Latest Developments in the Embedded Marketplace

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Wind River and Mathworks Integrate Simulation Technologies for Advanced Model-Based Design

Wind River is working with MathWorks to integrate Wind River Simics with MathWorks’ Simulink for improved model-based design workflows. This collaboration creates smarter system verification by enabling testing and co-simulation of combined design and platform models, and helps drive better designs while removing risk from future development, test, and integration. By alleviating these risks, this solution can be particularly valuable to engineering teams developing complex and safety-critical products for industries such as aerospace and defense, automotive, and industrial markets.

Model-based design is transforming the way engineers and scientists work by moving design tasks from the lab and field to the desktop. In model-based design, a system model is at the center of the development process, from requirements development through design, implementation, and testing. When software and hardware implementation requirements such as fixed-point and timing behavior are included in model-based design, teams can automatically generate code for embedded deployment and create test benches for system verification, saving time and avoiding the introduction of manually coded errors.

As part of an ongoing collaboration with MathWorks, Wind River has integrated Simics with Simulink to support processor-in-the-loop (PIL) testing. Simulink is a block diagram environment for multi-domain simulation and model-based design, and has widespread usage for model-based design in the embedded system market. It supports simulation, automatic code generation, and continuous test and verification of embedded systems.

PIL testing checks that code generated from a Simulink controller model using Embedded Coder will run correctly on the actual processor that will be used in the final target system. Prior to PIL testing, control algorithms are typically developed and validated on the host, using a high-precision floating point math and with no concern for the implementation system and any cross development tools such as compilers that can impact on-target behavior. The Simics PIL integration for Simulink is available today for all Simics customers.


Integrity Security Services Chooses Security Innovation as Partner for “Connected Cars”

Security Innovation’s Aerolink software has been selected by Integrity Security Services (ISS), a Green Hills Software company, for Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communications security. Aerolink will be incorporated into the ISS Automotive Security Development Toolkits.

Aerolink will be the default message security implementation when organizations plan to leverage the superior security and functionality of Integrity Security Services for their V2X application. In addition, Security Innovation has incorporated the ISS native FIPS 140-2 compliant, embedded Cryptographic Library into Aerolink.

As a leading provider of software for the automotive industry, ISS sought a partner with deep expertise in the latest protocols and who is well respected in the automotive/V2X industry. ISS joins a growing list of suppliers in the connected car application that partner with Security Innovation to deliver the most secure V2X security solutions.


ZigBee Alliance and Thread Group Collaborate to Aid Development of Connected Home Products

The ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group have announced they are collaborating to enable the ZigBee Cluster Library to run over Thread networks. By working together, ZigBee and Thread can jointly provide an interoperable solution to help streamline product development and ultimately improve the consumer’s experience in the connected home.

The ZigBee Cluster Library standardizes application-level functionality for a wide variety of devices used in smart homes and other markets. Thread is a wireless networking protocol that can support multiple low-bandwidth IP-based application protocols to provide secure and reliable networks, simple connectivity and low power in the home. Both organizations remain committed to their independence while cooperating to benefit their respective members.

The ZigBee Alliance is a global association of companies working together to enable reliable, cost-effective, low-power and wirelessly networked monitoring and control products. ZigBee is a wireless standard used to connect a wide variety of everyday devices to improve comfort, security and convenience in homes and businesses.

“By agreeing to work together, ZigBee and Thread are taking a big step towards reducing fragmentation in the industry,” said Chris Boross, president of the Thread Group and technical product marketing manager, Nest. “Thread is designed to work with and support many different application layer protocols, and we look forward to working with ZigBee to create a combined solution for the connected home.”

Thread enables product developers to create, and consumers to enjoy, products that easily and securely connect to a low-power wireless mesh network, with direct Internet and cloud access for every device. Using proven standards including IPv6 technology with 6LoWPAN and standard 802.15.4 radios as its foundation, Thread gives product developers a reliable low-power, self-healing, and secure network over existing wireless standards.


Altera Joins Industrial Internet Consortium to Influence Global Ecosystem for Internet of Things   

Altera has announced the company has joined the Industrial Internet Consortium, a collaborative industry organization facilitating development of a global ecosystem for the Internet of Things (IoT). Specifically, Altera is working together with the consortium’s membership on technical roadmaps to build out the Industrial Internet, a network of intelligent devices and sensors between which data can be exchanged via different connectivity protocols to drive  productivity enhancements across a wide range of end-market applications. The promise of IoT is that this intelligent connected network will enable companies to create “smart” new business applications that deliver asset and operational optimization and streamline or automate existing processes.

FPGAs enable intelligent and flexible iot gateways and analytics acceleration and Altera’s highly customizable FPGA and SoC products offer designers the ability to securely bridge diverse and evolving wired and wireless interface standards across a broad range of IoT applications. FPGA technology also supports the acceleration of data analytics and control functions in both the data center, and locally, at the edge, that are core to emerging IoT application requirements.

Altera FPGA, SoC and power products already play a significant role in enabling connectivity in RF wireless systems and machine-to-machine communication networks.  In addition, programmable logic is applied extensively in factory automation and smart grid applications, supporting high-performance control and analytics that enhance the efficiency, safety, and security in advanced manufacturing and power systems. FPGAs are also being deployed in next-generation automotive and medical IoT systems, and in smart city applications, such as intelligent lighting and traffic management systems that incorporate high-performance embedded vision and video analytics capabilities.

