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What's all the FUSS about BLOBs or FOSS drivers? OK, some intro to the lingo is required here, just in case. In modern embedded system user interfaces, graphics has Supertuxcart_on_Inforce_6540_Adreno-GPU.pngincreasingly become important. Isn't it a natural progression of what we've come to take for granted on our mobile devices and the availability of affordable underlying technologies due to economies of scale? Embedded systems developers writing graphics intensive applications are often limited by BLOBs (Binary Large OBject) for GPU drivers provided by device vendors. By any stretch of the imagination, I'm no expert in GPUs, but I can tell that having the flexibility to modify code would make a big difference to writing cool graphics applications. That's where the freedreno Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Linux graphics drivers for ARM-based applications processors can help.


As you may know, Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ (ARM®v7 and ARMv8 compatible) applications processors have a powerful and in-built WebGL_FireFox_on_Inforce_SBC.pnghigh-performance Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) for accelerating 2D and 3D graphics-intensive applications. Having access to open source graphics drivers enables generation of new widgets, new features, etc., and allows developers to recompile the code. It's like having the cake and eating it too. Would you like to find out how to enable OpenGL APIs on the Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 805  based Inforce 64XX and 65XX compute platforms (Adreno 320 and Adreno 420 GPUs respectively) with FOSS Linux drivers? Click here to download a free whitepaper and sample C code to get you started >>>>>>>


FOSS drivers enable games, WebGL, etc. to work right out of the box in the Linaro Ubuntu Linux distro that runs on the Inforce SOMs and SBCs. Once you have the time, watch this full lecture from the author of freedreno, Rob Clark, on enabling the FOSS graphics drivers on the Inforce 6540 and Inforce 6410Plus SBCs:




Vasu Madabushi

Inforce Computing


Here we are, in February, only a couple of weeks away from Embedded World, in Nuremberg, and the excitement is building. Embedded World is my favorite event, it is the world’s biggest Embedded Systems exhibition and conference, and the organization of the event, and atmosphere in Nuremberg is just fantastic.



Embedded World is a microcosm of the world ‘s #1 embedded ecosystem: the ARM Ecosystem. Our booth will be at Hall 5, Stand 338, so please stop by to see different demonstrations and solutions from ARM or shown in collaboration with our partners. The demos will showcase technologies ranging from the IoT, systems, embedded wireless, embedded security, software productivity and tools, automotive.


The event saw over 25500 attendees and 900 exhibitors in 2015, and there numbers are expected to be exceeded again this year, so make sure you are well prepared and ensure you pre-register with voucher code B319187 to save you a few Euros.




What to see from ARM at Embedded World 2016

ARM will showcase a selection of highly-scalable ARM® processors and tools, along with updates on the latest ARM Cortex® -based innovations for the world’s #1 embedded ecosystem.


IoT and Connectivity

Last year, ARM mbed™ IoT Device Platform won the 2015 Embedded World award in the software category, so come and see the latest solutions presented, including the first public previews of the new ARM mbed™ Smart City Reference Design,  as well as solutions from the mbed partnership on the latest Smart City open standards and interoperability requirements.


If you can’t wait for the conference opening, you can watch in the meantime these mbed –based demos that were shown at ARM TechCon 2015.


Adding to these IoT demos, there will be a live data demo in conjunction with the ARM booth at Mobile World Congress! Each ARM booth at Embedded World and Mobile World Congress will present data on temperature, sound levels, and booth traffic captured by mbed OS -powered sensor nodes and aggregated by the mbed Device Connector service.


Furthermore, there will be demos based on the new ARMv8-M architecture that extends ARM TrustZone® technology to Cortex-M class systems such as microcontrollers, enabling robust levels of protection at all cost points. ARMv8-M has been shortlisted for an embedded AWARD (hardware category).


