Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Website and Blog

VDC has a new website and a new address for the On Target Embedded Systems blog. We’ve transferred the feed to the new blog so if you subscribe to our feed, no need to take any action.

If you’ve got us bookmarked at our old address, please make sure to update your bookmarks and visit us at our new blog address: http://blog.vdcresearch.com/embedded_sw/

Monday, September 28, 2009

Embedded Systems Bulletin – September 2009

Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) – Boston 2009

VDC attended the 2009 Embedded Systems Conference in Boston on September 22nd and 23rd and held face-to-face meetings at the conference with over 20 exhibitors.

Conference organizers reported that registration and attendance at the show are up year over year. The Boston conference has changed in so many ways over the last several years as some exhibitors have opted to invest in and attend the San Jose conference in lieu of Boston, in addition to focusing on industry specific events. This, in combination with the current economic climate, has resulted in shrinking floor space and scaling back of the size of exhibitor booths at the Boston conference.

While expectations of many of these exhibitors were mixed going into the show, many indicated that they were pleased with floor traffic and had generated a number of quality leads. And yes, most exhibitors we spoke with had some level of anxiety going into the show, however, most were pleased with the end result on show traffic and with the quality of leads.
Security, safety, reliability, multi-core, virtualization, and test engineering continue to be strong themes among the exhibitors.


Best of Show

VDC awarded our “Embeddie” best of show live on the conference floor to Enea for their OSE Multicore Edition announcement. The solution, available now, offers development organizations the simplicity of the Symmetrical Multiprocessing (SMP) model with the performance of Asymmetric Multiprocessing (AMP), scalability across cores, and a migration path for legacy applications. The company also announced a new focused strategy with two business units, Software and Consulting. The Software business unit, which includes Enea's global software business and related services, will focus on the company's position in the real-time operating system (RTOS) market. The Consulting business unit, which consists of the professional services business in Sweden, Romania and the United States, focus on local expertise combined with off-shoring services.

Honorable Mention

Microsoft released a series of announcements at the show around Windows 7 technologies and connectivity, including:

  • Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3, the next-generation platform of the componentized, real-time Windows Embedded CE operating system which includes the Silverlight for Windows Embedded user interface (UI) framework. This assists original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in delivering devices with immersive user experiences, animated UIs and seamless connections to Windows 7-based PCs, servers and online services.
  • Initial rollout of Windows 7 technologies for Windows Embedded Enterprise and Windows Embedded Server for specialized devices with connectivity to Windows-based PCs, servers and online services. These releases offer technology refresh and alignment with Windows 7 technologies to the embedded community in next-generation devices and to the established Windows ecosystem.”

Best Demos

ARM, together with NXP, announced and demonstrated mbed, an online platform for rapid prototyping microcontroller-based systems. The mbed platform is intended to enable the creation of low risk, proof-of-concept designs so that engineers can explore the functionality and potential cost saving opportunities presented through the use of an advanced microcontroller in the system. The first mbed microcontroller hardware package is based on a NXP Cortex-M3 processor-based MCU and includes C/C++ libraries to provide high-level interfaces to microcontroller peripherals

Cypress Semiconductor briefed and demonstrated their PSoC Creator Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for the new PSoC 3 and PSoC 5 programmable system-on-chip families. The unique new design software enables engineers to design the way they think, using schematic-based design capture along with certified, pre-packaged peripherals to keep system creation independent of the target PSoC device.


AdaCore, a leading supplier of Ada development tools and support services, announced the release of the GNAT Pro Ada development environment for the LynuxWorks LynxOS 5.0 operating system. This release allows GNAT Pro users to develop applications for both LynxOS 4.x and 5.0, and also provides a smooth migration path from older versions of the operating system to LynxOS 5.0. GNAT Pro for LynxOS 5.0 is available for both Linux and Windows host platforms, and for both PowerPC and x86 embedded targets.