The Industrial Internet Consortium is an open membership organization, with more than 150 members to date, formed to accelerate the development, adoption and widespread use of interconnected machines and devices, intelligent analytics, and people at work. Founded by AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM and Intel in March 2014, the Industrial Internet Consortium catalyzes and coordinates the priorities and enabling technologies of the Industrial Internet.


GE to Help US Air Force Define Future High Performance Embedded Computing Architectures

GE’s Intelligent Platforms  business has announced that it has been awarded a contract that will see the company undertaking a six month research program to help the United States Air Force define open architectures for future generations of radar processors onboard USAF platforms. The program will be carried out at GE’s HPEC Center of Excellence in Billerica, MA.

The study involves the benchmarking and optimization of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and ground moving target indicator (GMTI) radar modes on multiprocessor high performance embedded computing (HPEC) systems comprising ‘conventional. CPUs and GPUs interconnected by high speed fabric.

Also included in the award is the development of a lab-based processor system that has a clear path to rugged deployment on US Air Force platforms. Such a platform will embrace the open system architecture (OSA) approach based on open and de facto industry standards and interfaces in both hardware and software.

GE’s Center of Excellence (CoE) has the primary goal of supporting customer demand for high technology readiness level (TRL) COTS solutions that can shorten time-to-market, minimize cost and help to eliminate program risk, allowing prime contractors, system integrators and OEMs to focus on value-add and create competitive advantage. The Center takes advantage of GE’s COTS Rugged Systems (CRS) capability to support the rapid deployment of systems to the field.

The Center also supports the development of custom systems that are configured, tested and integrated with software to meet specific customer needs. Additionally, consulting services are available through the HPEC CoE that can help customers with architecture definition, application development and performance optimization. It can also create application-focused algorithms for use in performance and capability demonstrations which can be provided to customers to assist in their development process.


Healthcare, Energy and Environment Top Consumer Priorities for Tech and Innovation

    Healthcare, renewable energy and the environment should be the top priorities for technology and innovation according to a global study of 3,500 consumers released today by element14, the global online network of more than 325,000 engineers and technology enthusiasts. The study, Engineering a Connected World, also explores consumer interest in and adoption of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), driverless cars, robotics and gesture control.

The results of the global consumer research, carried out in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, China, France, Germany and India, reveal that 59 percent of people identified healthcare as a top priority for technology and innovation, followed by renewable energy (56 percent) and the environment (47 percent). Opinions vary considerably by region, however. For example, education is more of a priority in India than elsewhere, space exploration and aerospace is almost three times more important in China than the rest of the world, and those living in Germany are most interested in advancing entertainment via technology.

    The study also reveals some specific technologies that consumers would like to see become a reality in 2015, such as universal high speed Internet (68 percent) and flexible or foldable screens (40 percent). Of those surveyed, 37 percent would like to see self-driving cars become a reality this year, and space tourism appeals to 15 percent of those questioned.

    The study is part of element14’s broader “Engineering a Connected World” initiative which includes a series of global design challenges set to launch over the next 24 months. The challenges will focus on innovation in energy efficiency, food production and medical technology, and in leading them Newark element14 will oversee the development of more than 100 engineering concepts and prototypes.

The first “Engineering a Connected World” challenges are already underway. “Enchanted Objects” tasks engineers with re-imagining everyday objects using embedded IoT technology. “Sci Fi Your Pi,” sponsored by Raspberry Pi creator Pi Trading, challenges engineers and enthusiasts to use the Raspberry Pi 2 to design applications inspired by science fiction.

    New challenges are also planned around vertical farming and smart vehicle technology. Specialist experts from each field have been enlisted to judge entries and mentor finalists, and element14 will provide support in the form of parts, tools, software and advice.


VITA Standards Organization Ratifies VITA 78 SpaceVPX Systems Standard

    The VME Industry Trades Association (VITA) has announced that VITA 78 “SpaceVPX Systems” has reached ANSI recognition as ANSI/VITA 78.00-2015. This specification has completed the VITA and ANSI processes reaching full recognition under guidance of the VITA Standards Organization (VSO).

    ANSI/VITA 78 defines an open standard for creating high-performance fault-tolerant interoperable backplanes and modules to assemble electronic systems for spacecraft and other high availability applications. Such systems will support a wide variety of use cases and potential markets across the aerospace and terrestrial communities. This standard leverages the OpenVPX standards family and the commercial infrastructure that supports these standards.

    The goal of SpaceVPX Systems is to achieve an acceptable level of fault tolerance while maintaining reasonable compatibility with OpenVPX components, including connector pin assignments. For the purposes of fault tolerance, a module is considered the minimum redundancy element.

    For high reliability applications, the major fault tolerance requirements are:

• Dual-redundant power distribution (bussed) where each distribution is supplied from an independent power source.

• Dual-redundant utility plane signal distribution (point-to-point cross-strapped) where each distribution is supplied from an independent system controller to a module that selects between the A and B system controllers for distribution to each of the slots controlled by the module.

• Card-level serial management

• Card-level reset control

• Card-level power control

• Matched length, low-skew differential timing/synchronization/clocks

• Fault tolerant Power Supply Select (bussed)

• Fault tolerant System Controller Signal selection (bussed)

• Dual-redundant data planes (point-to-point cross-strapped)

• Dual-Redundant control planes (point-to-point cross-strapped)

• Each module is a managed field replaceable unit as defined by VITA 46.11

Copies of the specification are available for purchase at the VITA Online Shop (