics extended marketing manager for STMs mi- trol applications with a compact
erating system from reset with the
programmable logic accessible. its 32bit STM32L series of mi- crocontroller division. We want and integrated Cortex-M3 microIt enables system architects and crocontrollers using the Arm Cor- to address healthcare as that is a controller to improve application
performance and efficiency while
embedded software developers to tex-M3. The expansion means huge market for us.
The products also use what reducing component count and
apply a combination of serial and the family now includes devices
parallel processing to applications with memory densities of 256 the company calls its just-enough board space. The 32bit TMPMthat require high levels of perfor- and 384kbyte, thereby offering a energy concept. For example, at 374FW IC was launched with a
mance, while at the same time flash memory range from 32 up 1.8V the performance can be up dedicated starter kit that provides
all the hardware, software and
benefiting from higher integration to 384kbyte for embedded appli- to 235A/DMips at 32MHz.
The user though can decide to documentation needed for immeas a way to reduce cost, power cation engineers. The first devices
with 64 and 128kbyte memory reduce the normal voltage applied diate device evaluation and rapid
and size.
We believe this is radically dif- densities were expected to be to the core and can thus reduce development and prototyping.
This is part of a family of deferent from what we have seen available in production by the end power consumption, explained
April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

vices to control brushless DC motors, said Andreas Kohl, senior


manager at Toshibas European
design centre in Dusseldorf. This
is for the latest energy saving motors and requires quite sophisticated control algorithms.
Energy Micro extended its
EFM32 Gecko microcontroller
family with a Cortex-M0 line
called Zero Gecko and has
improved the performance of its

upcoming Cortex-M3 based Tiny


Gecko devices.
The firm also announced details
of its forthcoming EFR energy
friendly radio family also using the
Cortex-M0 core. Called EFR4D
Draco, the system-on-chip radios
will achieve receive and transmit
current consumption down to 5
and 6mA, respectively.
MSC Vertriebs is backing Arm
and Intel by going with the Q Sev-

Artemis in five-year plan


Due to be formally launched
in Brussels in May, the 60-page
document has addressed the increased networking ability of embedded systems.
Embedded systems are becoming the neural system of society,
said Lohstroh. All our systems
have to work together and there
is a lot of room for standardisation.
We are working on standards, said Lohstroh. We want
a standard to harmonise existing
standards.

Rohde & Schwarz aims


for bronze in scopes

Rohde & Schwarz made its


debut appearance at the show
to push the firms entry last year
into the oscilloscope market.
We have developed a go-tomarket strategy to get it know

Andre Vander Stichelen: Our goal is


to become number three is scopes.

The company can produce Q


Seven boards using either the
Nvidia Tegra 290 Arm CPU with
dual-core Cortex A9 or with the
Intel Tunnel Creek Atom range.
Intel and Arm are both competitive on this, said Eisenbarth.
Arm and Intel can really compete on the best solution. Arm
cant compete on Windows at the
moment, but that is now changing.

Downloadable modules
extend reach of rtos

Jan Lohstroh with the latest


Strategic Research Agenda

The Artemis Industrial Association adopted an updated version


of its Strategic Research Agenda
during a meeting at the show. The
last time this had been revised was
in 2006 and the latest version lays
out the organisations strategy for
the next five years.
This document should be leading the EC funded programmes
in Europe, said Jan Lohstroh,
secretary general of the organisation. It gives a mission strategy
of what needs to be done in the
future.

en baseboard specification that


will allow a board to be designed
so that processors from either
company can be added later.
With Com Express, you have
to change the complete design if
you move from Intel to Arm,
said Wolfgang Eisenbarth, marketing director at MSC Vertriebs.
But with Q Seven you can pick
the format and decide on the processor later.

that we do scopes, said Andre


Vander Stichelen, director of
sales and business development.
We are here to promote that.
We have our Scope of the Art
buttons and our own scope web
site. We are trying to become
known to customers who dont
know we do scopes.
He said the goal was to become the number three in oscilloscopes behind Tektronix and
Agilent, displacing LeCroy from
that spot.
We dont know whether this
will take three or five years, said
Strichelen.

To overcome the problem


of applications where memory
is tight, Express Logic has redesigned its ThreadX rtos in a way
that just the basic part of the
operating system resides in the
memory and the rest is accessed
via downloadable modules as
and when needed.
We put an interface round
the basic operating system, said
John Carbone, vice president of
marketing. Then you can timeshare the remaining parts in the
memory. The modules can be
on an external memory such as
a disk or they can be brought in
over a network.
Applications can thus gain increased functionality without the
cost of an increased footprint or
additional memory. This technique also provides on-demand
reconfiguration and application
updates for deployed systems.
For those worried about speed,
a crucial factor in small operating systems such as this, Carbone
said that it did not work by constantly accessing the modules but
by bringing them in maybe once
a day or even longer.
It is every once in a while that
you need to extend the capability, he said. Bigger oses tend to
have this but they tend to be slow
anyway. People buy ThreadX because it is very fast so a slow interface is not tolerable. We have
come up with a way that makes
the interface faster by mapping
the os services so they can be accessed without going through the
interface.
This kernel-module structure
is commonly found in operating
systems such as Windows and Linux, and in larger rtoses, such as

John Carbone: People buy


ThreadX because it is very fast.
VxWorks and QNX.
The modules are collections of
application threads, not linked
with the kernel, but are instead
loaded into target memory and
use kernel services via an interface with the module manager,
resident within the kernel. This
initiates a module as well as
fields and interfaces all module
requests for API services.
Although there is only one
copy of the module manager,
there are no limits on the number
of modules that can be loaded at
the same time, and no limits on
the number of threads in any one
module. In this manner, the kernel becomes a distinct execution
entity, running continuously to
serve module requests.
Support has been added to
ThreadX for Renesas RX600
32bit microcontrollers. The
MCUs also provide broad connectivity with integrated Ethernet, USB and other high-speed
interfaces, which are supported
by Express Logics NetX TCP/IP
and USBX host-device stacks.
>
Micro Technology Europe April 2011

18

19

BSPs ready as Embedded


Compact 7 becomes available
Microsoft used the show to
announce the general availability
of Windows Embedded Compact
7, the next generation of its widely adopted Windows Embedded
CE platform. And it was backed
by board support packages (BSPs)
from a variety of embedded companies, many of which had demonstrations running the software.
It has been in beta for us to
refine and improve and focus on
market readiness, said Lorraine

Lorraine Bardeen: Customers


love that it is ready to go.

Bardeen, marketing manager for


Windows Embedded. From a
market readiness standpoint, we
focussed on BSP readiness. There
are now many platforms from
which people can choose.
She said that Microsoft had
invested in the ecosystem to ensure that BSPs were ready from
the start.
They are available now running Windows Embedded Compact 7, she said. You can order
these immediately. They will help
reduce the time to market and
reduce the development costs.
Customers want to focus on the
application and they love that it
is ready to go.
Olivier Fontana, director at
Windows Embedded, added:
We introduced Windows Embedded Compact 7 today and
today you can purchase boards
using this.
One company that has boards
is Kontron, and its CTO Dirk
Finstel said: We will ship BSPs
for this in the next few weeks.
We did this with Kontron to
reduce the time to market for our

Galleon sales on with


rugged storage
Galleon Embedded Computing introduced a four-channel
Gigabit Ethernet recorder and direct attached storage (DAS) unit
in Open VPX format.
Galleon was founded in 2009
by disgruntled VMetro employ-

Espen Bch: We are


concentrating on small, rugged
storage systems.
April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

ees after their company was acquired by Curtiss-Wright.


Curtiss-Wright
downsized
massively after they bought
VMetro, said Espen Bch, Galleons vice president of sales and
marketing. There were a lot
of redundancies. Some of them
formed this company.
He said the firm had tried not
to compete directly with CurtissWright but find its own niche.
We are concentrating on
small, rugged storage systems,
he said. These are our primary
focus.
The XSR recorder is targeted
at mobile applications such as
UAVs and vehicles. The Titan
3U Open VPX DAS expands the
firms line of 3U Open VPX storage devices.

Olivier Fontana: We introduced


Windows Embedded Compact 7
today and today you can purchase
boards using this.
OEMs, said Fontana.
He stressed the importance of
the ecosystem of which Kontron
is part.
The Windows Embedded ecosystem has more than 700 partners globally and Europe contributes 40% of them, he said.
Silverlight for Windows Embedded, an application framework included with Compact, combines

the flexibility of declarative user


interfaces with the performance
of native code. It is based on Silverlight v3.0 and allows developers and designers to create and
update device user interfaces using Microsoft Expression Blend.
Compact also includes an updated Internet Explorer, built on
the same core as IE in Microsoft
Windows Phone 7 and includes
support for Flash 10.1, panning
and zooming, multi-touch, and
viewing bookmarks using thumbnails.
And Windows Embedded
Compact 7 now supports Arm v7
architecture, said Bardeen. And
it also supports SMMP for the
first time.
Demonstrations at the show
ranged from a home energy gateway being shown by Freescale
through a print mark detector
from Beckhoff to an eyeball sensor that can let people scroll a
computer screen by moving their
eyes.
We are seeing a huge amount
of innovation in the medical
space, said Bardeen.

