Category Archives: Firmware

Heterogeneous SoC design gets its own foundation backed by heavy hitters. Good things sure to follow

I am an unabashed advocate of heterogeneous SoC design. Have been for decades. It’s a system-level design approach that lacks the elegance and academic symmetry of homogeneous processing in exchange for a more efficient, bare-metal, hard-core approach to system design … Continue reading

Posted in ARM, EDA360, ESL, Firmware, SoC, SoC Realization, System Realization | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Freescale demonstrates first-pass Kinetis L silicon at Design West (The conference formerly known as the Embedded Systems Conference)

Two weeks ago, ARM introduced its new low-end Cortex-M0+ 32-bit processor core. At the same time, Freescale announced that it was planning on introducing a new line of Kinetis “L” low-power microcontrollers based on the ARM Cortex-M0+ processor. (See “How … Continue reading

Posted in 65nm, AMS, ARM, Cortex-M0, EDA360, Firmware, Silicon Realization, SoC, SoC Realization | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hardware/Software Codesign: Pink elephants on parade?

As part of this week’s DVCon event being held in Silicon Valley, the EDAC Emerging Companies Committee sponsored a really intense and well-attended evening panel on hardware/software codesign. The effervescent Paul McLellan moderated the panel. (If you’ve not read his book, … Continue reading

Posted in EDA360, Firmware, SoC, SoC Realization, System Realization, Virtual Prototyping | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Infineon launches microcontroller series based on ARM Cortex-M4 core, targets industrial drives, power and energy conversion, and automation

Last month, Infineon introduced the XMC4000 series of microcontrollers based on the ARM Cortex-M4 processor core augmented with a floating-point unit. (Note: Don’t confuse the Infineon XMC4000 series with the NXP LPC4000 series of microcontrollers based on the ARM Cortex-M4 … Continue reading

Posted in ARM, Cortex-M4, EDA360, Firmware, Silicon Realization, SoC, SoC Realization | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Video: Multicore, ARM-powered CubeStormer II solved Rubik’s Cube puzzle in world-beating 4.762 seconds

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a video of the ARM-powered CubeStormer II, a robotic mechanism constructed from four Lego Mindstorm NXT kits, that’s purpose-built to unscramble Rubik’s Cubes in the minimum amount of time. The CubeStormer II envelops … Continue reading

Posted in Android, EDA360, Firmware, System Realization | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is it all about the [embedded] apps like EDA360 says? ARM and Avnet open an online software store for embedded developers

In a very surprising move first thing today at the ARM TechCon 2011 event, Avnet Electronics Marketing and ARM announced a new Embedded Software Store where you can search for, purchase, and download embedded software and development tools for ARM … Continue reading

Posted in Apps, ARM, EDA360, Firmware | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Video: Are apps just for Smartphones? Nope. Take a look at this EEVblog video of new firmware for the Agilent InfiniiVision 3000X DSO

Say “apps” and smartphones likely come to mind immediately. No wonder, since that’s how most of us interact with apps on a daily basis. As all sorts of devices get smarter and smarter, the concept of apps-driven design—fundamental to EDA360—makes … Continue reading

Posted in Apps, EDA360, Firmware, System Realization | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Have you considered the Android factor in multi-core SoC processor management?

Ryan Whitwam over at Extremetech.com has just published an interesting article comparing the system-level power-management approaches taken by the Nvidia Tegra 3 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 ARM-based multicore SoCs. Both of those products have been discussed here at the EDA360 … Continue reading

Posted in Android, ARM, EDA360, Firmware, Silicon Realization, SoC, SoC Realization, System Realization | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

3-processor SoC for digital still cameras incorporates an ARM 1136J-S RISC processor core plus separate image and video processors

One more process node click, from 45nm to 32nm, bumped the clock rate of the Ambarella A7L SoC’s on-chip ARM 1136J-S RISC processor core to 600MHz from 528MHz. But reading the press release, I get the impression that the real … Continue reading

Posted in ARM, EDA360, Firmware, Low Power, Memory, Silicon Realization, SoC Realization, System Realization | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Jim Hogan coins “Jobs’ Law” and nails it to the door of System and SoC Realization

Jim “make me some money” Hogan, perhaps the most visible VC in EDA, has just published an article titled “Jobs’ Law” on the System-Level Design Community Web site where he defines Jobs’ Law (Jobs, Steve Jobs, who shakes whole industries … Continue reading

Posted in EDA360, Firmware, IP, Silicon Realization, SoC Realization, System Realization | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

EDA360 and the brand new Hewlett-Packard 15C Limited Edition RPN pocket scientific calculator

Want to know how to get a serious calculator collector salivating? Bring back a favorite design from 1982, re-engineer the design so that the old code runs on top of an emulation layer that allows the use of a “modern” … Continue reading

Posted in Apps, ARM, EDA360, Firmware, Silicon Realization, SoC Realization, System Realization | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Friday Video: Boot or DIE!