On the stand, you’ll see test chips representative of Cortex-M processor-based SoC designs, where various ARM IP blocks can be quickly and efficiently assembled to produce differentiated and robust working silicon for IoT with limited engineering resources:


The comprehensive test chip includes:Beetle TC.png

  • Power-efficient ARM Cordio® Radio IP supporting Bluetooth Smart standard (including Bluetooth 4.2 Packet Length extensions and 2 Mbps mode)
  • IoT subsystem for Cortex-M processors pre-integrated with mbed OS to jumpstart integration and SoC design
  • Compatibility with the broad range of software for Cortex-M processors and mbed ecosystem


Read this blog from liamdillon about how the testchip was setup for the demo.




Furthermore, to accelerate IoT and embedded SoC designs, ask us about the new ARM DesignStart portal which offers free access to Cortex-M0 processor IP for design and simulation, low cost prototyping, and $40K fast track license.


Single Board Computing

If you are a Single Board Computing (SBC) aficionado, you will be in for a treat! Come and check out our board wall, where you will see one of the largest and most diverse displays of ARM-based single board computers ever assembled. And that’s only a sample of what is available! Do check the Single Board Computers guide on the ARM Connected Community here for more!


Software productivity

As I am sure software productivity is an interest of yours, be sure to talk to our engineers and check our leading development tools. We will unveil the latest version of the industry-standard ARM Keil® MDK version 5.20, the most comprehensive developer tool suite for Cortex microcontrollers.


MDK Version 5.20 expands software development solution with:

  • Compiler, debugger, fixed virtual model, and CMSIS for the ARMv8-M architecture.
  • Development support for 32-bit Cortex-A processor-based catalogue devices.
  • Connectivity for IoT utilizing mbed software components.
  • ARM Compiler version 6 with C language support for C++11/C++14.


More information on MDK Version 5.20 can be found here.



ARM processors are embedded everywhere, and the automotive segment is a fantastic example of that. For instance, autonomous driving will require more compute power and additional safety functionality, and Embedded World attendees can get the latest updates from ARM on functional safety packages across ARM Cortex-A, Cortex-R and Cortex-M processors.


Have a look at the great blog from bfuller, Smart and connected cars coming fast and furious: analyst along with whitepaper from research firm TECHnalysis on the path to autonomous driving and its implications for the ARM ecosystem.



Even more from ARM's Partners

You will find hundreds of ARM based products at Embedded World, a few examples of the exciting things our partners are doing at the event on these pages, and more to come:


More blogs, announcements and discussions on the ARM Connected Community


If you're attending the technical conference itself, then you can look forward to 26 sessions and  15 classes, and several on ARM technology over three days check out Embedded World 2016 – ARM sessions


If you can’t be at the show why not follow the @ARMEmbedded twitter feed and also the @embedded_world twitter feed to get breaking news live from the event. This is it the end of this (relatively long) blog post, I could go on for several pages as there will be so much to see, so see you there in Nuremberg!


#EMB2016 #ARMEmbedded


Internet of Things

If you're attending the technical conference itself, then you can look forward to 26 sessions and 15 classes, and several on ARM technology over three days:


ARM Speakers


23-Feb-1609:30 - 10:00Do you need tamper resistant chips for security of connected devices?lionelbelnet
23-Feb-1609:30 - 10:00Introduction to ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollerschrisshore
23-Feb-1610:30 - 11:00The Next Steps in the Evolution of Embedded Processors for the Smart Connected Erajyiu
23-Feb-1610:30 - 11:00Security for Real-Time operating systems running on ARM Cortex-Mreinhardkeil
23-Feb-1617:00 – 17:30Security for the next generation of safe real-time systemsjont
24-Feb-1610:30 – 11:00Building Trust from Sensors to Serversrichardyork
24-Feb-1610:30 – 11:00MCUs or Custom SoCs – Which is the Right Solution for Your IoT Product?wintercham
24-Feb-1611:00 – 11:30Enhanced security and energy efficiency of microcontrollers and SoCsjyiu
25-Feb-1611:30 – 12:00Designing security into constrained IoT Systemsftbug


Exhibitor forum


23-Feb-1614:00 - 14:30Enabling security in sub $1 IoT end pointsftbug
24-Feb-1610:30 - 11:00The Future of ARM Cortex-A Processors for Embedded Computekinjaldave