Dassault on quest to
integrate Geensoft
engineers at Dassault Systmes are working hard to integrate the products it gained when
it bought Geensoft last year. And
one could forgive Eliane Forgeau
if she was a little confused as she
wore a different hat for the third
Embedded World in a row.
Two years ago, she was representing Geensys. At last years
show, she was CEO of Geensoft,
a company created by a management buyout of the tools vendor
business of Geensys. This year,
she was the catalyst systems sales
manager for Dassault.
She explained how progress
was being made in integrating
Geensoft into Dassault, starting
with Reqtify, Geensofts flagship
tool suite.
Reqtify will stay as a stand-

Eliane Forgeau: The next step will


be to support Autosar 4.0.
alone product, she said, but it
will also be embedded into Dassaults V6 framework. That will
come this year. We reckon Reqtify
will be integrated by mid-June.
However, integrating the Autosar Builder and Control Build
applications may take longer.

Flexibility key for power controller


Thanks to technology gained
when it acquired Fyrestorm in
2008, Exar has introduced a digital programmable power controller that can compete on price
with analogue devices.
The price is equivalent to
analogue, said Mario Willeit,
senior field application engineer.
You need this for competitive
markets like set-top boxes.
Part of the Power XR family, the XRP7724 has expanded
voltage and current ranges, SM
Bus interface and independently
controlled channel frequencies.
Applications span mobile to industrial to high-performance
computing.
Using the Power Architect de-

Picmg ratifies
Compact PCI
Serial

Alexander
Buravlev

Michael
Vierhellig

Picmg made the official launch


of the short-form specifications
for Compact PCI Serial and Compact PCI Plus IO, which combines
the parallel Compact PCI with
Compact PCI Serial.
The hope is that the higher
bandwidth capabilities of the serial specification will increase its
use in telecoms applications.
Compact PCI Serial will compete with Micro TCA in telecoms
access and edge applications,
said Alexander Buravlev from
Fastwel. It is designed to be cost
competitive with VPX, Micro
TCA and Advanced TCA.
And Michael Vierhellig from
Intel added: I see it as the logical
successor to PCI Express. Compact PCI Serial will be the base for
the next ten years.
One of the first companies to
reveal products supporting the
standard was MEN Mikro with
the G20 series of SBCs.

sign tool, engineers can modify can tweak design parameters


voltage, current, GPIO or other throughout the design cycle,
parameters in seconds. Engineers qualification into final test and
even when deployed in the field.
Because it is digital, it does
not change over time or temperature, said Willeit. It is also
flexible in that everything can be
changed over software.
The firms digital pulse frequency modulation technology
lowers standby current enabling
system designers to meet green Howard Lin: We are gaining big
power requirements.
customers.
Input voltage range is 4.75
to 25V and output range 0.6 to
5.1V, with a built-in LDO for
standby power, power sequencMario Willeit: Everything can be
ing capability and integrated gate
changed over software.
drivers.

Advantech
sets growth
target

Combining the benefits


of resistive and capacitive
touch sensors

Multi-touch using
resistive technology
Toshiba was demonstrating
a breakthrough in touch screen
technology that allows multitouch operation using resistive
touch techniques rather than the
more expensive capacitive touch.
The company hopes this will
broaden the spread of multi-point
touch screens in industrial and
medical applications.
The system uses an algorithm
to combine the benefits of resistive and capacitive touch sensors
while overcoming limitations with
each of these technologies.
We have a software algorithm
that can distinguish two points of
touch and follow the position of
your finger, said Andreas Kohl,
senior manager at Toshibas European design centre in Dusseldorf.
We have a patent pending on

this. It was developed in our engineering centre in Japan.


He said the technology would
approximately halve the cost of
multi-touch screens, though there
is a size limit on the screens. It
does not work particularly well
at screen sizes above 25cm but is
ideal at about 12 to 15cm.
Resistive touch screens can accept pen, stylus and gloved inputs
but not typically multi-touch.
Toshibas demonstration showed
a resistive touch screen that could
interpret multi-touch gestures.
It used an Arm 9 development
board for the touchpad and display with a PCB that amplified the
touch stimulus and calculated position and movement. The hope
is the technology will be ready to
introduce later this year.

Advantech has set itself


a target of increasing worldwide revenues from last years
US$670m to over $1bn in 2013
by increasing its focus on vertical markets such as medical and
transportation.
The important sector is embedded computers, said Howard Lin, managing director of the
companys European operations.
This has seen a very high growth
in the past year. We are gaining
big customers, the OEM customers.
In medical, he said the firm already had good penetration and
said this was about to increase.
Most hospitals are still doing
things in the traditional way, he
said. In the future, they will upgrade to be more computer based.
All the hospitals will go this way.
We see this as a big opportunity,
especially in Europe.
Though the intention is for
most of the growth to be organic,
Lin has not ruled out more acquisitions such as it did last year with
German company DLog in the industrial and in-vehicle computing
business and UK firm Innocore in
the gaming sector. But key in all
sectors, he said, was providing a
total package.
We try to work with our ecosystem partners such as Intel and
Microsoft, he said. We like to
provide the total of hardware,
software and components. And
we can do customisation.
>
Micro Technology Europe April 2011

20

21

Tool suite extended with


IEC 61508 support
LDRA is supporting the IEC
61508 and IEC 61508:2010 functional safety standards for electrical, electronic and programmable
electronic systems, from requirements through design, code, analysis and certification. As a broad
functional safety standard applicable to a wide range of industries, IEC 61508 focuses on risk
reduction and the safety lifecycle
for equipment and systems under
software control.
When the revised standard
came out, we revised our tools
so people can use our tools for
compliance, said Jonathan Kelly,
sales manager at LDRA. It ensures you get traceability across
the lifecycle.
IEC 61508 focuses on reduc-

ing risk through adherence to a


safety lifecycle and applying testing practices based on appropriate safety integrity levels. It establishes the level of safety risk for
a system or system component
using four safety integrity levels
(SILs) and translates these SILs
into software-specific objectives.
In addition, developers must follow IEC 61508s defined 16-phase
safety lifecycle, which requires a
complete software development
plan that demonstrates fulfilment
of requirements through all stages
of development.
The LDRA tool suite automati- Jonathan Kelly: It ensures you get
cally checks compliance to IEC traceability across the lifecycle.
61508 through all stages of the pliance, code complexity metrics,
software development lifecycle.
code coverage metrics, dataflow
In addition to coding rule com- analysis and host-target testing,

David and David

It was the story of two Davids on HCC-Embeddeds stand as David


Hughes (left) welcomed his new recruit David Brook (right) to the
company. Just two days before the show, Brook was working for Wittenstein High Integrity Systems but has taken up the role at HCC of
director of sales and marketing.
Hughes, who is HCCs managing director, said: Davids an experienced person with a great knowledge of the embedded environment
and is very suited to developing our business in the direction we want
to go.
It is good having a new boss, said Brook. Within 15 minutes of
joining he had me doing a web interview at this show.
His first real job though will be pushing the companys advanced
embedded middleware, which has been ten years in development.
We have been working on this for quite a while now and just getting
to the point where we can announce it, said Hughes.
Brooks added: We are now introducing TCP/IP underneath the
advanced embedded middleware. I am not aware of a TCP/IP stack that
has been developed to this level and this certification.

April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

the tool extends IEC 61508 compliance for software safety and
system requirements traceability
down to the processor level.
The company has also extended
its TB Manager test management
and traceability component within the tool suite. With the adoption of process-oriented standards such as IEC 62304, IEC
61508:2010 and ISO/DIS 26262,
software developers must comply
with programming standards and
provide requirements traceability.
To ease compliance and requirements traceability, TB Manager
has been extended to deliver more
transparency, implement consistent test plans throughout a team,
and manage the flux between requirements, code and tests.

Interface device targets


medical and metering
Growing
applications
in smart metering and medical
markets are the main targets for
the FT232H USB2.0 high-speed
device introduced by FTDI. This
single channel USB to uart/fifo
interface can be configured via
eeprom to use different serial or
parallel interfaces.
We are seeing more applications in smart metering for gas,
water and so on, said Ian Dunn,
FTDIs engineering manager.
We are also seeing medical applications such as with blood glucose measurement devices. There
is more monitoring of patients.
He said the company was seeing new applications almost on a
daily basis.
And we lose sight of a lot of
applications through the distribution channel as you dont see
the end user, he said.
Bundled with FTDIs USB device drivers, the device lets engineers add USB connectivity into
new and legacy peripheral designs. The associated UM232H
evaluation module allows engineers to prototype and tests the
devices suitability for incorpo-

ration into designs. This device


controller contains USB, serial
and parallel protocol engines,
eliminating any requirement for
USB specific firmware development.
The device supports IO interface levels of 3.3V with 5V tolerant inputs, making it suitable for
connection to a wide variety of
logic, MPUs and FPGAs.
As well as supporting asynchronous serial (uart) interfacing, it also supports interfaces
to many synchronous IOs such
as SPI, I2C, JTag and FPGA programming interfaces.

Ian Dunn: We use the spare


pins to transfer data faster.

