Tips and Tricks – 7 Tips for Memory Management

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Managing memory in a real-time system can be challenging. There are many aspects to consider such as code space memory management, RAM memory management, memory optimizations and how they affect performance and so on. Below are seven general tips that will help real-time developers start to manage their memory. Tip #1 – Avoid malloc In […]

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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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Writing Portable Optimizations in C

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Developing a firmware feature can sometimes be painful but writing the same features over and over again is hell on Earth. Most developers want to work on new cutting edge features rather than do the same work repeatedly. A focus on developing portable firmware can help alleviate the issue but in resource constrained systems, the […]

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Using Conditional Complexity to Test Embedded Software

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One of the areas of embedded software development that engineers seem to struggle with is testing.  Engineers often get excited about the design and implementation phases but when it comes to proving that the system works, efforts and or interest really start to wane.  This is completely understandable considering the time and effort that can […]

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Tips and Tricks – MicroPython

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The C programming language has been the dominant language when developing software for a microcontroller. The language is well suited for the low-level hardware control that is necessary when developing an embedded system. There have been other programming languages such as C++ and Java that have found their niche within the industry but even when […]

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Tools – Isolated USB to UART

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Connecting an embedded systems UART to a PC through a USB to UART converter is something that every embedded software developer is familiar with.  Many developers don’t leave home without a FTDI232R board from Sparkfun (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12731).  The only problem with this great little tool though is that it doesn’t provide any protection to the PC […]

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Embedded Basics – A few Array Misconceptions

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Arrays are one of the most widely used data objects in C, yet, as it would turn out there are a number of misconceptions about arrays and a few tricks that are completely misunderstood or unknown to most programmers! Take for example a simple initialization of an array so that each element is decimal 20: […]

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Tools – The OWON Portable O-Scope

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One of the great things about working as a consultant is that most of the time the project can be worked on from the comfort of a home office.  There are always times though when it is necessary to work on-site with a client and one of the things that I’ve found is that a […]

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