Posts Tagged ‘ARM’

22 February, 2016

As a humble embedded software specialist, working for a company that is widely known in the EDA business [notwithstanding a 20+ year history of supporting embedded software], I think that I may be forgiven for having a slight identity crisis. When someone outside of the business asks me what Mentor Graphics does, I mutter vague things about electronic design. I was naturally intrigued when I heard about the recently announced agreement with ARM®. I wondered: does this mean we are going to start making chips? … Read the rest of this entry »

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6 October, 2014

Hot on the heals of ARM TechCon in California last week, I am off to another ARM-centric event on Thursday this week: the ARM Developers Conference in Munich, Germany. This timing was no coincidence. It was originally scheduled for early summer, but it was moved to take advantage of ARM’s announcements at TechCon.

I will be making a presentation titled “OS Selection for ARM-based Systems”. If you are not attending and want a copy of my slides, please email. As ARM announced a new OS, I wonder if there will be questions about that …

Incidentally, if you are attending, you might need to double check the location. When the event was first announced, the location was a hotel at the airport [as had been the case before]. However, when it was rescheduled it was also relocated to the Holiday Inn in Munich city center. I hope that nobody goes to the wrong venue!

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27 January, 2014

After talking about low power CPU modes last week, I make no apology for returning to the topic. Reducing power on a single core embedded system is a challenge. With a multicore design, there are many other nuances. As with most system development, there are two highly interrelated facets to the process: design and verification [which software developers commonly call debugging].

Different semiconductor vendors have different ideas on how to build such systems … Read the rest of this entry »

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18 November, 2013

My busy two week conference period is now behind me and, having had a bit of R&R in the meantime, I have had a chance to reflect on some of my experiences and impressions of the three events: ARM TechCon, ECS and IP-SoC.

If you attended any of these events, please email or comment to share your thoughts. If you would like copies of any of my materials, please emailRead the rest of this entry »

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11 November, 2013

Some technologies, it seems to me, should not really exist. They do, however, because they address a specific need. Typically, such technologies stretch something to make it perform in a way that was not originally intended. An example would be the fax machine. In a paper-based office environment, there was a frequent need to move documents from A to B. Initially, this resulted in the mail. But fax was an ingenious way to use phone lines to deliver a similar result. As soon as email became widespread, fax disappeared almost overnight.

The technology that I have in mind today is hypervisors, which are a software layer that enables multiple operating systems to be run simultaneously on a single hardware platform. They have been used for decades on mainframes, more recently on desktop computers, but are now beginning to be very relevant to embedded developers … Read the rest of this entry »

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25 October, 2013

As I outlined recently, I am attending a number of conferences in the next couple of weeks. The first one, next week, is ARM TechCon in Santa Clara, CA. This event spans 3 days – 29-31 October. The conference itself covers all 3 days; the exhibition is just days 2 and 3.

Each year this event seems to expand in size and scope and I have more things to do there … Read the rest of this entry »

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21 October, 2013

This is the time of year that I think of as “conference season”; from mid-September until the Christmas holiday period there are numerous conferences and suchlike. As a significant part of my job is supporting such events on behalf of Mentor Embedded, this tends to be a busy time.

To make life challenging, I am shortly to be involved in 3 conferences, in different countries, all in the space of 2 weeks … Read the rest of this entry »

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19 August, 2013

From time to time, a concept or some terminology pops up and suddenly everyone is talking about it. That is usually the point when I think “I wonder what that is all about.” and start to investigate. That is what happened with ARM’s big.LITTLE concept.

As a C programmer at heart, any terminology that uses the case of letters in an odd way gets my attention – and big.LITTLE is certainly an original construct. Fortunately, there is rather more to it than that … Read the rest of this entry »

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12 November, 2012


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I often tell people that my job is that of a “professional enthusiast”. I get enthusiastic about products/technologies, then infect other people with that enthusiasm. Well, that is the idea anyway. I enjoy doing this most of all when I get to stand up in front of an audience, as a direct connection with real live human beings is the best way to communicate.

However, there are times when an alternative means of communication is very satisfactory and the usual vehicle for that nowadays is the Internet … Read the rest of this entry »

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30 October, 2012

This week, ARM TechCon 2012 is taking place in Santa Clara, CA. This conference seems to grow bigger every year, reflecting the significance of ARM devices in the embedded world. It is a 3 day event, with days 2 & 3 [Weds/Thurs] devoted to software and systems design.

Sadly, I am not attending the event this year, but a number of my colleagues from Mentor Embedded will be there … Read the rest of this entry »

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10 September, 2012

I am on vacation and, all being well, by the time this posting goes live, I will be sunning myself on a Greek island. A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog about the use of floating point. My colleague Brooks Moses [who did a guest blog post a while back] made a comment on that posting, pointing out that I had over-simplified my example. I am always happy to get such feedback.

It transpired that Brooks had some bigger issues with what I had to say, so I was pleased to offer him an opportunity to have his say. Over to you Brooks and, waiter, bring me another beer … Read the rest of this entry »

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20 April, 2012


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I am not really sure that I should be promoting this, but here goes …

When I was at ESC the other week, I made the mistake of not hiding or looking frantically busy at some point. The result was that I got interviewed by some guys from ARM about the Stella robot that we were showing and the Nucleus RTOS that powers her. It has now been posted on YouTube.

I do not think that this one is going to go viral …

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4 July, 2011

Although readers in the US may think that it is a holiday today – and I hope you have a good one – it is just another regular Monday in Europe. Actually, as the Americans are celebrating getting rid of the Brits, maybe we should join in.

I am traveling today to an ARM Development Conference in Stuttgart, Germany, which I am sure will be an interesting event. I actually find it curious that there are so many CPU vendor specific conferences, which include software content. Most software, except that at the very lowest level is independent of the underlying hardware. The CPU architecture is of interest to OS and compiler developers and, to some extent to driver developers etc., but not really to application code software engineers. I would think that a conference focusing on a specific OS would make more sense. Or is there some other common factor? If you have feelings on this issue, do comment or email.

My two papers, that I present tomorrow, are titled “Interprocessor Communications and MCAPI” and “OS Selection for ARM-based Systems”. If you would like copies of my slides, please email.

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15 November, 2010

Last week I attended the ARM Technical Conference in Santa Clara, California. I am not sure how many years this event has been running, but it seems to be going from strength to strength. There was a change to the management company this year, but the event format was basically the same: a 3 day multiple-stream technical conference, with a selection of keynotes and an associated exhibition area.

Obviously, the key theme to the event is the discussion of all things ARM. I mentioned MIPS during one of my presentations, so I will probably not receive an invitation next year. The result of this starting point is the sessions offer coverage of hardware design issues, embedded software and everything in between. This suits Mentor very well, as we uniquely address that whole spectrum. Aside from this diversity of engineering expertise, there were some technical themes that really stood out this year … Read the rest of this entry »

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