Certicom briefed VDC on their new Asset Management System, a comprehensive infrastructure solution designed to help semiconductor companies manage, secure and control manufacturing processes in a global, outsourced manufacturing environment. Some of these processes include timely, secure and reliable capture and reporting of multi-point yield data, virtual SKUing, secure key injection and anti-counterfeit protection.

Real-time Operating System vendor ExpressLogic announced the integration of Real-Time Logic’s popular Barracuda Embedded Web Server with Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS and NetX TCP/IP Stack. Optimized for the embedded market, the joint technologies form a small footprint solution ideal for the remote connected devices needed in medical, industrial, military and consumer applications.

Static analysis tool vendor GrammaTech announced that the next version of CodeSonar will support the secure coding rules developed by US-CERT. The coding standard provides secure coding rules and recommendations, which reduce insecure coding practices that can create vulnerabilities. CodeSonar's automated analysis will review code and quickly identify problematic sections of code that violate US-CERT secure coding guidelines. CodeSonar's automated enforcement will reduce the need for manual review, making it easier for organizations to adopt the coding standard.

Green Hills Software made several announcements at the conference including:

  • A new Embedded Virtualization Business Unit, representing a significant investment and commitment to virtualization in the embedded and special-purpose computing market. The business unit’s INTEGRITY Secure Virtualization (ISV), supports hosting of Windows, Linux, VxWorks and other general purpose operating systems in secure virtual containers on ARM, Intel, Power and other processor architectures.
  • Green Hills Probe support for Intel architecture to include the Intel Atom, Intel Core 2 Duo, and Intel Core i7.
  • A new Networking Solutions Center based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Solutions Center is staffed by a team of engineering veterans dedicated to advancing network protocol technology, industry protocol collaboration, and network security.

IBM Rational was also in attendance, highlighting some of the advanced features in Rational Quality Manager and the Systems Engineering Toolkit from this year’s release of Rhapsody 7.5. In addition, IBM also highlighted at the show how developers can use Rational Rhapsody to help create applications for the Open Handset Alliance’s Android mobile platform.

Lantronix briefed VDC on their XPort and WiPort embedded networking servers. The implementation of Lantronix wired and wireless connectivity solutions eliminate design complexity by providing self-contained embedded networking systems.

LDRA announced a new security-critical development and certification solution to ensure that the LDRA tool suite can meet today’s growing demand for security-critical software. LDRA has extended its implementation of the CERT C secure coding standard to also meet Multiple Independent Levels of Security (MILS) and new Homeland Security criteria for security-critical software development. Recognizing that static analysis does not expose all software security vulnerabilities, LDRA has integrated this solution into its entire tool suite from analysis through test and requirements traceability.

LynuxWorks announced the release of LynxSecure 3.1, the newest version of its next generation separation kernel and embedded hypervisor. This update to LynxSecure takes advantage of new technologies, including guest operating support for the latest Microsoft Windows and the latest Intel Core2 Duo systems.

Programming Research (PRQA) announced the availability of a DO-178B Qualification Pack for QA·C++, its high fidelity language analysis tool. The QA·C++ Qualification Pack includes Tool Operational Requirements (TOR), Tool Qualification Data (TQD), and Tool Qualification Plan (TQP) documents, along with a user-activated Certification Report to provide users with automated project-based artifact documentation.

Real-Time Innovations (RTI) announced the release of RTI Routing Service, which dramatically eases the scaling and integration of real-time systems across Wide Area Networks (WANs) and Systems of Systems. RTI Routing Service enables seamless communication between applications deployed in different locations or even applications supporting different external interfaces—without any changes to existing software.

