Posts Tagged ‘automotive’

1 August, 2016

My latest article at has been published:

Software in cars

From an embedded software engineer’s point of view, a car has become a mobile box full of embedded systems. This article reviews all aspects of embedded software in cars, including operating systems, protocols, development tools and international standards.

The software content in automotive systems has exploded in recent years and Mentor Graphics is very active in this area.


6 June, 2016

My latest article at has been published:

Safety critical systems – the basics

Designing any kind of system to be truly “safe” is a challenge. The first requirement is to define the term “safe” and consider the implications of it being unsafe. A system is a combination of hardware and software and these each contribute to the safety and integrity of the system as a whole. This article looks at the basic considerations for designing for safety, using an automobile as the example.

I wrote this article because I was deeply shocked by my friend’s experience and realized that there was just a chance that I could help prevent such an error occurring again.

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16 May, 2016

Embedded developers often bemoan the fact that no programming language is ideal for their particular needs. In a way, this situation is unsurprising, because, although a great many developers are working on embedded applications, they are still only quite a small subset of the world’s programming community. Nevertheless, some languages have been developed with embedded in mind. Notable examples are PL/M, Forth and Ada, all of which have been widely used, but never universally accepted.

The compromise, that has been adopted almost universally, is C … Read the rest of this entry »

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3 March, 2014

Last week, as I previously previewed, was Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany. Now that I am back home, footsore and tired [and still harboring the symptoms of a head cold that makes traveling even less fun than normal], I can reflect on my experiences.

When I return from such events, it is always expected that I will have gained a firm impression of what the event was all about and what trends were apparent … Read the rest of this entry »

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3 February, 2014

Complexity never, in itself, impresses me. I am impressed people’s ability to understand complex ideas and create complex machines, but a truly elegant and simple solution is always what gives me most pleasure. This might beg the question as to why I work in software – a business well known for creating incredibly complex things. I often ask myself the same question.

Systems where there are safety issues are a particular concern and a context, which is of interest to us all, is automotive systems … Read the rest of this entry »

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13 January, 2014

A number of industry segments demand systems that comply with specific safety requirements. Obvious examples are mil/aero and medical and, of course, one which we bump into every day and in which Mentor Embedded is very active: automotive.

Modern cars are stuffed with microprocessors and microcontrollers, which perform a variety of functions, which vary in their importance from convenience to safety critical. It is interesting to consider how these different type of systems are implemented … Read the rest of this entry »

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9 December, 2013

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24 May, 2010

In the early days of PCs, the software was very fragile – from a security point of view. Virus software could easily infiltrate a system and it was common practice to be very careful with the use of media from non-trusted sources. Then, everyone started to be connected to the Internet and the problem became orders of magnitude worse and we all have a justifiable paranoia about the security of our online lives. Now it seems that cars are going the same way … Read the rest of this entry »

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23 November, 2009

It was well over 10 years ago and I was working a trade show booth with a techie colleague. It was quiet and we were bored. We chatted about things that interested us and eventually settled on our common ground: embedded software. He made a reference to “back in the 8 bit days”. I questioned this: “We are in the 8 bit days now!”. He did not believe me … Read the rest of this entry »

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