Partner presentations


24-Feb-1510:30 - 11:00ARM Cortex-M designed for RTOS kernelsJean Labrosse, Micrium
24-Feb-1511:30 - 12:00Advanced debugging on ARM Cortex target devicesMatthias Norlander, Atollic
25-Feb-1514:00 - 14:30Running an OS on ARM/FPGA hybrid architectureAnthony Pellerin, Adeneo Embedded
25-Feb-1514:30 - 15:00ARM TrustZone as a Basis for Safety Critical SystemsKonrad Schwarz, Siemens
26-Feb-1514:00 - 14:30Real-Time FPGA-ARM Canny edge detection for embedded visionBryan Huang, Altera


If you can’t be at the show why not follow the @ARMEmbedded twitter feed and also the @embedded_world twitter feed to get breaking news live from the event.


Internet of Things

Imperas Software Ltd., leader in high-performance software simulation and virtual prototyping, today announced that its CEO Simon Davidmann will speak on an Electronic System Level (ESL) panel at DVCon 2016.


DVCon is the premier conference for discussion of the functional design and verification of electronic systems. This DVCon panel, “Redefining ESL” is moderated by Brian Bailey of Semiconductor Engineering, who recently wrote an article titled, “What ESL Is Really About.”


There are many views on the role of ESL in design and verification, so panelists will have plenty to consider as they discuss raising the level of abstraction from the register transfer level (RTL) to ESL for both hardware and software. DVCon attendees are invited to join Brian Bailey, Simon Davidmann, and other distinguished experts who will attempt to define ESL verification, from tools to flows. Specifically, Simon will address where ESL and verification needs to go, virtual platforms, embedded software development, debugging, analysis, and verification.

You know it’s going to be big, but just what is the future of automotive design? And how fast might that future approach?



Already we’re talking about and creating regulatory frameworks around things like autonomous vehicles, which are still a few years away in any meaningful volumes. So there’s a sense that the die is now cast and the ramp up into the age of smart and connected cars is going to be faster than expected.


Bob O’Donnell, president and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research and a keen observer of the automotive electronics space, has pulled together some insights in the white paper “Digital Engines for Smart and Connected Cars.”

He writes:


“For many consumers, the traditional driving metrics of automobiles have become less important, while the desire to connect the rest of their digital devices and their digital lives with their cars has significantly increased. Automobiles present some of the most challenging requirements of any device or any activity that consumers engage in, so the need for tremendous processing capabilities is going to make tomorrow’s digital engines as essential as today’s analog ones.”


I asked him whether he thinks the acceleration of these automotive applications will happen faster than we anticipate and if so how the electronics design ecosystem might respond effectively. He said:


“Automakers and top-level suppliers realize that the in-vehicle experience needs to be taken up a level or two in order to attract today’s consumers, and the most compelling way to do that is through greatly enhanced electronics, such as those enabled by ARM’s customers and licensees.”


Here’s the complete white paper and an automotive-podcast interview O’Donnell conducted recently on this topic with Arwed Niestroj, the CEO of Mercedes-Benz R&D North America (Sunnyvale, Calif.), and ARM Embedded Segment Marketing Director Will Tu willtu (Cars are sexy again (podcast).


Related stories:

We need self driving cars, humans are terrible drivers

Cars are sexy again (podcast)

The Raspberry Pi Zero has set a new bar for extraordinarily capable low-cost compute platforms. If you haven't managed to get a hold of one yet, there's a chance to remedy this via a contest being run by Hackaday and Adafruit:


Hackaday and Adafruit Launch the Pi Zero Contest | Hackaday


Details of the competition is there, but the low-down is that you document your project idea on, and you're in with a chance to win either a Pi Zero, or some cold hard cash. Good luck!


Only a few weeks left, already countable in days until in Germany more precisely Nuremberg the doors of Embedded World one of the most important and biggest trade show for Embedded and Industrial will open again.


Last year was great we saw a lot of new interesting things, first IoT applications and of course the always called Industry 4.0. I'm looking forward what to see this year!


