Category: Embedded World

ARM Cortex-M processors are everywhere at Embedded World

Posted by – February 28, 2015

In this video, Thomas Ensergueix and Diya Soubra, product managers at ARM for Cortex-M processors,
discuss how software complexity is driving the increase in the deployment of 32bit Cortex-M processors in the embedded market.

The ARM Cortex-M processor family is a range of scalable and compatible, energy efficient, easy to use processors designed to help developers meet the needs of tomorrow’s smart and connected embedded applications. Those demands include delivering more features at a lower cost, increasing connectivity, better code reuse and improved energy efficiency. The Cortex-M family is optimized for cost and power sensitive MCU and mixed-signal devices for applications such as Internet of Things, connectivity, smart metering, human interface devices, automotive and industrial control systems, domestic household appliances, consumer products and medical instrumentation.

You can read more about the ARM Cortex-M series of processors at http://www.arm.com/products/processors/cortex-m/

ARM Cortex-M7 in STM32 F7 STMicroelectronics, IS2T brings MicroEJ Java apps store for embedded market

Posted by – February 27, 2015

STMicroelectronics launches STM32 F7 series of very high performance Microcontroller Units based on the ARM Cortex-M7 core. The STM32 F7 devices are the world’s first ARM Cortex-M7 based 32-bit microcontrollers, improving on the benchmark performance. Taking advantage of ST’s ART Accelerator as well as an L1 cache, the STM32 F7 devices deliver the maximum theoretical performance of the Cortex-M7 no matter whether code is executed from embedded Flash or external Memory: 1000 CoreMark/428 DMIPS at 200 MHz fCPU.

Demonstrated running on the STM32 F7, IS2T MicroEJ SDK enables embedded Java development for any MCU and MPU, from the smallest ARM Cortex-M0+ to the newest Cortex-M7 and beyond. The embedded Java platform includes IS2T Java Virtual Machine (footprint: 28KB of RAM, 1.5KB of RAM) and IS2T libraries for IoT, GUI and communication applications. Boot time to first line of Java main is 2ms on a Cortex-M4@120MHz.

IoT solutions includes TPC/IP, Wifi, MQTT, Websockets, HTTP, JSON, XML, COAP... protocols. GUI solutions includes a full set of widgets, drawing, motions, anti-aliased... libraries - typical animations at 60FPS with less than 10% CPU load. Full Java applications run on MCU starting from 256KB of flash.

The MicroEJ demo running on STM32F7 device shows the Waddapps store connection, an online store of embedded applications that can be downloaded to the STM32F7 through any link (e.g. ethernet, Wifi, Bluetooth). Apps are downloaded, installed, started, stopped, uninstalled without reset - same as smartphone users would typically do with an Apps Store.

More information about STM32 F7: http://www.st.com/web/en/catalog/mmc/FM141/SC1169/SS1858?sc=stm32f7
Free MicroEJ SDK evaluation: http://www.is2t.com
Wadapps Store: http://www.wadapps.com

Freescale i.MX 6SoloX ARM Cortex-A9 with ARM Cortex-M4 and the Mentor Embedded Multicore Framework

Posted by – February 27, 2015

Freescale launches i.MX6SX for Heterogeneous Processing at Embedded World 2015, it has one ARM Cortex-A9 core running at 1Ghz and one ARM Cortex-M4 core running at 200Mhz. Enabling the Heterogeneous Processing on the new Freescale i.MX 6SoloX , Mentor Graphics shows their Mentor Embedded Multicore Framework that enables two capabilities necessary for taking advantage of mixed core architectures: 1) remote processor lifecycle management and 2) inter-processor communication. Remote processor lifecycle management is based on the open source standard remoteproc, and allows the master core to power and boot a remote core. The inter-processor communication mechanism is based on the open source standard rpmsg, and allows the establishment of a communication channel across different types of cores and operating systems.

The demo shown at the Freescale booth at Embedded World boots Mentor Embedded Linux on the A9 core. The Linux system runs a Qt based patient monitoring application. When the start button is pressed on the Qt application, remoteproc interfaces are used to power up the M4 core and launch the Nucleus RTOS firmware responsible for capturing patient data, then rpmsg interfaces are used to establish a VirtIO based communication mechanism between the applications across the mixed core and operating system architecture. Pressing the stop button on the Qt application the reverse happens, ending in a powered off M4 core.

The entire runtime software architecture is instrumented and the trace data is visualized in Sourcery Analyzer for simultaneous timeline performance analysis and debug of both operating systems and applications.