Other leading embedded systems vendors in attendance at ESC/Boston included AMD, aicas, Arium, Altera, Birdstep Technology, Black Duck Software, Bluespec, BSQUARE, Coverity, Datalight, eCosCentric, Electric Cloud, IAR Systems Software, Klocwork, Lauterbach, The MathWorks, McObject, Nokia, Perforce Software, RadiSys, Segger Microcontroller, Synopsys, Texas Instruments, Vast Systems, and many others.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The 2009 Embedded Systems Conference Boston is Fast Approaching

When: September 21 – 24, 2009

Where: Hynes Convention Center, Boston

Click here for more information and registration for the event!

VDC Research will once again be attending the conference and meeting with exhibitors at the show. VDC will be presenting their annual “Embeddie” awards for best in show on the show floor at ESC Boston 2009 and would like all exhibitors who are announcing or demonstrating significant new software or hardware products to have the chance to submit themselves for consideration. This year VDC will be announcing a best of show for both software and hardware. To be considered you MUST do one of two things:

Make an appointment (slots filling up fast!) by September 18 to meet at the show with either:

  • Stephen Balacco, Director, Embedded Software & Tools Practice, VDC Research Group by contacting Stephen at: sbalacco@vdcresearch.com or 508.653.9000 x 124 for software related announcements or;

  • Eric Heikkila, Director, Embedded Hardware and Systems Practice, VDC Research Group by contacting Eric directly at erich@vdcresearch.com or 310.393.9086 for hardware related announcements.


Submit your company information here!

VDC looks forward to meeting with you at the conference and stay tuned for more information on the Embeddie award ceremony.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

VDC Embedded Linux Webinar

Linux in the Embedded Systems Market:
Project Requirements, Preferences, Trends & More

Although originally developed for general-purpose use on desktops and servers, the use of Linux within embedded devices continues to increase. The licensing cost advantages associated with Linux, the flexibility provided through access to source code, and general familiarity with its use provide a compelling value proposition to embedded system manufacturers.

VDC conducts an annual embedded engineering survey that covers embedded software, hardware, tools, and development practices. Focused on the embedded developer community, the survey offers insights into current development projects – requirements, preferences and trends.

Based on real data, this eg3.com Tech Choice Webinar explores:

  • What are the factors for designing in Linux?

  • What types of industries and applications is Linux targeted for?

  • What’s the migration path in the use of Linux?

  • Which Linux distributions are being used?

Register for this FREE webinar if:

  • You or your company, or teams are using Linux or contemplating the use of Linux in an embedded development project or just curious about Linux.

  • Your company is a software/hardware solution provider participating in the embedded market and interested in understanding how Linux is being used to engineer embedded devices/systems.

Click here to register for this ARCHIVED event hosted by eg3.com.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Intel Strengthens Multi-core Software Tool Portfolio with RapidMind Acquisition

What Happened?

On August 19th, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) announced that it had purchased multi-core software development tool vendor RapidMind. This acquisition is Intel’s third in as many months targeted to offer its customers additional options to meet the software development challenges presented by multi-core processors.

Primarily targeted at enterprise and high performance computing, RapidMind’s development and runtime platform analyzes and optimizes C++ code to run on multi-core processors. Last month, Intel acquired Cilk Arts, a company who offers a compiler-based parallel programming solution also targeted at C ++. While the aforementioned companies were both small private companies with little potential for a near term impact on Intel’s bottom line, the company’s acquisition of embedded system solution provider Wind River Systems (Delisted – NASDAQ: WIND) in June provides Intel with immediate relevance within embedded software multi-core solution discussion.

VDC’s View

For years, mark pundits (ourselves included) have mused about the software gap limiting the adoption and effective utilization of multi-core processors. Semiconductor product roadmaps are quickly forcing development teams to reevaluate their current or future processor migration paths in order to protect the investments represented by their software code bases.

Preliminary results from our 2009 Embedded System Engineering Survey show that 18% of respondents cite either a multi-core or multi-core and multiprocessor design on their current project, compared to approximately 7% of last year’s respondents. Although engineers surveyed in past years had anticipated higher rates of adoption – it appears as if additional knowledge of and experiences with the various technical and commercial challenges associated with migration to multi-core processors have allowed OEMs to begin broader implementation.

