Tools – 5 Justifications for Purchasing a New Software Tool

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Let’s face it, every embedded software developer knows that management is more likely to approve the purchase for a $50,000 spectrum analyzer than a $1200 debug probe with ETM trace capabilities. Purchasing a compiler, trace software, analyzers or any other tool that would make software development easier, faster or cheaper simply results in management asking […]

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Tools – Renesas Synergy(TM) Configurator

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The tools that embedded software developers use are extremely important to maximize development efficiency and minimize costs, time-to-market and perhaps most importantly, developer headaches. There are a lot of great tools and toolchains available to developers today, the one that has been catching my attention lately, and the one we will be exploring in this […]

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Tools – The Device Firmware Update (DFU) Utility

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Nearly every product requires a software update at some point or another. Whether it’s our cellphones, TV’s or even our refrigerators (yea I went there). Microcontroller based systems typically aren’t running a high-level operating system that allows files to be replaced. Instead, developers need a bootloader. Microcontroller vendors have been including firmware update capabilities inside […]

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Tools – Enter the Smart Watchdog

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The smart watchdog is a customizable, external watchdog solution that behaves similar to a supervisory processor except that its primary purpose is detect when a fault has occurred and power cycle the microcontroller. A simple example showing how a smart watchdog can be integrated into a project can be seen in the diagram below: Smart […]

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Tools – Partitioning Flash Space with the Linker

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The linker is probably the least talked about tool available to embedded software developers. For many, the linker is ignored for most if not the entire development cycle. Yet, the linker allows a developer to do very powerful things such as splitting up flash memory into multiple sections. Let’s look at a quick example how […]

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Tools – Optimizing Firmware using DRT

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Embedded software development is usually performed under severe resource constraints not only from a business stand-point but from the microcontroller as well. Upgrading to a higher end processor may result in a project that is not financially feasible especially for high volume applications where every penny can make difference. I’ve recently been playing with a […]

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It’s the end of C as we know it!

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The C programming language has been with embedded software developers since its creation in 1972. Ever since then C has been a blazing constant, surviving even the big push in the late 90’s and early 21st century to move to C++ or other object oriented languages. Undoubtedly, C will continue to be a foundational language […]

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Tools – 10 Must Have Development Tools

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As an independent consultant, the advantage to having the right set of tools available for the job is only too apparent. Having the right tools not only decreases stress but also increases productivity and efficiency at a rate that far outweighs the cost of even the most expensive tools. After taking a few moments to […]

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Tools – Percepio Tracealyzer

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The behavior of a real-time embedded system is often a black box. Developers design their software, write their code and then hope that the system is behaving and executing their code the way they envisioned it. The problem is that developers have always had to hope or carefully sprinkle code snippets throughout the application in […]

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Mastering the 8 Pillars of Embedded Software

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Every embedded software program starts with a basic foundation from which the application is built. A successful application requires that the developer build the application using knowledge of the eight pillars of embedded software which include: Architecture Code Analysis Debugging Documentation Language Skills Standards Testing Tools / Ecosystem Skill deficiencies in any of these pillars […]

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