Tool performs deep-flow


dataflow analysis
PRQA announced a different approach for identifying critical coding issues with technology
to perform deep-flow dataflow
analysis, identifying critical coding issues relating to control-flow,
variable state and library usage.
The module will be included in
upcoming releases of the companys QAC in the next month and
QAC++ later this year.
The dataflow analysis module
contains a satisfiability modulo
theories (SMT) solver engine, a
technology first for deep-flow
static analysis products. A combination of SMT solver technology
and in-house language and parsing expertise in function control
flow and detailed semantics has
created a set of unique analysis
checks for C and C++ code.
We are using a solver engine
that has been in research for
the past five years, said Fergus
Bolger, chief technical officer at
PRQA. It provides some very re-

Fergus Bolger: It provides very


refined analysis about dataflow.
fined analysis about dataflow.
Using the SMT solver, the dataflow module delivers code-modelling capabilities such as the interdependency between variables
being included in the code modelling, both for assignments and
in determination of conditional
expressions (control flow).
Modelling includes a bi-direc-

tional approach where later conditional tests can identify earlier


suspicious variable usage.
The embedded software industry is dominated by use of C and
C++ languages, said Bolger. A
limitation of many current static
analysis tools, particularly for
embedded industries, is a focus on
software interface layers rather
than detailed code semantics. Just
as important to embedded developers is the challenge of dataflow
analysis focussed on a precise
and detailed function level, literally on the bits and bytes of many
industries critical software-based
systems.
Loop iterations are modelled
accurately, including increments
by other than 1, multiple loop
control variables and nested loops.
Bit-fields are modelled exactly as
the compiler would handle them,
matching the true size of all types
and yielding intelligence on unions
and bit-field operations.

Hypervisor increases network protection


Version 5.0 of the Lynx Secure
separation kernel and hypervisor
adds performance increases for
fully virtualised guest operating
systems by using hardware technologies and providing 64bit and
SMP guest os virtualisation support.
Launched by Lynuxworks at
the show, Lynx Secure 5.0 has
also added a device sharing facility for systems with limited physical devices that complements the
existing direct device assignment
mechanism that has been available in previous versions. With
this release, the same highly secure virtualisation used in safety
and security-critical military,
medical and avionics embedded
applications can now also be used
in more enterprise-based systems
to support secure client virtualisation, secure multi-tenancy and
secure hardware appliances.
General purpose operating
systems and some embedded operating systems dont have any true

the second generasecurity, said Robert


tion Intel Core Sandy
Day, Lynuxworks vice
Bridge
processors,
president of marketalong with key Intel
ing. Microsoft Winhardware
functions
dows is the one that
such as EPT extended
gets hacked most of
page tables, PAT page
the time but the other
attribute table and
operating
systems
AVX advanced vector
have vulnerabilities.
Robert Day: A new
extensions, in-house
So a new type of detype of defence
fence system needed system needed to be benchmarks show an
execution speed withto be built in.
built in.
in a few percentage
By using Lynx Secures policy-driven, inter-parti- points of running natively.
We have been working with
tion communications mechanism,
the performance and security of Intel on Sandy Bridge, said John
shared devices such as network, Blevins, director of product marUSB, HDD and graphics is op- keting. This is a big release for
timised, bringing the benefits of us. It is the biggest release we have
security and virtualisation to re- made.
Another key feature is the abilsource-limited client systems, such
ity to run 64bit fully virtualised
as laptops or embedded devices.
A fully virtualised os runs guest oses with symmetric multiwithout any changes required to processing enabled. This means
either the os or the applications that 64bit oses such as Windows
when housed in a secure enclave 7, Linux and Solaris can run
on Lynx Secure. By using key across multiple cores managed by
processor technologies such as the security of Lynx Secure.

Suganya Sankaran: Building


automation is a big one.

Micros cut
power and
cost
Low power and high integration are the key features of the
Pic 18F K80 8bit Can microcontrollers launched at the show
by Microchip. With 1.8 to 5.5V
operation and the firms Extreme
XLP low power technology, they
achieve a sleep current consumption of less than 20nA.
Customers always want low
cost and high integration, and we
have addressed that with this low
power part, said Suganya Sankaran, senior product marketing
engineer.
Applications are in automotive
body control, building automation and industrial markets.
Building automation is a big
one, said Sankaran. That is
coming up, especially in the elevators and escalators segment.
For automotive and industrial
applications, the MCUs enable
smaller, more cost-effective and
robust control using the integrated
Can peripheral. For applications
that require low power and accuracy, they deliver claimed best-inindustry current ratings for longer
battery life, as well as an on-chip
12bit ADC and touch-sensing peripheral for advanced sensors.
Automotive applications include lighting, door, seat, steering,
window and HVAC controls.
Having a sleep current down
to 20nA is ideal for a lot of power
constrained applications in automotive and industrial, said Sankaran.
Micro Technology Europe April 2011

22 Microcontrollers

System level
design from an
MCU perspective
NEW

COM Express
MSC CXC-US15WP

Two overriding parameters now determine the success


or failure of any new microcontroller family. Odo Akaji
explains how combining them successfully can promote the
MCU from a supporting role to the star of the show

here are predominantly


two parameters now
driving demand for highend microcontrollers (MCUs);
performance and connectivity.
April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

While historically the MCU


domain has been dominated by
relatively simple 8bit devices,
the advent of 32bit processor
cores within the familiar MCU

format means that, now, the


MCU is becoming the system.

32bit swallows the system


There is a wealth of 8bit

devices available with almost


any combination of peripherals
to address various but specific
needs. It isnt uncommon for
a system to use multiple 8bit

MCUs, each performing specific


functions, while larger systems
are in turn coordinated by a
central processor.
Today, 32bit processor cores
in MCU format are becoming
the system. A single device with
enough performance, the right
peripheral set and the appropriate connectivity can now effectively provide a system-on-chip
approach to design.
System level design not only
demands an appreciation of

the requirements but an answer


to their needs. In this respect,
small and relatively inexpensive 8bit MCUs can often be
configured to fulfil the requirements and meet those needs in
cases where a suitable single
device isnt available. However, the increased availability
of MCUs with powerful 32bit
processing cores represents a
significant step forward in terms
of processing power, resulting
in a new breed of MCUs that >

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Intel AtomTM Z5x0 (up to 1.6 GHz)

Up to 2GB DDR2 SDRAM, soldered

Optional on board SST NANDrive, 2 GB / 4 GB

Two SATA-300 mass storage interfaces

10/100/1000 Base-TX Ethernet interface

LVDS interface (18 / 24 Bit) up to 1366 x 768 pixels

SDVO interface up to 1920 x 1200 pixels

Optional VGA output

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Two PCI ExpressTM x1 lanes

Eight USB 2.0 interfaces

High Denition Audio interface

COM Express Compact size (95 x 95 mm)

Extended temperature versions available

Brighton
Shaftesbury Court,
95Ditchling Road
Brighton, Sussex.
BN1 4ST
Tel. 01273 622446
Fax 01273 622533
Brighton@msc-ge.com

Milton Keynes
2, The Stocks,
Cosgrove,
Milton Keynes, Bucks.
MK19 7JD
Tel. 01908 263999
Fax 01908 263 003
Miltonkeynes@msc-ge.com

+85
-40

Weybridge
Lock House,
Hamm Moor Lane
Weybridge, Surrey.
KT15 2SF
Tel. 01932 268990
Fax 01932 848610
Weybridge@msc-ge.com

Low-Power Microcontrollers for Battery-Friendly Design


Microchip Offers Lowest Currents for Active and Sleep Modes

Digital Signal
Controllers

harness the
latest technological developments made within embedded
processors and packages them
in a device targeting deeply
embedded applications such
as industrial control and home
automation.

Proprietary versus standard

Analog
Memory

Most leading MCU manufacturers offer their own,


mainly proprietary, 8 and 16bit
architectures, which power an
ever increasing range of MCUs.
While these devices are often
differentiated through their
peripheral sets, it is actually
the capability of the underlying core that defines the overall
performance of the family
and as such is often subject
to ongoing development. This
process is becoming increasingly
expensive for manufacturers to
support and as a result the rate
of development has slowed for
low-end devices.
For the 32bit MCU domain,
the scenario changes; instead
of using a proprietary core
and incurring the expense of
maintaining it, a manufacturer
is more likely to use one of the
popular third-party cores as

Fig. 1: The Mips M4K core is highly efficient, with its Harvard architecture (separate data and programme
buses), 32bit ALU and single-cycle mac, as shown in this architecture diagram
licensed IP. Companies such
as Arm and Mips continue to
invest heavily in their processor core families, which are
increasingly being tuned and
developed specifically for MCU
applications.

