Return of the Delta-Sigma Modulators, Part 1: Modulation

Jason Sachs May 28, 2023

About a decade ago, I wrote two articles:

Each of these are about delta-sigma modulation, but they’re short and sweet, and not very in-depth. And the 2013 article was really more about analog-to-digital converters. So we’re going to revisit the subject, this time with a lot more technical depth — in fact, I’ve had to split this...

C to C++: Bridging the Gap from C Structures to Classes

Jacob Beningo May 23, 20238 comments

In our last post, C to C++: Proven Techniques for Embedded Systems Transformation, we started to discuss the different ways that C++ can be used to write embedded software. You saw that there is no reason to be overwhelmed by trying to adopt complex topics like metaprogramming out of the gate. An important concept to understand is that you can make the transition gradually into C++ while still receiving the many benefits that C++ has to offer.

One of the first concepts that a C...

The Missing Agile Conversation

Steve Branam May 15, 2023

In this article, we learn about Agile practices and how they use stories as units of development. Stories consist of a brief description, one to a few sentences. They don’t contain details sufficient to allow a developer to implement them. The Agile practice is to defer details as long as possible because conditions may change. When a developer takes on a story to implement, that’s the time for them to perform the work that has been deferred. They do this by having a conversation, a series of specific discussions working closely with the various SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) who have information relevant to the story.

STM32 B-CAMS-OMV Walkthrough

Peter McLaughlin April 30, 20231 comment

The STM32 B-CAMS-OMV camera module offers an accessible way to get started with embedded vision. Coupled with the STM32H747I-DISCO discovery kit and the FP-AI-VISION1 function pack, it's possible to be up and running in minutes.

This video describes the camera connection interface to the discovery kit and the key software functions required to control the camera and process its data. We review the ISP (Image Signal Processor) interface with examples of image processing...

Free Sessions @ the 2023 Embedded Online Conference

Stephane Boucher April 21, 2023

Although the 2023 Embedded Online Conference will officially start only on Monday 04/24, today we are pre-releasing all Theatre Talks and Demos in order to give attendees a headstart over the weekend on a very busy program.

The good news is, you don't need a paid registration to access theatre talks and demos.  All you have to do is create an account on the EOC website and skip the payment part.  

Here are the 37 sessions that you can watch for...

STM32 VS Code Extension Under The Hood

Peter McLaughlin April 21, 2023

VS Code is becoming the "go to" environment for many developers. Increasingly, toolchain providers are publishing VS Code extensions and ST has recently followed suit. Additionally, CMake is significantly growing in popularity, with many projects adopting it for its ease of use and flexibility. This video shows how the STM32 VS Code extension works under the hood and how to get more out of it.

Specifically, we'll review the CMake files generated by the VS Code extension and how to modify...

Getting Started With Zephyr: West Manifest Customization

Mohammed Billoo April 4, 2023

The Zephyr Project RTOS (https://zephyrproject.org/), or simply “Zephyr” as it is known colloquially, is an increasingly popular real-time operating system due to its native support for over 450 boards and countless peripherals. When starting with any embedded software project, the first task is to start from a known baseline. This can include cloning a repository from source control, which can be the case with embedded Linux, or downloading a zip file representing a...

Back from Embedded World 2023

Stephane Boucher March 23, 20233 comments

It was great to be back in Nuremberg for Embedded World after three long years. The trade show is probably the most significant event in the embedded systems industry, and it was a relief to see that it has survived the pandemic with more than 900 vendors exhibiting.

I recorded this video on the very first day when the doors opened.  What you see in the video is probably 10% or less of the full show floor.  I am always impressed by the size of...

Cracking the (embedded) Coding Interview

Manasi Rajan March 23, 2023

You never forget the day you land your first job. 

The thrill of receiving that call from your recruiter to tell you that you bagged your dream role! The relief when you finally see the offer letter you’ve been working towards for years. The pride in your parents' voices when you call home and say “Hey look Ma, I’ve made it!”

But before that, there’s the grueling screening process to get through. Tech interviews often last up to three months and companies can have five...

Visual Studio Code Extensions for Embedded Software Development

Jacob Beningo March 22, 20238 comments

Visual Studio Code has become one of the most popular IDEs in the world. To date, software developers have downloaded it more than 40 million times! I suspect you’ve at least heard of it, if not already attempting to use it. Visual Studio Code allows developers to easily customize their development environment which can help them accelerate development, minimize bugs, and make developing software overall much better.