You can read more about the Freescale iMX6 SoloX here: http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=i.MX6SX

Secure IoT for the future: Thread stack mbed OS on ARM Cortex-M using Atmel 802.15.4 radios

Posted by – February 25, 2015

Seppo Takalo, Senior software engineer, talks about the work happening at the Thread group to enable secure and reliable Internet of Things, formed from companies who work with 802.15.4 based mesh networking components. The goal is to provide a standard for Secure, Robust, self healing, Native IPv6 based mesh networking that runs on top of 6LoWPAN and uses standard 802.15.4 radios. You can find more about Thread at: http://www.threadgroup.org/

Top-6 Embedded World 2011 videos

Posted by – March 14, 2011

On the 3rd of March, I jumped on a train from CeBIT Hannover to Embedded World in Nurnberg, so that I could try to interview the representatives of some of the cool ARM Powered devices shown there. I managed to film 15 videos during that day at Embedded World, here are my top-6 best videos:

1. Worlds first Samsung Exynos 4210 ARM Cortex-A9 tablet presented by Hard Kernel, it's just awesome to see this $750 dev-kit transparent Tablet design, allowing to see through all the awesome hardware features of this platform.

2. Worlds most compact Tegra2 PC presented by Toradex, the potential is a $150 ARM Cortex-A9 Powered desktop PC, with dual-screen output (one HDMI, one VGA), USB host ports, Ethernet, audio input/outputs and more. It's cool!

3. $200 Tegra2 slim PC by Trim Slice Compulab, yet another cool looking Tegra2 powered super compact desktop PC, this one may actually seem to be more finalized than the Toradex, in terms of software and in terms of cheap motherboard design availability, though it's to be seen once it gets released what the status for software and hardware pricing will be then.

4. 4K2K video playback on the new Texas Instruments DaVinci DM816x and DM814x, the powers of Texas Instruments DaVinci ties in with what they do with OMAP, the DaVinci perhaps targetting more video-centric uses such as potentially one of the next $100 ARM Powered Google TV set-top-boxes. 4K2K ARM Powered Google TV at $100 retail would be awesome. Until then, the OMAP4 stuff is not yet in these DaVinci and the video stuff is not yet in OMAP4, but those are merging their powers.

5. Seco shows x86-ARM Cross Platform, they work on making it easy for the industry to get away from using x86 and to use ARM solutions instead. They support OMAP4, Tegra2, OMAP3 and i.MX51 designs among others. It becomes as easy as swapping the one for the other, all other aspects of the design, even the software being interoperable.

6. QNX talks about their software on the Blackberry Playbook, still no confirmation if Blackberry will choose to install a Dalvik Engine on top of this to support Android apps in there, but it's sure interesting to try to understand how QNX does it to utilize the dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 Texas Instruments OMAP4430 processor to its fullest to provide the smoothest UI and multi-tasking.

Nuvoton NuMicro Cortex-M0 MCU explained

Posted by – March 7, 2011

The NuMicro Family is Nuvoton's new 32-bit Microcontroller product line shown at Embedded World 2011, based on the ARM Cortex-M0 processor with rich peripherals to offer additional features and connectivity capability. Besides the NUC100, NUC120, NUC130 and NUC140 series, the new series the NuMicro M051 series, includes the M052/54/58/516 to supply for the worldwide 8-bit/16-bit microcontroller demand with a higher performance in a 32-bit microcontroller. The Nuvoton Cortex-M0 development kit costs only $20, that sounds cheap for developers to get into experimenting with those kinds of processors.

Toradex shows Tegra2 computer on SO-DIMM form factor

Posted by – March 4, 2011

This may be the most compact Tegra2 fully featured box PC computer thus far. They use 256MB RAM DDR2, 1GB flash storage for 99 euros, they'll also do a slightly higher end version with 512MB RAM and 4GB flash storage version soon. The cheapest board and box could be made for less than 50 euros more. Thus the idea is a sub-150 euro Tegra2 box PC all included and it being slightly larger than a box of playing cards, just big enough to accomodate the connectors.

Seco x86-ARM Cross Platform

Posted by – March 4, 2011

Seco provides cross platform Q7 platforms where users can swap from x86 to ARM Powered seamlessly, with minimum hardware and software porting. They provide Quadmo747-X/T20 for Tegra2, OMAP4, OMAP3, i.MX51 and i.MX28. This way, customers can have as much choice as possible, going from one processor to the other. All board vendors are joining the Q7 board standard, for interoperability in swapping modules.

QNX talks about the Blackberry Tablet OS on Playbook

Posted by – March 4, 2011

QNX has been working with RIM for quite some time now to enable full multi-process hardware acceleration. QNX Neutrino OS enables deep hardware and software integration, there has been a collaboration between Texas Instruments, QNX and RIM to make this work. QNX has had SMP utilization since 1997, they were enabling dual discreet parts back then. QNX is used to scaling. The ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-core, Quad-core and further processors will enable QNX to deploy their value on the market.

Nvidia Tegra2 enables Cortex-A9 for the Embedded World

Posted by – March 4, 2011

Nvidia is working in the embedded space for some time, they are supporting long term support, industrialization, temperatures and everything else needed in the embedded market. Nvidia provides the chip and some level of software support to enable them and they are supporting the customizations of the implementations. Nvidia showcases their work with MSC, Seco, Toradex and Trim Slice.