As a result there are now


many 32bit MCUs on the market that use a range of popular
third-party processors.
The Mips architecture enjoys
a strong eco-system formed
from the many companies that

The Mips architecture enjoys a strong eco


system that delivers a range of proven development
tools and a library of supporting software to
complement the tools developed by the silicon
vendors themselves

Combining hardware and software


for an intelligent approach to
embedded control

support the Mips core. This


effectively delivers a range of
proven development tools and
a library of supporting software
to complement the tools developed by the silicon vendors
themselves to support their
products.
The Mips 32 M4K core
is highly efficient, with its
Harvard architecture (separate
data and programme buses),
32bit ALU and single-cycle
mac (Fig. 1). Independent
benchmarks show that implementations based on this core
can deliver more performance
than competing 32bit MCUs.
For example, at 80MHz a
>
M4K implementation deliv-

Extend the battery life in your application using PIC microcontrollers with nanoWatt
XLP Technology and get the industrys lowest currents for Active and Sleep modes.
Microchips new peripheral-rich PIC12F182X, PIC16F182X and PIC16F19XX families offer active
currents of less than 50 a and sleep currents down to 20 na. these products enable you to create
battery-friendly designs that also incorporate capacitive touch sensing, LCd, communications and
other functions which help differentiate your products in the marketplace.
Microchips enhanced Mid-range 8-bit architecture provides up to 50% increased performance
and 14 new instructions that result in up to 40% better code execution over previous-generation
8-bit PIC16 MCUs.
PIC12F182X and PIC16F182X families
include:
Packages ranging from 8 to 64 pins
mtouch capacitive touch-sensing
Multiple communications peripherals
dual I2C/SPI interfaces
PWM outputs with independent time bases
data signal modulator

PIC16F19XX family includes:


mtouch capacitive touch-sensing
LCd drive
Multiple communications peripherals
More PWM channels, with independent
timers
Up to 28 KB of Flash program memory
enhanced data eePrOM
32-level bandgap reference
three rail-to-rail input comparators

Get Started IN 3 eaSY StePS


1. View the Low Power Comparison
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2. download the Low Power
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3. Order samples and development
tools
www.microchip.com/XLP

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Intelligent Electronics start with Microchip


Telephone +44 (0) 1223 523100

April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

Microcontrollers

24 Microcontrollers

www.microrobotics.co.uk

www.microchip.com/xlp
The Microchip name and logo, the Microchip logo and PIC are registered trademarks and mTouch is a trademark of Microchip Technology Incorporated in the U.S.A. and other countries. 2010 Energizer. Energizer and other marks are trademarks
owned by Energizer. All other trademarks mentioned herein are property of their respective companies. 2010, Microchip Technology Incorporated, All Rights Reserved. ME257Eng/06.10

26 Microcontrollers

Multimedia and Gaming 27

ers 120 Dhrystone Mips


(1.5DMips/MHz) compared
with 1.25DMips of the nearest
competitor. These independent
benchmarks show the implementation completes tasks
over 30% more efficiently than
other cores. The architecture
and single-cycle hardware mac
enables the M4K to complete
many common processing
tasks much quicker. A popular
microprocessor based on this
core would complete an FFT in
28% less time than a comparable 32bit device.

Why G
is for
gaming

Eco-system
In general terms, moving from
an 8bit MCU to a 16bit device
can appear less challenging
than choosing a 32bit device.
However, while the cores
complexity may increase, the
benefits of a 32bit processor
go beyond performance. Getting the most from a powerful
architecture typically requires
greater dependence on the embedded software and here the
32bit approach offers significant advantages, particularly
for a core as widely adopted
and supported as the M4K.
The eco-system mentioned
earlier offers a range of realtime operating systems and
middleware, communications
stacks and other system-level
benefits. Some silicon vendors
also provide their own library
of middleware, which includes:
DSP, maths and peripheral

Fig. 2: A 32bit MCU can become a system in itself


libraries; wired and wireless connectivity libraries; file
system and memory libraries;
graphics library; audio library;
and AES 128, 196 and 254bit
encryption and decryption
libraries. This is supported by
a range of development kits,
which include development
boards targeting specific applications and technologies.

Benefits of 32bit
The penetration of 32bit MCUs
continues as more applications
demand greater performance
and extended connectivity.
Many companies may question
the need for such performance
but it is becoming increasingly
apparent that an entire system
can be developed on a single
32bit MCU, creating smaller,

more efficient applications


with a lower bill of materials.
These benefits alone make the
prospect of migrating to a 32bit
MCU viable for many existing
applications and future developments.
n

AMDs G series of
processors has caught
the imagination of the
gaming industry.
Nick Jarmany looks
at what makes them
so attractive

Odo Akaji is product manager


for semiconductors at
RS Components

the new performance


High performance graphics on COM Express
integrated CPU module | low power consumption | value priced

For more information about AMD G-Series on COM Express:


www.congatec.info | info@congatec.com | fon: +49 (991) 2700-0

April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

C
Typical slot machine that
can benefit from the
latest processors

omputer platforms are


often tailored to meet
the special needs of the
global slot machine industry.
The manufacturers of these slot
machines use such platforms
throughout the world, from
street bars in Europe through to
major casinos in Las Vegas and
Macau.
Products based on PC technology can be designed from
the ground up to provide the

optimal balance of features


to make them ideal for such
users. Many of the features in
such systems are unique, but it
is essential that the underlying
PC technology used provides
the best possible balance of
features.
When planning the next
generation of gaming products,
manufacturers have looked very
carefully at all the options available. AMDs Fusion APU tech- >
Micro Technology Europe April 2011

28 Multimedia and Gaming

Multimedia and Gaming 29

It is not just outright graphics performance that

is important, but also the ability to perform multiple


data and processing intensive and time critical tasks
simultaneously

nology delivered in the recently


introduced G series processors
stands out as providing by far
the best range of features.
High performance, multiscreen graphics is a key requirement in the gaming industry, and
the G series APUs provide a very
significant improvement over
traditional chipset integrated
graphics and competing products. It is clear that the cutting
edge AMD Radeon HD6310
graphics technology integrated
on-die together with the efficient
Bobcat CPU cores provide a
unique advantage both in terms
of features and performance.

Key benefits

One Size
Doesnt Fit All

With HCC, you can choose a file system thats


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Bootloaders

devices, with or without an operating system.

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April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

ZbWZYYZY

However, it is not just the speed


of the graphics or the Direct X
11 capability that is important.
The enhanced HD multimedia capabilities provided by
the UVD3 engine are also key
benefits to gaming users, who
are increasingly making use of
HD multimedia video material
in their game titles.
Increasingly, they are demanding simultaneous high
performance graphics and high
definition video streams, something that would previously not
have been possible except on
very high-end systems. Today
AMD has managed to deliver
this high-end capability at a
low-end price, a first for the
industry.
In gaming applications, it is
common for many operations
to be going on at the same
time. So, it is not just outright
graphics performance that is
important, but also the ability
to perform multiple data and
processing intensive and time
critical tasks simultaneously.
This requires careful thought
and optimisation of overall
system performance for real
world environments beyond
pure benchmarking. AMD is
unrivalled in its understanding
of these parallel needs and in its
delivery of an architecture that
can handle intensive, simultaneous demands without compromise. The G series processors
enable these demanding requirements to be met.
Heat is a major issue in gaming. Hot components require
cooling and that means fans,

which are always a reliability issue failed fans are a


costly maintenance issue. Some
products at this performance
level no longer require any active cooling, greatly increasing
reliability and reducing service
costs. This is made possible due
to the low power requirements
of the G series processors. As
such, entire systems exist that
consumes typically only 20W
while performing a typical game
with advanced graphics. This
is exceptional considering the
performance levels. The low
system heat generation means
an improved thermal environment and reliability for other
components inside the cabinet,
such as LCDs, bill acceptors
and so on, further reducing
lifetime costs.

Relative performance levels of the G series versus Intel Core and Atom platforms

Power issues
Low heat is not just a reliability
issue. Slot machine manufacturers and casino operators are
becoming increasingly concerned about power issues, both
in terms of cost and environment. Every watt consumed by
a slot machine typically requires
2 to 3W of power to remove
that heat through air conditioning. So, reduction of heat

generation can have a major


effect on energy costs and eco
footprint, which is a significant
benefit. Slot machines that
can also deliver a low power
footprint have a competitive
advantage. Gaming platforms
can now deliver these benefits
while at the same time providing a significant improvement in
performance.

Another significant benefit


delivered by the processors is
the small overall footprint. The
reduction from three to two
chips and the compact package
format has enabled manufacturers to produce feature packed
products in a small physical
footprint. The combination of
small size and low heat generation allows users greater

flexibility in the design of their


game cabinets.
In gaming, it is not enough
simply to have a great range
of technical features. Another
key requirement is long-term
availability of products. Gaming is heavily regulated and
any changes require costly
re-approval. For this reason,
users demand at least five years
continuous product supply. The
availability of these processors
on an embedded roadmap just
days after the launch of the
consumer products indicates
how seriously AMD takes the
embedded market.
Also, more powerful APU
introductions with exciting new
products for the gaming market
are likely.