Of course also we from TechNexion will be there  (Hall1, Booth 311) and present our newest and updates, cool products.



And of course we bring our tiny PICO Modules with NXP i.MX6 onboard.

Here we get some new family members, but see by yourself...


Not be missed should be also our HMIs. Last year people like our colorful 7", easy customizable TOUCANs.

So we are back with a complete new line and.... new sizes as well!


As Embedded World is Embedded World and therefore THE time of the year to present something new, we developed a industrial BoxPC.

as always scalable and complete with all the open source software you need to start right away!


Last but not least we have spent some Engineering to update our EDM Modules... surprised what we packed onto this Modules and how we continue to follow our scalability concept!


So far thats what I can tell you without spoiling your visit and telling you everything in advanced.


If you go, make sure to stop by at our Booth 311 in Hall 1.

If you need a Entrance card, contact we happily send you a free electronic ticket: sales (at)


So long take care and see you at Embedded World 2016!



Bloggers.pngIf you’re reading this, it’s because you’re a passionate partner who has been promoting technology on the Single Board Computers and have a presence as a community member and company participant. So thank you! An effective way of highlighting your technology on the resource guide and improving your thought leadership within the community is by writing blogs as often as possible. It’s easy and immediate.


What follows are some guidelines to help you get started quickly and engage deeply with the audience.


First click on the "Create" icon at the top of any ARM Connected Community page. From the drop down menu, select Blog Post. (There are additional community documents to help you navigate other aspects of publishing materials in the community and your company landing pages, including Are You New To The ARM Connected Community? In some cases you might want to consider publishing something other than a blog. Please see this document Which Content Type Should I Use: Blog, Document? - FAQ for guidance).


Once you’re in the blog-post editor, fill in the headline (title) field and write or paste your draft blog. Best practices suggest adding at least one compelling piece of art to each post.


Once you’re edited and carefully proofread your post and added relevant tags (Tags and Categories - Their Use in the Community - Guide) at the bottom, you want to direct your post to the right space. In the case of the SBC program, it’s best to post to the Embedded space after clicking on the “A place’s blog” radio button. This will ensure your story gets in front of the right audience and gets broadly read.


Once you’ve done that, hit publish and you’ll be live. Note: Anytime you edit a published blog, you need to publish it again for it to remain live, rather than simply save it.


Blog Post Screen Grab.jpg

Some things to consider:

  • Keep your posts to 300-500 words (more is OK but the story needs to be very compelling).
  • Make liberal use of links in the body copy. You can link to other ARM CC stories, documents and landing pages by typing the ‘@’ before a word (say ‘embedded’) and then scrolling through the results to click on the appropriate link you want to highlight). Please include a link to the SBC page!
  • Spend time on your headline. Make it compel the reader to get into your story. (Some pros advise writing 25 headlines during your draft and picking one final version).
  • Be conversational, authentic and authoritative; avoid blatant marketing.
  • Remember a good blog answers a potential question and should be seen as a valuable use of the reader’s limited time.
  • Socialize your post once it’s live to social media channels, such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Engage with other embedded blogs, liking and commenting on them. Others will return the love.
  • Be patient. Getting traction takes time and blog posts. It doesn’t happen overnight.


Here are some recent examples of SBC-related blog posts:

What Can a Purpose-built SBC Do For Industrial High-performance IoT/IoE Applications?

The three embedded market trends you should be considering

Beta release of Yocto-based BSP for VIA VAB-820 and AMOS-820


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Carl Williamson (U.K.) Ben Song (Asia) or Brian Fuller (North America).

I received this write-up from Brandon Braun, who is part of a team in a design competition. He tells it better than I can:


Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, created the Hyperloop Pod Competition last July. In theory at least, technologies emerging from this competition will kick-start a worldwide transportation revolution, and create the fifth mode of travel. More than 120 teams from over 20 countries and 100 universities are competing for a chance to race their designs down a one-mile long test track in June of 2016.


As of last week, Team Codex—my team—finished presenting its pod design to the SpaceX and Tesla judges. We rocked the presentation and the judges were very pleased with our design.


