Posts Tagged ‘embedded software’

21 August, 2017

My latest video blog is now available. This is the first in an occasional series wheer I look at RTOS features and functionality. This time I am looking at inter-task communication. You can see the video here or here:

Future video blogs will continue to look at topics of interest to embedded software developers. Suggestions for topics are always welcome via comment, email or social networking.

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17 August, 2017

Last week we went to Stockholm, Sweden to attend a family wedding. We traveled a few days early in order to take a mini-vacation and see some friends who live in the city. Although I have been to Sweden many times on business, I have not really had a lot of recreational time in the city and this was my chance. We got a good deal on flights and accommodation and actually stayed in a hotel that I have commonly used on business trips, which felt slightly odd, but was familiar and convenient.

One aspect of the trip became more of an adventure than we had expected … Read the rest of this entry »

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14 August, 2017

This is the first of an occasional series of blog postings where I will focus on a specific feature or functionality of real time operating systems [RTOS]. These postings tie in somewhat with my RTOS Revealed series of articles on embedded.com My perspective will be as a user of Mentor’s Nucleus RTOS, from where I may draw examples, but most of the information will be much more widely applicable.

To start off with, I am going to look at how data may be passed between tasks … Read the rest of this entry »

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31 July, 2017

My latest article on embedded.com has been published. This piece is the tenth installment of the RTOS Revealed series, which will continue to appear through 2017 and beyond. The series will cover every aspect of real time operating systems.

The scheduler – options and context save

In this article, I continue looking at some of the details of how an RTOS scheduler is implemented and consider the context save and restore process … Read the rest of this entry »

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24 July, 2017

An increasingly important factor in embedded software development is power management. Historically, this was a solely hardware issue; that has all changed in recent years. Once the software has the ability to take control of factors that affect the system’s power consumption, it is logical that it should exercise that control in an efficient way.

Much is said about the implementation of power management software, but less is said about its design … Read the rest of this entry »

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17 July, 2017

I was recently approached by a software developer, who was new to embedded programming. As is commonly the case, we had a language problem. It was not that his English was deficient – he just did not speak “embedded”. He asked a question: How do I log on to my target hardware to do debugging?

On the surface, this is a reasonable question. Having ascertained that he was not using Linux – he was using a conventional RTOS – I felt that I needed to explain his options for debugging on an embedded system … Read the rest of this entry »

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10 July, 2017

My latest video blog is now available. For a change, instead of a technical discussion, I am talking about getting into embedded software and how my career got started. You can see the video here or here:

Future video blogs will continue to look at topics of interest to embedded software developers. Suggestions for topics are always welcome via comment, email or social networking.


3 July, 2017

My latest article on embedded.com has been published. This piece is the ninth installment of the RTOS Revealed series, which will continue to appear through 2017 and beyond. The series will cover every aspect of real time operating systems.

The scheduler – implementation

In this article, I start looking at some of the details of how an RTOS scheduler is implemented … Read the rest of this entry »

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26 June, 2017

All C/C++ functions have a single point of entry and it is widely thought that a single point of exit is logical. Indeed, a number of programming standards [MISRA C for example] insist on this approach. The logic is that a single return statement makes for clearer, easier to read code. Additionally, a single exit point means that there is less chance of failing to execute function exit code, which may deallocate resources etc. Such an error leads to memory leaks and the like. The contrary argument is that an early return might avoid the need for some convoluted logic to direct the execution flow to the end of the function – a nest of if … else constructs can be hard to read.

I have been pondering an alternative approach that might deliver the best of both worlds … Read the rest of this entry »

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12 June, 2017

Some months ago, I received an email asking me whether I would be willing and able to conduct a 3-day embedded software masterclass in Bangalore, India. An events management company was planning such an event and had located me via the magic of social media. I was, of course, flattered to be asked, but also both daunted and intrigued by the prospect of doing it … Read the rest of this entry »


5 June, 2017

My latest video blog is now available. I am talking about multicore systems and the various software architectures that are available. You can see the video here or here:

Future video blogs will continue to look at topics of interest to embedded software developers. Suggestions for topics are always welcome via comment, email or social networking.

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8 May, 2017

My latest article on embedded.com has been published. This piece is the seventh installment of the RTOS Revealed series, which will continue to appear through 2017 and beyond. The series will cover every aspect of real time operating systems.

Nucleus SE – an introduction

In this article, I take an initial look at Nucleus SE which will be used as the example RTOS for the rest of the series … Read the rest of this entry »

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1 May, 2017

This week I will be at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston. Each year, there are a number of ESC events around the US – some are more permanent and successful than others. ESC Boston has been revived in recent years and I have been fortunate enough to have some papers accepted and have the opportunity to visit one of my favorite American cities. This year is no exception … Read the rest of this entry »

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10 April, 2017

My blog posts here mainly focus on technical issues and a I rarely pass comment on “business” matters. But, sometimes, there are events of such significance that comment is necessary. Some time ago, the plan for Mentor Graphics to be acquired by Siemens was unveiled. Over the months, all the necessary procedures have been effected and, last week, came the announcement that the acquisition had been completed.

I have been contemplating the significance of this acquisition to various parties … Read the rest of this entry »

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3 April, 2017

My latest video blog is now available. I am talking about the use of a memory management unit [MMU] in an embedded system. You can see the video here or here:

Future video blogs will continue to look at topics of interest to embedded software developers. Suggestions for topics are always welcome via comment, email or social networking.

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27 March, 2017

I recently wrote about an interesting C++ programming technique, that is particularly useful in some embedded applications. The idea was all about using an embedded block, with an object local to it, where the associated constructor and destructor were put to novel use. The application, that I illustrated, was protecting a critical section using the disabling of interrupts. Today, I would like to explore the technique a little further … Read the rest of this entry »

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20 March, 2017

My latest article on embedded.com has been published. This piece is the sixth installment of the RTOS Revealed series, which will continue to appear through 2017 and beyond. The series will cover every aspect of real time operating systems.

Other RTOS services

In this article, I take a look at the additional facilities that and RTOS may offer beyond those introduced thus far … Read the rest of this entry »

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13 March, 2017

My latest video blog is now available. I am talking about the relationship between the choice of operating system and the power consumption of an embedded system. You can see the video here or here:

Future video blogs will continue to look at topics of interest to embedded software developers. Suggestions for topics are always welcome via comment, email or social networking.

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6 March, 2017

Next week, Tuesday-Thursday 14-16 March is Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany. This is the biggest event in the world of embedded systems. I have been to the show and conference most years over the last decade and this year is no exception. The event is a very large trade show, along with a technical conference. It is the conference where I usually find myself most occupied … Read the rest of this entry »

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27 February, 2017

My latest article on embedded.com has been published. This piece is the fifth installment of the RTOS Revealed series, which will continue to appear through 2017 and beyond. The series will cover every aspect of real time operating systems.

Inter-task communication and synchronization

In this article, I take a look at the various facilities that and RTOS may offer to accommodate communication between and synchronization of tasks… Read the rest of this entry »

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20 February, 2017

If your embedded application makes use of a real-time operating system [RTOS], like Nucleus, you will need to learn the API – the Application Program Interface. The API is a series of function calls that enable the application code to make use of the facilities provided by the RTOS. These facilities include control of tasks, timing, inter-task communication and synchronization and memory management. The number of available calls may run into hundreds, as a modern RTOS offers a wide range of functionality.

Although C is the most widely used language for programming embedded systems, many developers are keen to use C++. This opens up an alternative way to interface with an RTOS … Read the rest of this entry »

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