Issue 107 - Embedded systems newsletter

Embedded systems #107

July arrived, nevertheless our community is still very much active: Several new articles, several old gems and even a new major release of Vim! Overall a great issue for Embedsys Weekly. This week I also asked “Do you prefer articles on software, hardware or no preferences”. 23.5% replied software, 30.6% replied hardware and 45.9% don’t have preferences. To me, it looks close to the actual balance of the newsletter. What do you think?

Thank you to vladco for the header’s picture.

Happy reading!

Articles

BMW F Series Gear Selector, Part One: Failures
BMW F Series Gear Selector, Part Two: Breakthrough
Amazing write up by Angus who shares his adventure in the reverse engineering of this gear selector. If you’re not an insider, I bet you’ll be surprised how complicated a gear selector can be.

Pong simulation
Thanks to articles shared in previous issues, we know that the original Pong was 100% done with discrete components. This page is a superb circuit level interactive simulator of the 1972 Atari game. Each feature has its own simulation. I really enjoyed navigate through all the pages.

Software upgrade for 19-year-old martian water-spotter
The instrument that spotted water on Mars, the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding), receives a software upgrade to that will make it able to see beneath the surface.

Some Assembly Required
An approachable introduction to assembly that can be read in 30 minutes if you skip code examples. Although it’s probably interesting to take a bit more time to try to read them and understand the details.

The Power of Ten Rules for Developing Safety Critical Code
Another paper from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory that states 10 rules to write safe C code.

The ARM Diaries, Part 1: How ARM’s Business Model Works
An article from 2013 that describes by this year the business model of Arm. I’m not sure how much model changes since 2013. If one of you knows a more recent description, please, share it with me.

A little more speed from the 6502
This article is a follow-up of the previous article How fast can a 6502 transfer memory. It uses the loop unrolling technique to optimise the code.

News / Business

Vim 9.0 released
Three years after the last version (8.2) Vim finally receives an update.

Education / Community

RISC-V Instruction-Set
In Embedded Systems #102, I shared a very convenient x86 Opcode Structure and Instruction Overview PDF. At this time multiple persons asked for an identical one for RISC-V. I finally found one via Binni Shah.

Misc

Hash collisions and exploitations
A collection out of embedded systems scope, but I believe knowing the weakness of the common hash functions is a must-known.