Our primary communications and control systems have been graciously provided by UDOO. We are very excited to be working with such an awesome company and hope to travel very far in this competition (pun intended) using their systems! We are using two UDOO Quads to gather data from our onboard sensors and control our primary and secondary systems. The UDOO Quads will interface with SpaceX’s Network Access Panel (NAP), and allow us to provide real time feedback of our systems. The NAP will then send the data back to an off-board computer for monitoring and control.


For any Hyperloop teams reading this, we wish you the best of luck and hope to see you at the competition in June! Break a pod!


The photos show our team members engaged in the competition.


Blog 12, figure 1.png

Blog 12, figure 2.png

Blog 12, figure 3.png

Blog 12, figure 4.png

Our program for LPC1115 that blinks with LEDs on Lipicano is in fact very simple. But a lot of things happen before the processor gets to switching the LEDs on/off. Let us walk through the structure of the source code of the program and explain the operations that precede the function main().

The simple_blinky program could certainly be written more simply. All the source code could have been in one file. The address of the stack top and the address of the reset handler would have been quite enough - no need for a complete vector table. We could have also put those several lines of code into the reset handler function and the compilation and build could be accomplished with a simple batch file instead of a terribly cryptic makefile.

We have chosen a different approach. We have divided the program into parts and placed them in separate source files. We have prepared a project template that we are going to use in our future examples. We will expand the template when needed but we'll always be using the same pattern. Read more ...



What: Inforce computing will be exhibiting at the upcoming Embedded World Exhibition and Conference, 2016. Inforce’s state-of-the-art miniature system-on-modules and single-board-computers eases system level design (hardware and software) by saving both on time and total cost of developing embedded systems. Come visit us at the Qualcomm® and Arrow Electronics® booths to see how our Qualcomm Snapdragon™-processor based compute platforms can help get your next big IoT/IoE edge-of-the-network system to the market faster.


Each year the Embedded World Exhibition & Conference in Nuremberg, Germany, offers the embedded community the opportunity to obtain information about new products and innovations, enter into an exchange and to maintain and develop valuable contacts. Around 900 exhibitors will present state-of-the-art technology in all facets of embedded technologies, from construction elements, modules and complete systems through to operating systems and software, hard and software tools right up to services covering all aspects of embedded systems. [Credit: Embedded World 2016]

When: Februrary 23-25, 2016
Where: Exhibition Centre Nuremberg, Germany (Nuremberg Messe)
Timings: 23 February 2016: 09:00 – 18:00
24 February 2016: 09:00 – 18:00
25 February 2016: 09:00 – 17:00

What to see:master_qualcomm_logo_rgb_4809


1. Qualcomm/Inforce booth: Hall-1 Booth 1-328

  • A demo of Inforce’s OEM customer products in the Medical and Enterprise IoE space
    • Point-of-care portable, connected, and high-resolution ultrasound imaging system powered by an Inforce 64XX SOM
    • Enterprise videoconferencing/collaboration system for huddle spaces, powered by a custom Inforce 64XX SBC
  • Inforce products and solutions on display:
    • Inforce 6309 Micro SBC (Snapdragon 410 processor) for Industrial IoE systems at the edge of the network
    • Inforce 6401 Micro SOM (Snapdragon 600 processor) for mid-range compute requirements and full HD video encode/decode
    • Inforce RDK Robotics and IoT Dev Kit (Snapdragon 600) with theInforce 6410Plus SBC and a Peripheral Abstraction Core (PAC) mezzanine card for connecting multiple sensors and motor control .
    • Inforce 6501 Micro SOM and Inforce 6540 SBC (Snapdragon 805) for high-end embedded computing, including 4K Ultra HD video processing and multiple camera and display support

2. Arrow Electronics booth: Hall-5 Booth 5-258Arrow_logo

  • Several of the above Inforce products will be on display. Please speak to one of the Arrow FAEs to find out more about high-performance embedded computing solutions from Inforce.