Smooth process

AMDs G series processor

A smooth and quick development process with the platform


has been possible due to the
stability of the product, the
quality of the technical design
information available and the
global AMD embedded systems
team.
In summary, the G series
processors provide the ideal
balance of performance, power
dissipation, size and cost to
meet the demanding needs of
gaming users. 
n
Nick Jarmany is managing
director of Quixant

7/25/08 1:42:51 PM

Micro Technology Europe April 2011

30 FPGAs

FPGAs 31

Custom-made
interfaces
The latest FPGAs with integrated PCI Express interfaces
can be used as IO hubs in industrial and automotive
applications. Bob Blake explains how and looks at the tools
available to help

Fig. 1: Typical system configuration: flexible


IO companion chip with transceiver FPGAs

April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

n the ever-evolving embedded computing sector, the


drive for increasingly efficient
system architectures is gathering pace. Potentially lucrative
applications in the industrial and
automotive markets including complex intelligent motion
control, programmable logic
controllers (PLCs), machine controls and automotive infotainment head units are all driving
the need for higher performance,
greater levels of integration and
improved efficiency.
Arm-based integrated processing is certainly leading the way,
but the Intel Atom family of x86
processors is playing a more
important role as the requirement
for consistent operating system
support and human-machine
interfaces becomes increasingly
important.
The traditional route of using
processor and bridging chipsets
in embedded PC applications has
moved on, as indicated by the
latest generation of Atom
processors where bridging
functions, notably graphics and
memory controllers, have been
integrated on the same chip as
the processor.
However, for most PC and
embedded applications this
integration is not enough and
an additional peripheral device,
know as an IO hub, is usually
required. Industrial or automotive applications often require
market or application specific
interfaces and, as it is not cost
effective to support these types of
features in off-the-shelf IO hub

devices, FPGAs are typically used


to implement missing interfaces
and peripheral functions for these
types of applications.
The natural progression would
be to integrate both the IO hub
and custom peripheral functions
directly into the FPGA. The availability of low cost FPGAs with
integrated PCI Express (PCIe) interfaces means that real two-chip
products are now feasible from a
cost, power, bill of materials and
performance perspective.
For example, in the past the
PCIe protocol would require
15,000 FPGA logic elements and
would be challenging to close
timing; now they are integrated
in hard blocks within the FPGA
eliminating these issues. Fig. 1
shows the block diagram of a
possible system configuration.
The FPGA dramatically
simplifies the development of
the custom IO hub device. First,
standard interfaces are available
as off the shelf IP, for example
USB or memory controllers. In
contrast to a standard IO hub
component, the FPGA can support only the exact interfaces and
only the exact functions required
of that interface for the application saving resources, cost and
power.
Secondly, the platform specific
blocks for the customer-specific
system, such as industrial bus interfaces (Ethercat and Profibus),
video signal processing algorithms or functional safety circuitry can be designed. In many
cases IP blocks for these special
functions have already been

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New VPX clamshells


protect boards in
defence systems
developed by FPGA IP companies and are openly available on
the market. Using these IP blocks
can help greatly reduce the users
development time as they can
quickly be integrated into a users
own design and adapted to suit
changing requirements.
The standard components,
as well as the customer-specific
modules, can be added or
removed from the system at any
time, so depending on the design
many variants can be quickly
realised. Since FPGAs are available in many different families
and sizes, it is possible to devise
many systems in entirely different
performance classes with an identical architecture concept.
With IP, the FPGA development process is largely automated. For example, development
tools exist that automatically
create an internal system interconnect fabric that connects the
IP blocks and automatically deal
with issues such as arbitration,
memory mapping and bit width.
Such a tool could also generate
software header files, simulation
test benches and documentation.
A gui can be used to configure
the IP components (which may
have many options) and to
specify the interconnect topology
required.
The resulting system can then
be connected to the outside
world via the programmable pins
of the FPGA or connected inter-

nally to other IP or HDL based


components. These tools again
make it simple to create multiple
variants of the system.

Application viewpoint
The largely automated hardware
generation of the flexible IO
companion design is a very important aspect but sometimes it is
even more important to consider
how the hardware created can
be addressed effectively by the
operating system and application
software running on the Atom
processor.
To this end, an IO companion development environment
can provide a series of tools
and mechanisms to simplify the
process. This can be illustrated
by looking at an example of a
real IO companion design. Fig. 2
shows the system from an application viewpoint. In this design,
an IO companion constructed
within the FPGA supports three
industrial network interfaces
Profinet, Can and Ethernet. The
IP modules are connected via the
FPGA system interconnect to the
PCIe controller, which communicates with the PCIe controller of
the Atom processor.
When the processor boots, it
first runs the bios code. This code
identifies standard boot peripherals, initialises them and starts the
boot process from the desired
boot source. If the FPGA contains IP for an industry standard

Sometimes it is even more

important to consider how the


hardware can be addressed by the
operating system and application
software

lectronics enclosure
manufacturer Schroff has
introduced a new range of
VPX clamshells that safeguard
printed circuit boards in the
extreme environmental conditions associated with defence
applications.
As well as providing an efficient conduction cooling method
for transferring heat generated
by high-performance components, the clamshells are designed
to protect boards from the effects
of shock and vibration.
Based on the VITA 46/48 specifications, these robust clamshells
are primarily intended for use in
ruggedised VPX systems. They
consist of a two-part covering for
either 3U or 6U PCBs and come
in widths of 0.80in., 0.85in. or
1.00in.
Manufactured from aluminium alloy for high thermal
conductivity and lightweight
strength, the clamshells can be
specified with various finishes,
including black anodised, chemical film, electroless nickel plating
and custom silk screening.
They are available with
standard covers and can also be
custom machined to match the
contours of the board topography, allowing heat to be removed
from particular hot spots with
the aid of thermal gap filling

materials.
The clamshells are supplied
complete with Wedge-Lok or
Card-Lok PCB retainers and
extractor handles, which provide
ample force to easily disengage
the high-contact-density board
connectors that are typically
used in VPX systems.
Torque-limiting PCB retainers
such as the Series 223 and 224
Card-Loks from Schroffs sister
company Calmark enable failed
boards to be replaced quickly
and easily in the field, without
the need for a torque wrench.
When the screw in the device
is tightened, an audible click
indicates that the predetermined
torque has been reached, while a
ratchet clutch prevents overtightening.
In addition to the VPX
clamshell, Schroff also offers
variants designed for use in
VME/VME64x (IEEE 1101.2)
and CompactPCI (VITA 30.1)
systems.
For further information, visit
www.schroff.co.uk. 
n
Contact
schroff.uk@pentair.com
Tel: +44 (0)1442 218726

>
Micro Technology Europe April 2011

32 FPGAs

format boot capable peripheral


(such as USB or serial ATA) then
the processor can initialise the
peripheral in the FPGA using the
standard bios driver exactly as if
it were a standard IO hub peripheral. However it should be noted
that in many cases the FPGA
peripherals are not compliant to
the standard to save logic.
For non-standard or customised peripherals, in this case
Profinet, Can and industrial
Ethernet, the challenge is how to
provide a single driver code base
that supports peripherals that can
be mapped anywhere in memory.
This is easily done by developing
drivers using code that supports
relocatable (or settable) base
addresses, but then the problem
becomes how does the processor
identify which drivers are required and at what base address
they are located.
IO companion toolsets can
contain a utility that scans the
FPGA project file and extracts
the peripheral types and base
address locations. This information is then built into the FPGA
configuration file so that when
the FPGA is programmed the
peripheral information is located
in a special peripheral configuration rom.
As the processor boots, it loads
the FPGA peripheral driver this
locates the peripheral configuration rom in the FPGA via the
PCIe link and reads the peripheral configuration data. This

Isolated RS485 + 1W Power


3.3V or 5V

Isolated

REG

RO

5V

RS485/RS422
Bus

DI
ON

LTM2881
Galvanic Isolation

Fig. 2: Application viewpoint


information is then used to load
the required drivers and set up
the correct base addresses for
all the peripherals located in the
FPGA. This means that using a
single fixed boot function, the
processor can identify and drive
any set of peripherals configured
in any way inside the FPGA.
A number of development

Fig. 3: IO companion development flow


April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

Power

tools and hardware development


platforms are available to help
developers create their systems.
These consist of Atom processors
connected to a low cost FPGA
via one or two PCIe interfaces,
enabling both the software and
hardware engineers to evaluate
the technology and then quickly
and inexpensively prototype their

own system using off the shelf IP


and drivers.

Complete 20Mbps Module Transceiver Includes 2500VRMS Isolated Power


No External Components Required

Summary and outlook


The availability of the Atom processor for industrial and automotive applications means there is
now a need for a flexible IO hub
to help users differentiate their
applications and support market
specific IO features. The latest
generation of low cost FPGAs
with integrated PCIe interfaces
are ideally suited for this costsensitive requirement. Simultaneously, the development of tools
to enable flexible integration of
drivers into operating systems
and the automation of the boot
process considerably reduces the
level of input required on the
software side.
The FPGA IO companion
concept described in this article
can also be quickly adapted to
support other processors with
PCIe interfaces, and even other
(non PCIe) processor interfaces
to meet their applications specific
requirements.
n
Bob Blake is product and
corporate marketing manager
for Altera

The LTM 2881 is an isolated RS485 transceiver that guards against large ground-to-ground differentials. The LTM2881s
internal inductive isolation barrier breaks ground loops by isolating the logic level interface and line transceiver. An onboard
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With 2500VRMS galvanic isolation, onboard secondary power and a fully compliant RS485 transmitter and receiver, the LTM2881
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High ESD: 15kV HBM
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36 Misra Matters

ERS

SRA
I
M

MATT

Misra Matters 37

Take a risc,
give us a kiss!
Chris Hills continues his quarterly
column keeping you up to date with
the work MISRA is doing

everal things have come


up on C programming
forums recently that made
me realise that while some solid
truths have stood the test of time
so has a lot of bad practice. This
is despite much information and
many guidelines to the contrary.
This came up in a question on
a C newsgroup as to why some
code had failed. It was one of
the usual cases of getting ==
confused with = however there

Knitting pattern or clear model?