In 2008, VDC’s study of the embedded software multi-core component and tools market revealed Wind River in the top spot as a percent of 2007 commercial market revenues. Since that time, Wind River has enhanced its multi-core solution portfolio with the extension of SMP and AMP capabilities for its run-time solutions in combination with the release of its hypervisor this spring.

While there is a possibility that Wind’s acquisition by Intel may limit the former’s access to and development around non-IA architectures in the long term, it is clear that Intel is committed to providing its customers – both embedded and enterprise – with the software solutions necessary to successfully develop and deploy next generation multi-core systems.

In case you missed it, check out our other commentary on Intel’s acquisition of Wind River Systems:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tough Times, Tough Choices: Maximizing Device Software ROI with Open Source

On Wednesday August 26th, we will be participating in two live discussion panels that will explore how intelligent device manufacturers can leverage Linux and other Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in the current challenging economic environment.

This live event will examine how building with and on open source technologies can impact product lifecyles, from prototyping through development and deployment in terms of capital expenditure (CapEx) and operational expenses (OpEx). In particular, the on-line roundtable will consider CapEx-OpEx trade-offs in platform acquisition, development tools, testing and bill of materials for FOSS-based devices, and how to maximize return from increasingly limited resources and budgets.

Please join moderator Bill Weinberg from LinuxPundit.com and panelists Michael O'Donnell of Freescale, Wind River's Sven Dummer and Alex deVries, and VDC's own Steve Balacco for a lively on-line discussion - and don't hesitate to share your own recession challenges and questions with the webinar team, live, on August 26th.

Wednesday, August 26th
06:00 AM PDT / 09:00 EDT / 15:00 CET or
4:00 PM PDT/ 7:00 PM EDT / 8:00 AM Tokyo UTC- (Thursday)

Click here to register for this ARCHIVED event hosted by Open Systems Media.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The WINDs of Change Reveal Embedded Linux Constants

A recently published report by VDC Research indicates that Wind River Systems is now the leading commercial supplier of solutions for the embedded Linux market, ranked as a percentage of total market revenue.

After Wind River’s ascension to the top spot, we thought it would be fitting to take a look back at the competitive landscape when Wind first entered the market. Although the landscape has changed rather significantly over just a five year period, Wind River’s chief competitor within the space, MontaVista Software, has maintained a position of leadership within this dynamic market.

In fact – until this most recent report – MontaVista Software had resided atop the competitive landscape since VDC published its first Linux report covering the 2000 market, which is an especially significant achievement given the number and magnitude of other changes within this market.

“The embedded Linux ecosystem remains highly fragmented due to the large number of public and commercial distributions and tools available to embedded systems manufacturers, said Chris Rommel, Analyst with VDC’s Embedded Software and Tools Practice. “The commercial embedded Linux market, however, has remained a two horse race over the past few years and Wind River finally caught up. It will be interesting to see if it was just a short sprint or if they can hold their lead going forward.”

Will the Wind Shift Again?

While it appears as though Wind River has maintained their momentum and lead through the first half of 2009, this significant shift in the competitive landscape may only be temporary given Intel’s recent acquisition of Wind River Systems. Although Wind River’s products and services portfolio may strengthen Intel’s semiconductor value proposition, VDC estimates that Intel architecture designs currently represent less than 15% of Wind River’s overall revenue. As a result, a significant amount of Wind River’s market share will rest on Intel’s ability and willingness (not to mention that of their competitors) to maintain support for non Intel processing platforms.

This acquisition might just provide MontaVista the second wind it needs, enabling them to alter their go-to-market strategy and regain lost market share.

VDC explores these industry trends and other critical issues affecting this market in the recently released report, Linux in the Embedded Systems Market, Volume 2 from Track 1 of VDC’s 2009 Embedded Software Market Intelligence Service.