Tips and Tricks – 7 Reasons to Choose an RTOS

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The use of an RTOS or a bare metal scheduler is a popular topic to debate among embedded system developers. On the bare metal side, developers argue they can use a combination of priority based interrupts and timers to get equivalent behavior with better performance and memory footprint. The RTOS side argues ease of scheduling […]

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Tips and Tricks – 7 Tips for Meeting Real-time Deadlines

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Embedded systems must meet their real-time deadlines in order to function efficiently and as expected. No one likes to press a button and wait thirty seconds before the system finally responds. More importantly, safety critical systems need to meet their deadlines or else very bad things could happen, such as injury or death. There are […]

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Tips and Tricks for Watchdog Design

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Watchdogs are a critical and important component in developing a robust and fail-safe embedded system. In many circumstances, I run into development teams that either have not fully thought through their watchdog strategy or have their watchdog disabled. In order to improve system robustness and ensure that the watchdog can detect a system fault, here […]

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Slowing Down to Go Faster

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Speed is imperative in the business world. Getting to market before competitors, leading the way in innovation, the development cycle can be relentless. For embedded systems engineers, deadlines are always yesterday. There is always a push to get things done faster. How quickly can we get this done? So and so needs this as fast […]

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Tips and Tricks – Limiting Function Complexity shall be a Requirement!

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I have recently become interested in brain training applications that are designed to test and improve mental speed, attention, memory, flexibility and problem solving. Despite believing that I have a superb and extraordinary memory, I am constantly surprised at how poorly I perform in the memory games. One of my favorite games displays a grid […]

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Tools – My Top 10 Favorite Embedded Software Books

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I am asked quite often what the best resources are for staying up to date and learning more about embedded software design. There are many ways a developer can stay up to date and learn such as Technical Blogs, Websites and Periodicals Online communities, video and webinars Books Training Courses Conferences In time, I may […]

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5 Tips for Getting Started with the Renesas Synergy(TM) Platform

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I have been exploring, tinkering and vetting my SK-S7G2 Synergy Platform development board over the past several months. I have had some stumbled, succeeded and even been awed at times with what can be accomplished and at times how easily it can be accomplished. I have had quite a few engineers write me asking for […]

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Ternary Operator versus the if/else statement …

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When I’m teaching “C Programming for Embedded Systems”, I’m often asked whether the ternary operator should be used or an if/else statement. Hidden behind the question is really the need to know whether the ternary operator is more efficient than if/else. One might think that compilers today would generate identical code. Let’s take a quick […]

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7 Tips for using an RTOS

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Real-time operating systems (RTOSes) have become a critical component in many embedded systems. Transitioning from bare-metal scheduling to an RTOS can be tricky business. Here are seven tips to help make the transition easier. Tip #1 – Plan out your architecture first If you have never used UML or been big into software architectures, now […]

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Tips and Tricks – 7 Tips for Designing a Robust Bootloader

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Embedded software is never finished. The software always requires some tweak, adjustment, a feature addition or bug fix. It is just the way the world works. A product could be sent back to the manufacturer for updates or a technician could be sent to the product. Either way it is expensive! Some products are built […]

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