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.