Friends, here’s a review of 2013! There have been the usual hits and misses, globally, while in India, the electronics and semiconductor industries really need to do a lot more! Enjoy, and here’s wishing everyone a Very Happy and Prosperous 2014! Be safe and stay safe!!
Apple’s done it again, wth iPad Air!
Today, the world is transitioning from independent devices to connected systems. Intel has been inside the embedded systems market for over 35 years, having developed 270+ CPUs and SoCs as well as 100+ chipsets.
Herb Hinstorff, director of Marketing, Developer Products Division, Intel Software, said that Intel has been engaged at all levels of the solution stack. He was speaking at the 13th Global Electronics Summit at Santa Cruz, USA.
There are tools to deliver on developer needs, such as debuggers, analyzers, compilers and libraries. There are tools to provide the deep system-level insights into power, reliability and performance.
On the debuggers side, they increase system and device stability and reliability. There is an efficient system, SoC-wide defect analysis and ultra-fast system-wide tracing for software debug. There is an integrated application level debugger. Overall, it speeds system bring-up and development. Analyzers focus on boosting reliability, power efficiency and performance, enabling differentiated designs, system-wide analysis and deep insights.
Compilers go on to optimize performance and efficiency. There is the industry-leading C/C++ compiler. It boosts system and application performance on Intel Atom, Core and Xeon processors. Compilers also take advantage of the multicore to boost performance.
There are libraries for performance and efficiency. Software building blocks increase the developer productivity and boost performance. There are specialized testing functions that handle signal processing, data processing, complex math operations and multimedia processing. Besides, there is future-proof software investments. The libraries provide an easy way to take advantage of the multicore capabilities to boost performance.
The Intel System Studio is an integrated software tool suite that provides deep, system-wide insights to help accelerate time-to-market, strengthen system reliability, and boost power effiency and performance. The JTAG interface has system and application code running Linux.
There is a continued broadening of the OS support, and a broader range of tools to match the expanding SoC capabilities. There is more extensive software based training and simulation, as well as market-specific libraries and APIs.
Given that the market is transitioning from independent devices to connected systems, more capable SoC platforms and complex software stacks require deeper and broader system-level insights and optimizations. Embedded developers can take advantage of the Intel System Studio to accelerate the time-to-market, strengthen system reliability, and boost power efficiency and performance of the Intel architecture-based embedded and mobile systems.
There is a key lesson that Mentor Graphics made while trying to deliver solutions that were right for software and hardware developers. The lesson was: tailor the software to the discipline! Make it as similar to their environment as possible!!
Delivering his speech at the ongoing 13th Global Electronics Summit in Santa Cruz, USA, Dr. Wally Rhines, chairman and CEO, Mentor Graphics, said that 15 years of acquisitions taught Mentor how to think and behave as an embedded software company.
Open systems requires active engagement in software committees. Each open source project has some form of governance to manage contributions, release plans, etc. There is a community peer selection process for each open source project. About 50 Mentor Embedded Sourcerers are actively involved in the open source and Android communities.
There is a need to take the advantage of knowing both worlds. Mentor’s Sourcery CodeBench is an embedded C/C++ development tool based on open-source standards. Sourcery CodeBench is a complete development environment for embedded C/C++ development on ARM, Coldfire, MIPS, Power, X86, and other architectures. You can install, flash and debug in minutes!
Sourcery CodeBench is now the semiconductor industry’s leading embedded toolchain. There is an integrated development environment. It has the GNU compiler (GCC) and optimization tools. It allows debugging and analysis, libraries and QEMU simulator.
There are about ~15,000 downloads per month. There have been ~150,000 downloads and 300 releases per year.
Friends, here is the round-up of 2012, where the best of electronics, semiconductors and solar PV are presented. Best wishes for a very happy and prosperous new year! :)
Also, a word on the horrendous Delhi rape that has shaken up India. I am ashamed to be a man and a part of India’s society. My family and I are extremely sorry that the brave girl is no more! May her soul rest in peace. May God deliver justice, and quickly!
Opportunities in turbulent PV equipment market
Cadence Allegro 16.6 accelerates timing closure
Apple wins big vs. Samsung in patent war!
Is Europe ready for 450mm fabs?
Xilinx intros Vivado Design Suite
Top 10 semiconductor growth drivers: Intersil
SanDisk Corp.’s embedded storage is in most of all top computing device brands. It recently launched the iNAND Extreme family of embedded eMMC storage devices for high-end mobile and tablets.
Gadi Ben-Gad, product marketing manager for SanDisk, said: “This very high performance line of iNAND products joins the existing iNAND and iNAND Ultra lines, which are very successful in the mobile, tablet and consumer electronics markets. The first generation of these products (iNAND Extreme) will be sampling in a few weeks.
“iNAND Extreme products offer up to 50MB/s write and 80MB/s read sequential performance and very high random performance designed for the next generation of high-end mobile and tablet devices. SanDisk continues to monitor market trends and requirements and diversifying the embedded offering in the market, to answer to the different requirements of the different mobile, tablet and consumer electronics segments.”