April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

were various ways to improve


the overall functions shown. The
improve is in quotes because
most of it was programmers trying to be clever. This is usually an
oxymoron.
One method had the line A =
B == C, which many of us said
should at least be A = (B==C),
simply for clarity bearing in
mind the original error was a
confusion over = and ==. Some
suggested that
if (B==C)
{
A=1;
else{
A=0
}
might be clearer. However, in the
online discussion there were a lot
of hot under the collar programmers saying they were not going
to code for novices or the weakest link and any good programmers should be able to sight read
any complex lines and understand them or they were just not
up to the job. It said more about
their egos than engineering skills.
However, programming is not
about proving how clever you
are and writing complex code.
After all as Brian Kernigan said:
Debugging is twice as hard as
writing the code in the first place.
Therefore, if you write the code
as cleverly as possible, you are,
by definition, not smart enough
to debug it.
Over a few decades I have
found this to be very true and
had to debug some clever
code. On one particular occasion
many years ago I ended up rewriting some long complex lines
in to multiple simple lines just to

work out what they were actually


doing, and in doing so found the
errors; errors that were missed
by everyone in the long complex
lines but glaringly obvious in the
short simple lines.
The thing that still surprises me
is the number of programmers
who nearly two decades on still
confuse space on the screen or
page with the size of the binary
produced.
Interestingly, all three constructs mentioned above will
probably produce the same
binary after the compiler has
optimised it. I have been told that
one compiler specific uses one
less byte and one cycle less for A
= (B==C) than the fully expanded
version. Your experiences may
vary but the differences tend to
be small, variable and not always
in the direction you expect.
The difference is that when a
complex line is broken down in
to multiple less complex lines it
is easier to debug. This is because
when single stepping with a
simulator, debugger or an ICE
you can go stage by stage in the
HLL. If it is all one line you have
to find the assembler window
and use that if you want to see
what is happening inside the line.
This is partly why we rewrote
those lines all that time ago, so
we could step though the C code
in testing and bugging. Writing
complex code usually does not
only not save any time or space
in the binary but often costs time
and money in test, debug and
maintenance.
This comes back to the title.
Instead of long complex lines
use multiple simple ones. Much

like risc processors


and keep-it-simple
software (kiss).
When I mentioned this topic
to the chairs of the
MISRA panels I got
an interesting reply
from Steve Frost of
the MISRA autocode
panel. He said kiss
was also applicable
to the model-based
design and autocoding area, if not more
so in some ways.
On some projects
we have seen, models are supplied as part of the requirements
specification, he said.
When modelling for autocode
generation then the model we
will autocode from can be considered the design specification
for the code (or part of at least
supporting textual documentation is often still necessary
and valuable). Strategy guides
and calibration guides (user
documentation) can be generated
from the model, or to include
snapshots of the model alongside
explanatory text, to explain how
the autocoded application will
function and can be calibrated in
the field.
The source models can aid
the testing effort; test vectors
designed at the model development stage can (should) be
carried forward to code testing
to achieve a large proportion of
any given code coverage metric
for free.
However, further test vectors
are very likely still required to
achieve the final few percent of
code coverage.
So one model needs to be
understood by a number of different users:
the model author well, it
would help with model maintenance if he or she can remember how a model works when
he or she comes back to it;
the model maintainer if different from the original author;
the end user via strategyguide documentation that
includes model snapshots;
the calibrator similarly; and
the test engineer could be
unit tester at code level, or
functional tester at the system
level.

Cant see the source


for the code?

In all cases a kiss model following a clear and consistent


modelling style will aid understanding, readability, maintainability and so on, just as it does
for coding.
Well that is the view from
MISRAs autocode panel. So
as you can see being clever in
coding or modelling is often an
oxymoron. Clean simple designs
are required that are easy to test
(possibly debug) and maintain.
Which brings me on to another
long-standing point related to
the first one. The first commandment in every programmers ten
commandments I have seen has
always been: Run lint and run
it often!
This dates back to the original
K&R C where lint was part of
the C/Unix compiler chain. In
fact Dennis Ritchie said:
to detect legal but suspicious
constructions, and to help find
interface mismatches undetectable with simple mechanisms for
separate compilation, Steve Johnson adapted his PCC compiler to
produce lint, which scanned a set
of files and remarked on dubious
constructions.
Now Johnson did that in
1976 and Ritchie wrote about it
in The Development of the C
Language for the AMC in 1993.
Yet last month I had someone
telling me he used a C++ compiler to parse C code to see if all
the functions and parameter calls
matched. When I queried why
he did not use static analysis, he
said that I had to remember that

this was back in the


mid 1990s, that is
after the quote from
Ritchie talking about
lint from 20 years
before.
Part of the reason
why MISRA only
suggests rather than
mandates static analysis is that a couple
of companies who
make static analysers have people
on the MISRA C and C++ panels.
They did not want any hint of
commercial bias. This is despite
many studies showing that static
analysis is a very effective way
of removing bugs and virtually
every standard for high reliability
software for example 61508,
26262, 50128, Do178, FDA
(medical) and so on requires
static analysis, and often a C subset such as MISRA-C. Even the
current wording for MISRA-C
says: Your static analyser should
check for an many MISRA rules
as possible. It pre-supposes you
are using static analysis. So what
is your excuse for not using static
analysis?
So to recap when using the C
language as invented by K&R:
K says keep it simple and R says
use static analysis and I say use
the MISRA standards. 
n
Chris Hills is a member of
MISRA C WG and chair of
MISRA Languages. He can be
reached at chills@phaedsys.com

Railway sidings or a clean design?


Micro Technology Europe April 2011

38 Product News

Product News 39

VPX boost for performance


in tight spaces
A 3U VPX product family based
on the low-power Intel Core i7
processor that enables high computing within compact environments is available from Aitech
Defense Systems. The i7 can process data using two cores and four
threads via Intels hyperthreading
technology.
Based on the Open VPX serial
fabric architecture, the family is
for computing environments that
require extreme data throughput as found in network-centric
communications, high-definition
avionics displays, mission and
controls systems computers, data
concentrators and condition-based
maintenance applications.
Included is the C870 SBC with
an i7 dual-core processor configured to run at 2.53, 2 or 1.33GHz.
It incorporates an on-board Intel Gen 5.75 graphics controller
with 12 execution units capable of
2D/3D graphics processing, shading and rendering. Each processor
core has an on-chip 32kbyte data

and 32kbyte instruction L1 cache


and 256kbyte L2 cache, with a
shared 4Mbyte of L3 cache.
Arrays of all-soldered volatile
and non-volatile memory (no connectors) meet the shock and vibration conditions. As standard, the
board provides up to 4Gbyte of
DDR3 sdram with ECC operating at 1066MHz, 4Mbyte of bios
flash and 8Gbyte of on-board se-

Fanless controller
based on QM57
An industrial embedded controller
using the Intel QM57 chipset has
been introduced by Aaeon. The
AEC-6625 has 204-pin DDR3
sodimm system memory to increase performance.
It supports DVI-D and VGA
inputs. For more efficient communications, there are two Ethernet
ports, six USB ports, a 6.35cm serial ATA hard disk drive bay and
up to four coms. PC-104 expansion is optional.
It is fanless, thus reducing noise

April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

level. Operating temperature is between -20 and +60C with airflow,


and -20 to +50C with no airflow.
DC input is from 9 to 30V.
The controller is compatible
with common operating systems
such as Windows XP Embedded,
Windows XP and Windows 7.
Applications include factory
control, building automation, marine, vehicle, traffic light systems
and machine automation.

Aaeon Technology
www.aaeon.com

Embedded
middleware
for micros

rial ATA SSD for mass storage.


Standard onboard IO includes
four GbE ports (two 1000baseT,
two 1000baseBX/KX), two serial
ATA II ports, four USB 2.0 ports
and eight discrete IO lines as well
as two uart ports and HDMI/DVI
and CRT interfaces.

Embedded middleware components for the STM32F2xx microcontrollers, including USB stacks,
file systems and peripheral drivers, have been released by HCCEmbedded. Following on from
the companys support for the
STM32F1xx microcontrollers, the
STM32F2xx series is a stable middleware, fully tested and optimised
for the microcontroller family.
The USB device, host and OTG
stacks running on the devices can
support multiple class drivers, including audio, mass storage, HID,
CDC-ACM (virtual com port),
CDC-ECM, MTP, RNDIS, printer
and boot loader.
Support is available for complex
devices, including compound and
composite devices, as well as OTG
combinations of host and device. A
developer-friendly tool is provided
for creating USB descriptors.

