Posts Tagged ‘MCAPI’

2 February, 2016

Multicore designs in embedded systems are now becoming mainstream as the cost-effective way to implement the complex functionality required in modern devices. There are essentially two multicore system architectures – AMP and SMP. SMP [Symmetrical Multi-Processing] utilizes a number of identical CPUs, with a single operating system running on them all. All that is required is a special SMP version of the chosen OS. This is not problem for Linux and is also available for many RTOS products, like Nucleus.

For the most part, AMP [Asymmetrical Multi-Processing] has a wider application for embedded systems. And this is where new developments are progressing quickly … Read the rest of this entry »

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16 September, 2014

I have written before about multicore systems – here for example – and looked at AMP vs SMP and various other aspects of the technology. As the use of multicore designs has become increasingly mainstream, the options and possible configurations available has increased drastically.

A particular facet is the incorporation of a hypervisor in an AMP system … Read the rest of this entry »

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21 July, 2014

Multicore continues to be a hot topic, as an ever-increasing number of embedded systems are designed with multiple CPUs – most commonly multiple cores on a chip. One of the challenges with understanding multicore is that the term actually covers a number of architectures and approaches to design. This is a topic that I have discussed somewhat before, but the increasing popularity of multicore and additional technology options make it a topic worth revisiting.

Figuring out the terminology is the first challenge … Read the rest of this entry »

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22 February, 2014

Next week, the world’s largest event, dedicated to embedded systems, takes place: Embedded World is on Tuesday-Thursday 25-27 February in Nuremberg, Germany. I have attended this show for many years and talked about it here. This year is no exception.

Mentor Embedded has a strong presence at the show in Booth 4‐422 in Hall 4, with numerous demos to see and members of the team to meet. I will be around on the booth for much of the show – do come along and say hello.

Embedded World is much more than a trade show – there is a growing conference too. The sessions are strictly vetted to ensure a good technical content. A number of members of our team have papers to present. This year, I have two:

  • Tues 25 Feb 14:00-14:30 – session 05 – “Power Management in Embedded Systems”
  • Thurs 27 Feb 11:30-12:00 – session 20 – “Interprocessor Communications and MCAPI”

Do come along if you are at the conference. If you would like copies of my presentations after the event, please email.

You can see a complete run down of Mentor Embedded’s presence, which outlines all the demos and lists all the conference papers.

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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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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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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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4 March, 2011

Just a quick “heads up”. If you are interested in multicore embedded systems and their associated challenges, you might like to attend a Web seminar that I am presenting next week. The session will be less than one hour, including live Q&A and I’ll be looking at the key concepts and issues in multicore in general and in inter-core communication in particular. There will be two sessions on Tuesday 8 March at 9:30 and 14:00 UK time. Full details can be found here.

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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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25 October, 2010

Last week, I attended the Embedded Conference Scandinavia in Stockholm. This event has been running for a few years now and I have been to it before. It seems to be gaining momentum. The show floor was well filled and there seemed to be a good flow of visitors. My colleagues, who were manning the booth, commented that they had had some good leads.

But I think that it is the technical conference sessions that really keep events like this on the map … Read the rest of this entry »

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12 July, 2010

Multicore continues to be a hot topic. Recent Web seminars, that we have run, were well attended, with lots of searching questions. I have discussed the subject here before, looking at the differences between AMP [Asymmetric Multi-Processing] and SMP [Symmetric Multi-Processing], for example. In various recent discussions with colleagues and customers, I have realized that there is more clarification that would be useful.

We have often talked about the idea that multicore and multi-OS go hand-in-hand. Although the idea of using multiple operating systems to realize an application may be facilitated by a multicore design, it is not an inevitable consequence. There is also the question of combining AMP and SMP in a single design … Read the rest of this entry »

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21 June, 2010

Some weeks ago, I wrote a blog entry on MCAPI, which seemed to provoke some interest. Last week we ran a Web seminar on this topic, in conjunction with the Multicore Association. This was well attended and seemed well received. You can access the archive recording here. We will be running another session soon, with timing oriented towards European attendees.

I have done quite a few Web seminars now and I observe certain patterns. A key one is that, although the session is run to convey information to the audience, I always tend to learn things too. This might be because I have some of the Mentor Embedded technical folks online with me to help with questions. On this occasion, I had Tammy Leino, one of our senior engineers, and Markus Levy of the Multicore Association on hand. How could I not learn stuff? But I also learn from the attendees … Read the rest of this entry »

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7 June, 2010

It is becoming common for embedded designs to incorporate more than one CPU – maybe multiple cores on a chip or multiple chips on a board or any combination of these. Indeed, it has been suggested that it will soon be the norm to build systems that way.

The use of multiple cores has spawned various technologies and, of course, much terminology and jargon. When new technical terms and acronyms appear, there is inevitable misuse and misunderstanding. This seems to be the case with AMP and SMP, so maybe I can set the record straight … Read the rest of this entry »

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4 May, 2010

As usual, I attended the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, CA last week. I guess it remains the foremost show in the embedded world in North America for sure – probably worldwide. My role was to make some presentations and look after the theater on the Mentor Embedded [our new branding for the Embedded Software Division of Mentor Graphics] booth. I did not have a chance to attend any conference sessions and remained on the show floor. Aside from my formal role at the event, it was a great opportunity to meet colleagues, friends and associates in the business – it was very much like a school reunion for me. I also enjoyed gathering impressions about what is hot in the minds of embedded developers … Read the rest of this entry »

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26 April, 2010

I recently wrote about a “multi-core” development project that I worked on many years ago, including some details of how we managed communication between the CPUs. Things have moved on a lot since those days and multi-core is now rapidly becoming the norm in embedded designs. It is, therefore, unsurprising that a degree of standardization is being established.

Specifically, the Multicore Association [MCA] have defined MCAPI, which is gaining popularity. Mentor Graphics have just announced support for this standard.

I thought it would be worth looking into … Read the rest of this entry »

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19 April, 2010

Last week, I wrote about a “multi-core” project that I was working on 30 years ago. To be fair, it was actually “multi-CPU” rather than “multi-core”, but many of the challenges were similar, as was the initial design decision to take the approach of distributing the processing capacity. It is interesting to draw a comparison between the system we were developing all those years ago and modern ideas for multi-core design. A common approach, which I mentioned here, for example, is to use one core for real time functionality [running an RTOS like Nucleus perhaps] and another for non-real-time activity [maybe running Android or Linux].

Using multiple CPUs [or cores] presents a variety of challenges. One is the division of labor, which was reasonably straightforward in this case. Another is communication between the processors … Read the rest of this entry »

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