issue 4 - Embedded systems newsletter

Embedded systems #4

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Why hardware development is hard, Part 1: Verilog is weird
Why Hardware Development Is Hard, Part 2: The Physical World Is Unforgiving
From a very simple example Dan Luu gives us a good walk through the difficulties of hardware development. He does not stop here and provides clues to make it as easy as possible.

Reverse engineering LPC’s device firmware upgrade protocol
DFU is the cheapest to do firmare update on devices with USB client interface. NXP shares the host software to update their LPC18xx and LPC43xx family only under their NDA. Jia says no way to the NDA and so begin to reverse engineer the LCP USB interface.


The future of realtime Linux
Thomas Gleixner, the main contributor of the realtime kernel patch set, explains at the global scope and then on some technical points what is the state of PREMPT_RT and what will be done during the next year : ‘the PREEMPT_RT project will be done in 2014, “one way or another”‘

ktap A lightweight script-based dynamic tracing tool for Linux
ktap is a new script-based dynamic tracing tool for Linux, it uses a scripting language and lets users trace the Linux kernel dynamically. ktap is designed to give operational insights with interoperability that allows users to tune, troubleshoot and extend kernel and application. It’s similar with Linux Systemtap and Solaris Dtrace. One of it’s interesting feature is : easy to use in embedded environment without debugging info

YAMI4 MISRA-C – Messaging for critical systems
A dual-licensed (GPL v3 and commercial) set of messaging libraries compliant with the MISRA-C:2012 standard. One of the interesting sources to learn what means MISRA compliant development.

How I Got 2x Speedup with One Line of Code
A very interesting example on how a builtin function of GCC can improve the speed of your binary by enhancing how the cache is managed in a specific part of your algorithm.

Courses and books

Embedded Systems – Theory and Design Methodology
19 chapters : 19 research topics on embedded systems


The second operating system hiding in every mobile phone
It’s easy to forget that there is another operating system deeply embedded in our smartphones. This second operating system is proprietary and runs on the baseband processor. And guess what? It is full of bugs with lot of exploits possibles…

Apple II DOS source code
The source code has been released. One 147 pages PDF of code listing scanned !