Aitech
www.rugged.com

HCC-Embedded
www.hcc-embedded.com

Kit provides HD-SDI for


distant signals
The HD-SDI-Box
kit from IEI Technology provides
a high-definition
serial digital interface (HD-SDI) for
distant signal transmission. The kit, including the Box-M (master) and Box-S (slave), can
transmit HDMI or VGA
video signals directly through
a 100m coaxial cable without
compression.
It suits professional studios,
broadcasting, surveillance and
intelligent transportation system
environments.
HD-SDI provides a nominal
data rate of 1.485Gbit/s.
The kit is flexible. Its long distance video transmission capability makes it suitable for a wide
range of applications.
With one master and two slaves

VPX Redi backplane speeds integration


The latest addition to CurtissWright Controls Hybricon family of Open VPX backplanes
is the 024-901-06-Cen1-01, a
3U, six-slot VPX Redi (Vita 48)
backplane to speed and simplify
the integration of open standards
based rugged deployed subsystems using VPX and Open VPX.
Open VPX profiles supported
by the backplane include the
BKP3-Cen06-15.2.2-3 backplane
profile, SLT3-Pay-1F2F2U-14.2.2
payload slot profile, Mod3-Pay1F2F2U-16.2.2-(all)
payload
module profile, SLT3-SWH6F6U-14.4.1 switch slot profile
and Mod3-SWH-6F6U-16.4.1(all) switch module profile.
This small form factor backplane supports data rates up to

6.25Gbaud per Vita 68. It has a


2.54cm pitch (seven slots wide),
five payload slots, a data and
control switch slot, star fabric

PC/104 card drives 5VA


high inductive loads
Data Device Corporation has in- of sine reference oscillator PC/104
troduced the SB-36350CX series cards with a high efficiency transformer isolated output to drive
directly high inductive loads.
The cards have software programmable voltage and frequency
along with short circuit protection
to support applications including industrial and military test
systems, aircraft, ships, displays,
robotics and ground vehicles.

Data Device Corporation


www.ddc-web.com

Fanless systems triple


performance
to a PC
and display device, the entire kit can
transfer video information over
a distance of up to 200m. When
connecting an additional slave,
the video transmission range extends up to 100m for HD video
quality and 300m for SD quality.
It also supports a touch-screen
remote control linked through
the RJ45 category five cable and
RS232 cable.

IEI Technology
www.ieiworld.com

payload slots.
Features include Vita 65 Open
VPX compliant backplanes, Vita
46/ 48 VPX Redi compliant, Vita
46.10 RTM connectors, multiple
backplane profiles available and
signal integrity compliant per
Vita 68, up to 6.25Gbaud.
It uses a two-level backdrill.
This is compatible with Serial
Rapid IO gen two and PCI Express gen two on data plane fabric, and 5Gbaud operation on
expansion plane fabric
Optional rear transition connectors are provided as standard
and it can have optional confortopology from payload slots to mal coating.
the switch slot for both the data
plane and control plane, and an Curtiss-Wright Controls
expansion plane between the www.cwcontrols.com.

Amplicon has released the Impact-E70 series of rugged fanless


embedded systems. The range
combines Intel i5 and i7 class processors within a compact and virtually maintenance free system.
The E72 and E73 are the latest
models in the range, providing a
processing performance of up to
three times faster than previous
models, making them suitable for
industrial applications.
They are available with a scalable range of Intel mobile 32nm
processors ranging from the entry level 1.86GHz Celeron to the

2.66GHz Core i7. DDR3 memory


is fitted as standard.
Housed within a rugged aluminium enclosure, when equipped
with the solid-state drive option
the system is resistant to shock
and vibration; it also has a wide
operating temperature and voltage input, suitable for harsh environments.
Models are available to provide
both PCI and PCI Express expansion.

Amplicon
www.amplicon.com

Transient recorder has


up to 64 channels
A transient recorder that provides
up to 64 channels in one system is
available from Elsys. The Tranet
EPC combines the firms family of
high-speed lan-controlled instruments featuring multiple acquisition modes with a series of robust
industrial computers designed for
high-precision measurements in
industrial environments.
The product enables configurations designed to users measurement needs, making it suitable for
power measurement applications
including verification and testing
of electrical engine control systems, inverters, frequency converters, power plant maintenance
and particle accelerator control.
More specialised applications
include connector pin resistance
testing, ballistics, explosive test-

ing and preventive seismic and


structural health testing. The lan
connectivity allows standalone
operation, so it can be deployed in
mobile and remote environments.
It can be equipped with up to
16 TPCX PCI-compatible digitiser modules with measurement
precision of typically 0.03%,
sample rates up to 240MS/s at a
vertical resolution of 14bit (up to
30MS/s at 16 bit) and acquisition
memories up to 128Mpoint/ch.
Available in 8, 16, 24, 32, 48
and 64-channel versions, the scalable unit can be coupled and synchronised for clock and trigger
with the sync-link box for up to
512 parallel channels.

Elsys Instruments
www.elsys.ch
Micro Technology Europe April 2011

40 Product News

Product News 41

SBC with
Zynq-7000 support
added to debugging quad power

Rugged
cabinet to
go to sea
Schroff has developed a ruggedised
19in cabinet that protects sensitive
electronic systems from the demanding conditions encountered
during operation at sea.
Suitable for frigates, aircraft carriers and submarines, the Varistar
cabinet has been independently
tested to MIL901D to confirm its
robustness and stability under extreme shock.
In addition, the cabinet is designed to MIL167 for vibration resistance, and its frame and covers
are galvanised and powder coated
to protect them from corrosion.
Helping keep project costs in
check through cots technology,
the MIL901D model is based on
the companys standard Varistar
cabinet with engineered modifications to enable it to cope with the
rigours of naval applications.
Four shock absorbers are attached to the cabinets welded base
plate and two more are fixed to the
rear of the solid top cover, for wall
mounting. The shock absorbers
are designed for each application,
with the type and size determined
by variables such as the cabinet
dimensions, the weight of the components housed in the cabinet and
the position of its centre of gravity.
It comes in various sizes and
provides EMC shielding, with IP55
sealing against dust and moisture.

Schroff
www.schroff.co.uk
April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

Lauterbach has added support


for the Xilinx Zynq-7000 extensible processing platform to its
Trace 32 tool. The Zynq-7000
integrates a complete Arm Cortex-A9 MPCore processor-based
system with 28nm low-power
programmable logic.
While Trace 32 has been supporting the Cortex-A9 core for
some time, the latest enhancement adds the Xilinx devices to
the list of validated target devices. Therefore it supports all

processor cores, including Power


PC and Microblaze processors,
used with Xilinx programmable
logic. In multi-core designs any
combination of these cores can
be debugged concurrently using
a single debug interface.
The tool supports all hardware
debug features of the Cortex-A9
processing system and flash programming.

Lauterbach
www.lauterbach.com

Digital signage ups


performance levels

The Ark-DS350 (AM3) from Advantech is a digital signage player


powered by the AMD 780E and
SB710 platform. It provides graphics performance with ATI Radeon
3200 graphics and Direct X 10
compliant hardware decoding.
The on-board 128Mbyte of dedicated DDR3 video memory can
further optimise power saving and
video decoding. It delivers 1080p
performance and can support dual
channel video.
Target applications include public transportation, retail, interactive
display and digital out-of-home
advertising networks.
The discrete graphic chipset

Advanced Digital Logic has announced the ADLGS45HDS, a


single board computer in 8.9cm
format. It is based on Intels small
form factor GS45-Express chip set
and is fitted with a PGA478 socket, which allows for flexibility in
the choice of processor.
The available options are a
Core Two Quad Q9100 featuring four cores with a clock speed
of 2.26GHz, Core Two Duo
T9400 with two cores at a speed
of 2.56GHz and a T3100 Celeron
with two cores at 1.9GHz. It can
be equipped with up to 8Gbyte of
DDR3 1066MHz dram.
It combines a GS45 Express
chipset and an ICH9M-E controller hub to provide interfaces including ten USB 2.0, four RS232
com and two 10/100/1000Mbit/s
lan ports. These are joined by ports
for a PS/2 keyboard and mouse as
well as a six-channel AC97/HDAcompatible HD audio interface.
The integrated Intel X4500HD
graphics core controls two DVI/
HDMI ports or an analogue monitor with a resolution of up to 2048
x 1536 pixels. For data storage,
four serial ATA II 300 channels are
available with hardware support
for Intel RST raid level 0/1 (and
raid 5/10 using software).
Also on board are an SM Bus interface, 8bit GPIO, Mini PCI socket
and PCI Express slot for ADL35PCIE riser cards. These can be used
to integrate PCI-Express 1x or 4x
ports into the system. Features include hardware monitor, real-time
clock and watchdog timer as well
as ACPI 3.0 und APM 1.2 power
management.
Hardware-based security functionality complies with the requirements from TCG.

provides video acceleration via the


unified hardware video decoder for
H.264, VC-1 and MPeg 2, thus offering smooth full HD video playback and crisp image transitions.
It is available in two performance
levels: embedded AMD Athlon II Advanced Digital Logic
XL dual-core processor version or www.adl-europe.com
with the low power AMD Sempron single-core processor.
The unit can support dual channel video via HDMI and VGA.
Though this is a fan-based model,
it uses smart fan technology so that
the fan runs quiet.

