Posts Tagged ‘multi-OS’

19 September, 2016

My latest video blog is now available. I am talking about multicore embedded designs and how the software can be configured. You can see the video here or here:

The challenge of multicore software development can be met by utilizing the best development tools and embedded software IP, such as the Multicore Framework from Mentor Embedded.

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.

, , , ,

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 »

, , , , , , , , ,

9 March, 2015

I have finally caught up and this is the last aggregation of recent articles. From now on, all being well, I’ll post to alert readers of new material being available. This time the articles cover measuring RTOS performance, the use of open source tools, memory use optimization and approaches to debugging … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , ,

1 December, 2014

I am continuing my catch-up process of cataloging embedded software articles that I have had published on embedded.com This time they cover the influence of software on power management, using a memory management unit, all about the C/C++ keyword static and the basics of multicore … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 »

, , , , , , , , , ,

18 August, 2014

Although I enjoy writing articles and blogs and giving presentations – I am always hoping that I can impart some useful information and help engineers with their projects – the Q&A session after a presentation is often the moist interesting part. If I am doing a Web seminar, for example, I normally have a one hour slot; I try to talk for no more than 20-25 minutes, leaving plenty of time for Q&A. I find that so often it is the questions that trigger ideas for articles, blogs and further presentations. So, please keep them coming – comment here or email are always options.

I attended a recent Web seminar at which there were lots of interesting questions … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , ,

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 »

, , , , , , , , , ,

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.

, , , , ,

6 January, 2014

A majority of embedded devices nowadays are implemented using an operating system of some kind. This has not always been the case and need not be today. Historically, using an OS was less common mainly because the applications were less complex and CPUs less powerful.

Some thought is needed, at an early stage in a project, to determine which OS to use [or whether to use one at all] … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , ,

2 December, 2013

, , , , , , , , ,

25 November, 2013

I recently discussed hypervisor technology and how it is being applied in embedded systems. This coincided with Mentor Embedded’s announcement of Mentor Embedded Hypervisor. I described what a hypervisor is and something about how it works, but I did not address applications for hypervisors – where they are used and why.

The initial announcement that I quoted, was focused on using hypervisors in automotive applications, but that is far from the whole story … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , ,

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 »

, , , , , , , , ,

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 »

, , , , ,

8 April, 2013

My colleague Richard Vlamynck [who has been a guest blogger here] and I were discussing tracing and debugging. Like me, he has been doing software for a few years. Hence, when we considered tracing and instrumenting code, he commented “It used to be easy to see what effect trace statements had on your program because, as you put more or less trace cards in your Fortran deck, you could visually see it growing or shrinking.”

We have come a long way from the use of punched cards, but tracing and debugging are still very much a matter of concern … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , ,

23 August, 2011

Just a quick “heads up”. If you are interested in the selection of an operating system for embedded applications [a topic I discussed briefly here] you might like to attend a Web seminar that I am presenting later this week. The session will be less than one hour, including live Q&A. The live session will be on Thursday at 9:00 Pacific and an archive recording will be available after the event. Full details can be found here.

, , , , , ,

6 June, 2011

I have raised the subject of embedded device power consumption before and I will again, as this is becoming more and more of a hot topic [no pun intended]. As I have touched upon on a previous occasion, power consumption is no longer purely a hardware – the software can have a significant effect. There are obvious ways that software has an influence: code efficiency, control of system voltage and clock frequency, de-activation of currently unused sub-systems [like displays, wireless etc.], good use of sleep modes … The list goes on.

Designing code for power efficiency is a big challenge, even with an OS that has facilities to assist. Verifying the implementation is another matter … Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

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.

, , ,

14 February, 2011

Multicore is a hot topic at the moment. The subject crops up in numerous articles and I have written about it before. Surveys suggest that, before long, more than half of embedded designs will be implemented using multiple CPUs.

There are broadly two hardware architectures: homogeneous multicore, where there are numerous identical cores, and heterogeneous multicore, where the cores differ in architecture. Then, as I have described in a previous post, there are generally two software architectures: SMP [Symmetrical Multi-Processing], where a single operating system instance executes across a number of cores, and AMP [Asymmetrical Multi-Processing], where each core runs its own operating system instance [each of which may be different]. But I recently learned that this is not the whole story … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , ,

23 August, 2010

I have pondered before the appropriateness of Linux for embedded applications. My initial stance was clear enough: I could see very little sense in it. Why use a desktop operating system in such a completely different context? Over the years, the popularity of embedded Linux has increased, the technology of embedded systems has moved on and I have reappraised my views accordingly. With Mentor Embedded offering comprehensive support for customers using Linux and Android, I thought it was worth revisiting the philosophical debate … Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

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 »

, , , , , , , ,

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 »

, , , , , , ,

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 »

, , , , , , ,

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 »

, , , , , ,

2 November, 2009

It is increasingly common for embedded designs to be implemented using multiple cores. At Mentor Graphics we are keen to support our customers by providing software and services to help them with such endeavors. We also espouse the idea of using multiple operating systems in such designs. I recently presented a Web seminar on this topic [a recording is available as an archive] and I have written a few articles.

As a result of one such piece, I was taken to task by one of our competitors, who accused me of over-complicating the matter. This revealed a complete lack of understanding of what multi-core/multi-OS is all about … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , ,

@colin_walls tweets

Follow colin_walls