Category: Embedded World

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Atmel | SMART SAM S70 and E70 ARM Cortex-M7 (World’s fastest ARM Cortex-M)

Posted by Charbax – March 17, 2015

The Atmel | SMART SAM S70 and E70 microcontrollers are based on the high-performance 32-bit ARM Cortex-M7 RISC processors with double precision floating point unit. They operate at a maximum speed of 300MHz and feature up to 2048KB of Flash, dual 16KB of cache memory and up to 384KB of SRAM. They can achieve 1500 CoreMarks or up to 645 DMIPS. On the memory side, they have a flexible SRAM which can be configured as Tightly Coupled Memory (TCM) up to 256KB. Allowing execution of deterministic code or fast processing data. Code executed from TCM is executed at full speed so at 300MHz. The SRAM is multi-port which is reducing the latency over the bus matrix. When they have a lot of burst the latency can be reduced by 16 thanks to the 4 ports. To accelerate the execution of the code from on-chip Flash or nonvolatile memory connected to QuadSPI or over the External Bus Interface, they have integrated a huge L1 cache of 16kByte for the instruction and 16kByte for the data. Both with ECC. The 384KByte of SRAM can be extended through the SDRAM interface. Looking at the features now, they have plenty of serial communications such as SPI, SDIO or USART. Atmel has one High-speed USB Host and Device, with integrated PHY which obviously save some cost and PCB space. There is one CMOS Camera interface for image acquisition. All the series offer two Advanced Analog Frontend (AFE) with Dual Sample and hold capability and Up to 16-bit resolution with hardware oversampling. They also have programmable Gain for small signal input. All series offer real-time event management through direct connection between PWM, Timer and ADC for motor control application. Both series are based on the same feature set, the only difference is coming from the Ethernet, CAN support (SAME70 integrates Ethernet and CAN). Atmel offers all series in BGA and QFP from 64 to 144 pins. Small 64-pin pincount option offers an entry level form factor high performance MCU. All series support the extended Industrial temperature range from -40 to 105°C.

Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ FPGA MPSoC with quad ARM Cortex-A53 and dual ARM Cortex-R5

Posted by Charbax – March 16, 2015

Xilinx announces their next generation 16nm FPGA with quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 and dual-core ARM Cortex-R5, Mali400 GPU. The FPGA market is for designs where flexibility, high performance and fast time to market is important providing programmable hardware. The silicon is going to be available at the end of this year, so they are for now showing emulated version of their SoC. The dual-core ARM Cortex-R5 on the SoC are used for increased safety and security. By going with a 16nm 64bit design, Xilinx can pack a lot more performance without consuming more power than their previous dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 based Zynq 7000 which I filmed here http://armdevices.net/2011/03/04/xilinx-zynq-7000-series-cortex-a9-in-fpga-at-embedded-world-2011/

App store for the Embedded World, IS2T MicroEJ embedded Java platform on Freescale ARM Cortex-M

Posted by Charbax – March 4, 2015

MicroEJ demonstration on ARM Cortex-M4 Freescale K70 device, includes a Z-wave communication through USB host and Bluetooth communication with ARM Cortex-M0+ Freescale KL46Z device, driving a black&white 128x128 display. Both K70 and KL46Z are running MicroEJ Java platform, JVM footprint is 28KB ROM+1.5KB RAM. Boot time to Java main method is 2ms at 120MHz. Java technology brings OOP (oriented object programming) and virtualization (full simulator running on PC) to the embedded microcontroller software development. MicroEJ offers an App store called wadapps (http://wadapps.com), a new way to download application on connected devices. http://www.is2t.com

Freescale Kinetis KV5x ARM Cortex-M7

Posted by Charbax – March 4, 2015

This video provides an overview of Freescale’s new ARM Cortex-M7 based MCU – the Kinetis V series KV5x family for motor control and digital power conversion applications. The KV5x is the newest member of the V series and combines leading-edge processing power, sophisticated analog and timing peripherals, and new connectivity, security and safety features. It brings increased motor efficiency, remote system management and end-node interoperability via the Internet of Things (IoT) to a vast range of applications, from home appliances to complex industrial drives. Also featured in the video are the new Kinetis V series Freedom Development Boards and High Voltage Development Platform. You can read more about the Freescale Kinetis V series and supporting development tools here: http://www.freescale.com/kinetis/vseries

Infineon shows €16 ARM Cortex-M0 XMC1100 Starter Kit Development Board with free DAVE “Digital Application Virtual Engineer”

Posted by Charbax – March 3, 2015

Matthias Ackermann, Industrial Microcontrollers at Infineon Technologies presents the latest technologies around its XMC 32-bit industrial microcontroller families powered by ARM Cortex-M and a new version of DAVE in action – 600W LLC titanium class power conversion reference design using XMC4000 series, XMC MCU buck kit evaluation platform for XMC MCUs, 1kW BLDC power tool reference design using XMC1300 series, 2-axis FOC motor control using XMC4400 series, MATLAB Simulink coder library integration in DAVE, secure field update/upgrade for XMC4000 series, 24GHz radar for presence and distance detection, flicker-free LED lighting control with RGB LED lighting shield for Arduino.

The Infineon demos show typical use cases and implementations utilizing XMC MCUs that feature deterministic behavior (programmable hardware interconnect matrix), performance (with DSP and FPU or MATH co-processor enabling 32-bit DIV and 24-bit trigonometric calculations), accuracy (peripherals clock up to 120MHz, HRPWM with 150ps), full control (timer concatenate up to 64-bit, POSIF), integration (ΔΣ Demodulator, LED Brightness Color Control Unit), and flexible programmable communication interfaces for M2M and IoT.

The demos use DAVE. DAVE stands for “Digital Application Virtual Engineer”. It is the free of charge software development platform for XMC MCUs offering a configurable and reusable code repository called XMC Lib (low level driver) and DAVE APPs.

ARM Cortex-M processors are everywhere at Embedded World

Posted by Charbax – 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 Charbax – 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 Charbax – 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 Charbax – 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 Charbax – 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.