Advantech
www.advantech.com

Verification during design


Mentor Graphics has announced
the Calibre Realtime platform
for signoff-quality physical verification during design creation.

The first release provides instan- the same Calibre decks as the sitaneous design rule checking in gnoff flow.
This improves design speed
the Springsoft Laker custom IC
design and layout product, using and quality of results by giving
designers the full power of Calibres signoff engines and qualified decks during design. This
lets them optimise their layouts
for performance without sacrificing manufacturing yield.
A version for the Mentor IC
Station custom design environment will be available in June.
Having the signoff design rule
checks in real time, while creating
the layout, allows the designer to
break the LVS-DRC-LVS loop.

Mentor Graphics
www.mentor.com

Signage computer fits small panels


Avalue Technology has introduced the MPC-10W5, a digital
signage computer for small panel installation. Available from
Texim, it is powered by an Intel
Atom D525 dual-core processor, which brings memory controllers and graphics cores on a
CPU, facilitating a low-profile
panel computer design.
It is equipped with 25.9cm
17:10 wide panel, with 1024 x
600 resolution with a five-wire
compatible resistive touch screen.
The LED backlight panel gives a
luminance of 250cd/m2 and contrast ratio of 500. In addition,
it can be integrated with a low

mounting a webcam module.


Behind the plastic bar on the
bottom of the front panel theres
space for mounting USB dongle
devices, such as Wifi, GPRS, and
GPS. Peripherals such as PIR,
CIR, light sensor or RFID R/W
module can also be added without mechanical modification.
It has a small screen frame bezel and the aluminium housing
design weighs 1.22kg; maximum
thickness is 44.4mm. Using Vesa
75 x 75 hook wall accessories,
the unit can be mounted.

refraction
bounding panel for
sunlight readability.
On the front panel, an LED
indicator displays alarm signals. Texim
This area can also be used for www.texim-europe.com

MCU takes the heat

Texas Instruments has introduced


a floating-point microcontroller
for operation from -55 to +210C.
The SM320F28335-HT Delfino
32bit MCU can provide real-time
measurement and control for man-

ufacturers of electronics operating


in harsh and hot environments,
such as downhole drilling, commercial jet engines, motor control,
military applications and medical
instruments and surgical tools re-

Mobile PCs
provide
strength
BVM Mobile has introduced the
OB100 and 200 mobile PCs.
Housed in a rugged small form
factor metal enclosure and needing only an external 12V DC
power source, they are full industrial strength computers, which,
by integrating several different
technologies, accept inputs from
a range of sources, store and process the data, and act as a communications hub. They provide
3.5G, Wifi and Bluetooth; GPS is
also embedded.
Typical applications, currently
in development with customers,
include providing Wifi networking from a Portacabin in a green
field development, capturing
video images, time and GPS location data on buses as a defence
against fraudulent personal injury compensation claims, interfacing with radio-enabled fire detection systems on construction
sites, and storing images from
IP-based security cameras.
All versions support multiple 3
and 3.5G wan protocols: HSUPA,
3G offering up to 5.7Mbit/s; HSDPS 3.5G up to 14.4Mbit/s; and
UMTS 3.5G with a theoretical
45Mbit/s download bandwidth.
Wifi, conforming to 802.11b/g/n,
offering 11, 54 and 600Mbit/s
raw data rates and Bluetooth
short-range radio connectivity
are built in, as is embedded GPS
capability. Wired Ethernet and
wireless capability with active
and passive antennas support and
embedded video and high definition audio are also standard.
The entry level OB100 is based
on a dual-core D510 Atom.

quiring sterilisation.
It is based on the firms TMS320C2000 platform, which combines control peripheral integration
and embedded flash memory with
the processing power of a 32bit
floating-point architecture.
BVM Mobile
CPU speed is 100MHz. It has www.bvmltd.co.uk
512kbyte of embedded flash memory and 68kbyte internal ram. Integrated control-oriented peripherals enable high precision.
There are six high-resolution
PWM outputs at 150ps and a highspeed 16-channel 12bit ADC.

Texas Instruments
www.ti.com.
Micro Technology Europe April 2011

42 Product News

Scopes integrate
function generator
Agilent Technologies has expanded
its mixed-signal and digital-storage
oscilloscope portfolio with 26
models that comprise its Infiniivision 2000 and 3000 X series.
The 2000 series has bandwidths
from 70 to 200MHz for viewing
signal detail and capture of infrequent events. It has optional eightchannel mixed-signal capability
and optional integrated function
generator.
The 3000 series has bandwidths
from 100 to 500MHz and wave-

form update rates of one million


waveforms per second. Options
include a 16-channel MSO, integrated function generator and
hardware-accelerated serial protocol decode.
The market comprises electronic
design and test teams in the computer, communications, semiconductor, aerospace, military, automotive and wireless industries.
At the heart of the scopes is a
custom 90nm cmos asic with six
million gates and embedded mem-

IDE supports
Arm-based
development

SBCs for
Industrial computer
uses Q Seven module mil-aero use

An IDE supports the development


of embedded systems built around
Toshibas TX09 Arm 9 and TX03
Cortex 32bit microcontrollers.
Based on the latest True Studio
from Atollic, True Studio TX v2.0
is available as free light and paidfor professional versiosn.
The professional version is an
Eclipse-based high-end tool that incorporates Arm C/C++ edit, build
and debug tools for embedded
development and x86 C/C++ edit,
build and debug tools for development of PC command-line applications. The IDE supports parallel
compilation and multiprocessor
debug; incorporates UML-based
features that speed development
through graphical modelling; and
integrated features for source code
review and code review meetings.
The light version has much of
the functionality of the professional version.

Toshiba Electronics
toshiba-components.com

April 2011 Micro Technology Europe

At Embedded World, DSM Computer introduced the H1-A standard Din rail-mounted PC with
a compact housing. Thanks to its
standardised installation capability, the industrial computer with a
width of 122mm can be installed
in a switchgear cabinet or standard
electrical cabinet.
It can be deployed as a gateway
and communications computer,
web server or distributed control
unit in the industrial environment,
for example in building automation, smart metering and electromobility applications.
The core component is a Q Seven module measuring 70 by 70mm
from MSC Vertriebs that is based
on the Intel Atom Z510 processor.
The module is available in two variants, with 1Gbyte DDR2 memory
and 2Gbyte flash memory, or as
an alternative with 512Mbyte ram
without flash memory. The Intel
US15W system controller hub
with integrated GMA 500 graph-

ory. This Megazoom IV single-chip


architecture is what enables the
waveform update rates and responsive deep memory along with
integrated logic analyser, function
generator and protocol analyser
functionality.
All models are equipped with
a 21.6cm WVGA display. The
scopes weigh 3.8kg and are about
38cm wide and less than 15.2cm
deep.

Optional measurement software


packages add functionality, either
at time of purchase or as needs
arise. This includes segmented
memory for analysis of laser pulses, radar bursts and serial packets,
and hardware-accelerated mask
testing to perform pass-fail analysis using known good waveforms.

Agilent Technologies
www.agilent.com

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced two rugged single board


computers based on second-generation Intel Core i7 Sandy Bridge
processors. The XCR14 6U Compact PCI and XVR14 6U VME
platforms join the previously announced SBC324 3U and SBC624
6U VPX SBCs.
Both the XCR14 and XVR14
provide a choice of dual or quad
core i7 processors operating at up
to 2.5GHz, with four performance/
watt options, and up to 16Gbyte of
soldered DDR3 sdram with ECC.
This, with an inbuilt graphics capability and Intels AVX advanced
vector extensions technology,
makes them suitable for applications in industry and telecoms
and especially for military and
aerospace beyond command and
control such as signal processing
in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, radar and sonar.
They are pin-compatible with
their predecessors, the CR12 and
VR12. Both platforms are available in five build levels, including
air and conduction cooled.

ics media accelerator is deployed as


a chipset.
In addition to the two Gigabit
lan and two USB 2.0 outputs, there
is a serial RS232 connection; if required, a second RS232 interface
can be provided instead of the usual VGA interface. To compensate
for potential differences, the two
RS485 ports are galvanically isolated. This lets distances up to 1km
be bridged. The VGA interface can
be used to connect a control monitor for commissioning and maintenance purposes.
User data can be saved on the
onboard flash memory or on an SD
card. System monitoring, a watchdog timer and the ACPI power GE Intelligent Platforms
management improve reliability.
www.ge-ip.com.
The PC is installed in a robust
aluminium housing with a height
of 90mm and a depth of 41mm
(55mm with cooling fins).

Every
advertisement
is part of the
long-term
investment in
the personality
of the brand
David Ogilvy

www.automotive-electronics.co.uk

February/March 09

www.mtemag.com
June 2009

THE MAGAZINE FOR EMBEDDED ENGINEERS

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SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT TOOLS


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www.dsm-computer.com

Enquiry No: 13

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www.embeddednews.co.uk
April 2011

FOR DESIGNERS OF EMBEDDED SYSTEMS

microcontrollers
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