Emerg­ing tech­no­log­i­cal trends shap­ing up em­bed­ded de­vel­op­ment

Electronics For You - - EFY REPORT -

1. Open Source plat­forms 2. Green tech­nolo­gies 3. In­ter­op­er­abil­ity 4. Hard­ware stan­dard­i­s­a­tion 5. Wire­less con­nec­tiv­ity 6. Ad­vanced user ex­pe­ri­ence and com­mand higher av­er­age sell­ing prices. But th­ese ex­ist in smaller unit quan­ti­ties, mak­ing MCrs the largest dol­lar-vol­ume seg­ment of the four em­bed­ded pro­cess­ing tech­nolo­gies,” adds Shailesh Thakur­de­sai, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager, mi­cro­con­trollers, Texas In­stru­ments In­dia.

In MCr de­signs, there have been tremen­dous im­prove­ments in the past decade. MCrs are be­com­ing more and more ap­pli­ca­tion-spe­cific and prod­uct de­sign engi­neers now have a lot of op­tions to choose from. MCrs are be­com­ing smaller with more RAM, Flash and pe­riph­er­als on chip. Also, 32-bit MCrs based on ARM core are be­com­ing pop­u­lar and cost-ef­fec­tive be­cause of the well con­nected ecosys­tem for semi­con­duc­tor com­pa­nies, soft­ware and hard­ware tool providers, de­sign ser­vice providers and prod­uct de­sign houses.

An­other key trend in MCr de­sign is the in­clu­sion of dig­i­tal sig­nal pro­cess­ing (DSP) and float­ing-point pro­cess­ing unit in the con­trollers. Con­trollers with sup­port for DSP are termed as dig­i­tal sig­nal con­trollers. Th­ese con­trollers de­liver the per­for­mance re­quired for DSP ap­pli­ca­tions and the flex­i­bil­ity and ease of an MCr.

Moore’s law has sig­nif­i­cantly pushed the pro­cess­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties of today’s pro­ces­sors with mul­ti­ple cores get­ting pack­aged into small sil­i­con. Re­con­fig­urable FPGAs are grow­ing in size and pro­vid­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties such as SoC by in­cor­po­rat­ing pro­cess­ing cores, DSPs and in­puts/out­puts. Web- and cloud-en­abled tech­nolo­gies are be­com­ing very ac­ces­si­ble, driv­ing the sys­tems to be more net­worked and in­tel­li­gent. Hard­ware is be­com­ing more of a com­mod­ity and soft­ware is be­com­ing the key dif­fer­en­tia­tor of em­bed­ded prod­ucts.

Some of the world’s best and big­gest sil­i­con com­pa­nies are fa­b­less semi­con­duc­tor com­pa­nies. In­dia needs to adopt a ma­ture ap­proach and fo­cus on the max­i­mum value cre­ation, to build end- to- end prod­ucts in­dige­nously, with­out worrying about com­po­nentlevel indi­geni­sa­tion. This is sim­i­lar to what has hap­pened in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try—we started as­sem­bling au­to­mo­biles us­ing ChD kits and grad­u­ally moved to man­u­fac­tur­ing com­po­nents.

Ar­eas of con­cerns for em­bed­ded engi­neers

Vir­tual plat­form or vir­tual pro­to­type is the place where elec­tronic de­sign au­to­ma­tion and em­bed­ded soft­ware converge. lne of the ma­jor chal­lenges faced by em­bed­ded engi­neers is with re­gard to the time taken for hard­ware sim­u­la­tion and mod­el­ing. There are also is­sues deal­ing with hard­ware de­pen­den­cies and repet­i­tive de­vel­op­ment of driv­ers/mid­dle­ware for em­bed­ded sys­tems.

“Today, over T0 per cent of in­te­grated cir­cuit de­sign is on SoCs, which are a com­bi­na­tion of em­bed­ded pro­ces­sors and soft­ware. How­ever, for em­bed­ded sys­tems engi­neers, sys­tem­level ver­i­fi­ca­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties haven’t ad­vanced with in­creas­ing com­plex­ity in hard­ware and soft­ware com­po­nents. To com­bine today’s com­plex hard­ware with more so­phis­ti­cated soft­ware, elec­tron­ics com­pa­nies need bet­ter ver­i­fi­ca­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” says Alok Jain, en­gi­neer, Ca­dence De­sign Sys­tems (I).

A uni­fied ap­proach to sys­tem ver­i­fi­ca­tion through au­to­mated test gen­er­a­tion, sys­tem- wide man­age­ment and high-per­for­mance en­gines is needed to tackle cross-do­main ver­i­fi­ca­tion and de­bug needed to achieve more com­plex sys­tem-level prod­ucts in lesser time.

Roadmap for the in­dus­try

“While In­dia is well po­si­tioned to cap­i­talise on the ad­dress­able mar­ket

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.