One challenge with Visual Studio Code is that embedded software...

VHDL tutorial

Gene Breniman October 4, 20079 comments

When I was first introduced to "Programmable Logic" several years ago, it was an answer to many of the challenges that I was struggling with. Though the parts were primitive by today's standards (simple PALs verses FPGA), they were an extremely cost effective tool addressing the need for specialized logic blocks.

I have continued to incorporate these powerful blocks into many of my latest designs. My current favorite part line is the Xilinx CoolRunner series (XC2Cxxx). In this...

Analog-to-Digital Confusion: Pitfalls of Driving an ADC

Jason Sachs November 19, 20118 comments

Imagine the following scenario:You're a successful engineer (sounds nice, doesn't it!) working on a project with three or four circuit boards. More than even you can handle, so you give one of them over to your coworker Wayne to design. Wayne graduated two years ago from college. He's smart, he's a quick learner, and he's really fast at designing schematics and laying out circuit boards. It's just that sometimes he takes some shortcuts... but in this case the circuit board is just something...

Help, My Serial Data Has Been Framed: How To Handle Packets When All You Have Are Streams

Jason Sachs December 11, 201110 comments

Today we're going to talk about data framing and something called COBS, which will make your life easier the next time you use serial communications on an embedded system -- but first, here's a quiz:

Quick Diversion, Part I: Which of the following is the toughest area of electrical engineering? analog circuit design digital circuit design power electronics communications radiofrequency (RF) circuit design electromagnetic...

An overview of Linux Boot Process for Embedded Systems

Kunal Singh December 25, 200811 comments

This Text provides an insight in to the Embedded Linux Boot Process. Reader should have a basic Knowledge of Boot Process in general and should be familiar with Embedded Linux Boot Process.

.................PART-A................(1) Software components Involved in Embedded Linux Boot Process    (a) Bootloader    (b) kernel Image    (c) root file system - either an initrd image or a NFS location(2) Steps during Booting process of a conventional...

Boot sequence for an ARM based embedded system -2

DM April 6, 201213 comments

In the last post, we discussed about the startup execution sequence on an ARM based embedded system in broader terms. In this post, we are going to cover the details of a startup code.These details are also available through various ARM resources , however for the sake of completion of our discussion , here is - the flow the startup code for an  ARM based embedded system.

 Step 1: The reset

On startup, the processor will jump to fixed location ,(most ARM cores support two vector...

Introduction to Microcontrollers - Timers

Mike Silva September 27, 20132 comments

Timers - Because "When" Matters

Computer programs are odd things, for one reason because they have no concept of time.  They may have the concept of sequential execution, but the time between instructions can be essentially any number and the program won't notice or care (unless assumptions about time have been built into the program by the programmer).  But the real world is not like this.  In the real world, especially the real embedded world,...

VHDL tutorial - A practical example - part 2 - VHDL coding

Gene Breniman May 27, 2011

In part 1 of this series we focused on the hardware design, including some of the VHDL definitions of the I/O characteristics of the CPLD part.  In part 2, we will describe the VHDL logic of the CPLD for this design.

With any design, the first step to gather the requirements for the job at hand.  From part 1 of this article, I have copied two sections that address some of the requirements for the CPLD design.

The data acquisition engine has the...

Introduction to Microcontrollers - Further Beginnings

Mike Silva September 1, 20134 comments
Embedded Programming Basics

This tutorial entry will discuss some further embedded programming basics that you will need to understand before proceeding on to the LED blinky and other example programs. We will do this by looking at the general organization and types of instructions found in most microcontrollers, and how that organization and those instructions are reflected (or, in some cases, ignored) by the C programming language.

Basic CPU...

Important Programming Concepts (Even on Embedded Systems) Part V: State Machines

Jason Sachs January 5, 20158 comments

Other articles in this series:

Oh, hell, this article just had to be about state machines, didn’t it? State machines! Those damned little circles and arrows and q’s.

Yeah, I know you don’t like them. They bring back bad memories from University, those Mealy and Moore machines with their state transition tables, the ones you had to write up...

VHDL tutorial - Creating a hierarchical design

Gene Breniman May 22, 20086 comments

In earlier blog entries I introduced some of the basic VHDL concepts. First, developing a function ('VHDL tutorial') and later verifying and refining it ('VHDL tutorial - part 2 - Testbench' and 'VHDL tutorial - combining clocked and sequential logic'). In this entry I will describe how to...