So, how will SanDisk play a strong role in these areas? According to Ben-Gad, SanDisk works closely with a broad and diverse set of mobile and tablet OEMs. The company also works very closely with the majority of the leading mobile chipset vendors and standardization bodies in the mobile/tablet ecosystem to ensure optimal integration and technological support.
He added: “SanDisk is a fully vertically integrated company with substantial expertise in NAND flash technology, system technology and product design with years of experience in designing embedded and removable mobile storage devices. SanDisk is very well-positioned to understand, develop and support the future storage requirements in mobile, tablet and consumer electronics devices.”
Finally, I must thank Ms. Jody Privette Young, LymanPR, for making this happen.
ARM’s CEO, Warren East, presented this evening at an ISA invited conference on Mobile As The Nexus!
East said the industry is in a transformational mode. Mobile devices are now connecting ubiquitous environments, cloud computing, services and storage. We have the opportunity to reshape the value chain and create growth. Rapid pace of product revolution demands choice and re-use. Low power, low cost and differentiation drives innovation across markets. Scalable solutions enable smarter systems for expanding opportunities. East added that a flexible, diverse ARM ecosystem is evolving to enable new paradigms across new markets.
Focusing on the 2020 opportunity with ARM, he noted that ARM is growing into new markets and product categories. Today’s processors are driving shipments beyond 2015. All of this presents a tremendous opportunity for those who want to work with ARM.
Earlier, he said that currently, over 4 billion people were globally connected by ARM-powered mobile phones. Smartphones will leapfrog PCs in the developed world. Over 1.8 billion ARM processor cores were shipped in Q1-2011. Over 25 billion ARM based chips have been shipped so far. The table applications revenue is likely to top $15 billion by 2015.
There are over 850 ARM Connected Community partners, The ARM Cortex family has now been licensed 186 times. ARM currently has 10 percent of the mobile computing market.
However, East cautioned that there is still some way to go! Around 5.1 billion people don’t have the Internet, 2.2 billion folks don’t have mobile phones and 1.4 billion of the global population don’t have electricity. Read more…
Following my post on the formation of the Embedded Vision Alliance (EVA), I managed to speak with Jeff Bier, president, Berkeley Design Technology (BDTI), who went on to speak more about the Alliance’s capabilities.
First, the mission and vision of the Alliance. Bier said: “The mission of the Embedded Vision Alliance is to transform the electronics industry with products that–through vision technology–are more intelligent and aware of their environments, and create significant new markets for electronic equipment and components. The goal of the Alliance is to speed the adoption of computer vision capabilities in electronic products.
“The strategy of the Alliance is to inspire and empower engineers to incorporate vision capabilities into their products by providing practical information, insights, skills, and standards.”
I asked Jeff Bier whether the Alliance had restricted itself to markets such as automotive driver assistance, home surveillance, and gaming systems? “No,” he said! “We believe that vision technology can add valuable capabilities to electronic products in many markets – as well as enabling the creation of entirely new kinds of products. Automotive driver assistance, surveillance, and gaming systems are examples of vision applications where products already exist at consumer price points – and in some cases these products are already shipping in high volume.
“While we certainly believe that there will be more such products in these markets in the future, we also believe that there will be compelling vision-based products in other markets, ranging from smartphones to consumer electronics to medical devices to digital advertising.”
In that case, what kind of applications can one expect getting covered in retail and entertainment, medical applications, especially. Bier replied, “The Embedded Vision Alliance doesn’t intend to try to pick winners among embedded vision applications – but rather, to enable as many players as possible.” Here are some examples (including some existing products and some that are just ideas):
Retail: Digital signs that measure the success of an advertisement in attracting and retaining a viewer’s attention – and that select among a number of ads depending on the gender and age of the viewer. Vending machines that exclude minors from purchasing prohibited items, such as alcoholic beverages.
Entertainment: There are some awesome possibilities here, such as toys that recognize which child is playing with them and respond based on that child’s preferences. Video games that put the person inside the game, or inside the television program, for example.
Medical: Systems that watch hospital rooms and warn caregivers when they’ve forgotten to wash their hands, to cut down on infections. Machines that recognize medications and help elderly people take the right medication at the right time. Exercise equipment that detect a person’s heart rate and respiration rate without requiring electrodes.
Now, implementing embedded vision is going to pose a challenge! I asked Bier how the Alliance will overcome this. He replied: “We don’t expect to overcome it all by ourselves, but we hope to help, by providing design engineers get the kinds of practical information, insights, and skills required to implement embedded vision—and by providing a centralized place for such resources. This kind of information is difficult to come by today – by far the majority of computer vision information available today is theoretical, academic work.
“The first project of the Alliance is the web site, http://www.embedded-vision.com. The web site will deliver a variety of information including technical articles, product information, discussion forums, and demonstrations. In the near future, we will begin to deliver additional resources, such as newsletter and online seminars.”
Finally, the Alliance needs to create opportunities for technology providers to reach out to embedded vision system designers in the coming months. “Definitely”, said Bier. “The web site is already beginning to provide such opportunities, and we will continue to do so there as well as with other initiatives, such as educational seminars and on-line conferences.”
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Pradeep Chakraborty's Blog was selected as the best in the world in the Electronic Hardware category for 2008-10, by Electronics Weekly, UK.
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