Sure, we all complain about boot times. For our PCs. For our laptops. For our smartphones. For our Blu-ray players. I don’t know who gave engineers a pass on boot times, but Lenovo at least is taking a funny and … Continue reading

Posted in Apps, EDA360, Firmware, System Realization | Tagged | Leave a comment

3D Thursday: Raspberry Pi Foundation’s $25 ARM board boots Linux using stacked DRAM

Although it’s not presented at a 3D story to the public, the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s $25 alpha board based on a 700MHz ARM 11 processor is very much 3D because there’s an SDRAM stacked on top of the processor. Why? … Continue reading

Posted in 3D, EDA360, Firmware, Linux, Memory, Packaging, Silicon Realization | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Semico Report: Software design costs have eclipsed silicon design efforts

“Software design costs have eclipsed silicon design efforts and have become the largest portion of the SoC creation effort.” That’s one conclusion of a new Semico report titled “SoC Silicon and Software Design Cost Analysis: Changes in Perspective.” This report … Continue reading

Posted in EDA360, Firmware, System Realization | Leave a comment

Google’s planned purchase of Motorola Mobility is a pure EDA360 play: Software drives Hardware

When I told my good friend David Thon that Google’s planned purchase of smartphone maker Motorola Mobility was a pure EDA360 play, he invited me to explain. In simplest terms, EDA360 posits that software now drives hardware in the processor-centric … Continue reading

Posted in Android, Apps, EDA360, Firmware, iOS, System Realization | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More EDA360 philosophy lessons from Agilent. What are the realities of today’s engineering economics?

My good friend Jack Ganssle knows more about good firmware design and development than anyone I know and he’s just written a short essay about Agilent’s DSO (digital sampling oscilloscope) design philosophy in his latest email newsletter, the Embedded Muse, … Continue reading

Posted in Android, ARM, EDA360, Firmware, Silicon Realization, SoC Realization, System Realization | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Friday Video: Micrium announces free 45-day eval version of µC/OS-III for several processors including ARM Cortex-M3 and ARM Cortex-M4

RTOS provider Micrium just announced a new policy for the distribution of the source code for its real-time kernel µC/OS-III.  The kernel is now officially “source available,” meaning that developers who wish to evaluate µC/OS-III can download its source code … Continue reading

Posted in ARM, EDA360, Firmware, System Realization | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Super Nintendo video game emulator highlights important emulation facets for EDA

An article just published by ARS Technica’s Gaming Editor Ben Kuchera on video game emulation seems an unlikely source for EDA emulation advice, but the long and detailed article is a textbook study in why accurate emulation is so important … Continue reading

Posted in Apps, EDA360, Firmware, System Realization | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Apps define storage task, create application-specific SSD

Eric Kao, Chairperson and CEO of MemoRight, spoke at the Flash Memory Summit today with a somewhat unusual keynote for this normally hardware-fixated audience. He suggested that the industry exploit the inherent parallelism inside of solid-state drives (SSDs) by writing … Continue reading

Posted in EDA360, Firmware, System Realization | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Flashing flash’s Flash updates flash’s apps

Just how far can this apps thing go? Well the Nissin Di866 camera flash contains a USB port and Flash memory to allow its firmware to be updated. Why would you want to do that? To update the flash for … Continue reading

Posted in EDA360, Firmware, System Realization | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Is “app crashes” headline news? It is when it’s driving a car from Google

Jalopnik.com reported over the weekend that one of Google’s self-driving cars was involved in a fender bender near the company’s Mountain View headquarters last week. The article includes a photo of the Google self-driving Toyota Prius stopped behind another Prius … Continue reading

Posted in EDA360, Firmware, System Realization | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Qualcomm renames existing ARM-based Snapdragon mobile application processors and provides future roadmap

Several articles on the Web today are discussing some new name changes to the Qualcomm line of Snapdragon mobile application processors to clarify the differences in the choices and to show a bit of the family’s future roadmap. Qualcomm now … Continue reading

Posted in ARM, EDA360, Firmware, SoC Realization, System Realization | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What are the rewards for late hardware/software integration? How about a large digital thermometer sign that says the outdoor temperature is 505 degrees Fahrenheit?

How about a disk drive that reports a negative amount of free disk space? Better yet, how about a launch vehicle that fails and requires triggering of a self-destruct sequence with a really expensive satellite on board? This is the … Continue reading

Posted in EDA360, Firmware, System Realization | Leave a comment

Brian Bailey asks if hardware/software co-design is a myth or reality, then answers the question

Brian Bailey is a well-known consultant in the EDA industry and he’s just published a short but pithy blog on EETimes examining the state of the art in hardware/software co-design. Bailey does something I really admire in this blog. He … Continue reading

Posted in EDA360, Firmware, System Realization | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Video: Exclusive iOS 5 preview from Apple and master magician Simon Pierro

Android, Honeycomb, and Ice Cream Sandwich will have to grow a lot to match these iOS 5 features, as demonstrated by master magician Simon Pierro.

Posted in Android, EDA360, Firmware, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, iOS, iPad | Leave a comment