Contact Inforce Computing to setup an appointment to meet at the Embedded World to discuss your embedded design needs.


About: Inforce Computing is a leading provider of application-ready embedded computing hardware platforms for the burgeoning IoT/IoE markets. Inforce’s products are based on upstream Linux kernel (Linaro) and Android OS for low-power, small footprint, and high-performance solutions based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ family of processors. Inforce’s system-on-module (SoM), single-board-computer (SBC), development kits, and wireless technologies have enabled OEM solutions in diverse markets such as portable medical imaging, collaboration and videoconferencing, hands-free computing, robotics, and drones.


©2016 Inforce Computing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Makers, meet the Adafruit Feather M0 WiFi. As its name would suggest, the all-new board is Adafruit’s latest take on an Arduino-compatible, ‘all-in-one’ platform with high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, USB support and a built-in battery charger.


Equipped with an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 and ATWINC1500 SoC at its core, Makers will find it super simple to connect their Feathers to the Internet. The 802.11bgn-capable Wi-Fi module is the ideal add-on to existing MCU solutions bringing wireless and network capabilities through UART or SPI-to-Wi-Fi interface.


“This module works with 802.11b, g, or n networks and supports WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption,” Adafruit writes. “The datasheet says it can do Soft-AP mode but we don’t have any code to actually use that. You can clock it as fast as 12MHz for speedy, reliable packet streaming. And scanning/connecting to networks is very fast, a few seconds.”


The ATSAMD21G18 Cortex-M0+ processor at its heart — which is the same chip used in the new Arduino Zero — is clocked at 48MHz and at 3.3V logic. It boasts a whopping 256K of Flash (eight times more than the Atmega328 or 32u4) and 32K of RAM (16 times as much). The MCU comes with native USB, as well as a USB bootloader and serial port debugging.


With portability in mind, Adafruit has included a connector for any 3.7V LiPo battery along with an integrated charger. Even without a battery, it will run just fine via microUSB. The Feather will even automatically switch over to USB power when it’s available.


“We also tied the battery through a divider to an analog pin, so you can measure and monitor the battery voltage to detect when you need a recharge,” Adafruit writes.


The ‘M0 WiFi features a similar form factor as many of its other Feathers, measuring 2.1″ x 0.9″ x 0.3” in size and weighing 6.1 grams. (Note, however, that it is 0.1″ longer than its siblings.) Beyond that, the board has 20 GPIO pins with eight PWM pins, 10 analog inputs, a single analog output, a power/enable pin, four mounting holes and a reset button. Plus, there are a couple of LEDs and is compatible with a wide range of FeatherWings, including OLED, NeoPixels, servos, relays, seven-segment displays, etc.


Have any more questions? Watch as Lady Ada herself unveils the Feather M0 WiFi below, or stay tuned on its page here.

At the beginning of the year it's a good time to reflect on how do we did the previous year and what we'd like to do differently in the new year.  And when it comes to software development there is certainly a big opportunity to improve productivity. 


With UBM1 quoting that 62% of projects are either late or cancelled, the pressure to improve productivity is significant, and software developers may want to reflect at the start of the year on how their tools are helping or hindering with productivity.  If you're spending too much time trying to get the best out of complicated or unsuitable tools then maybe it's time to take a look at some of the newer improved tools on the market.


Embedded software developers are being increasingly challenged to build faster, smaller, more energy efficient designs, especially with the drive towards connecting everything and with devices getting smaller and smaller.   The traditional approach to this has been to spend hours manually rewriting code to meet project objectives – hardly the best way to improve productivity! 


27%1 of developers see meeting performance and energy standards as their greatest concern when working on a project. Optimizing for performance and energy is normally a complicated manual process so developers need tools that can optimize code automatically. 


SOMNIUM DRT automatically optimizes your project with proven reductions in code size and energy consumption but whilst also improving performance.


56% of projects were also reported by UBM1 as being upgrades or improvements to existing projects.  These projects may have been built with tools that are now outdated, with many traditional tools no longer being fit for purpose - they're often hard to use and are unnecessarily complicated.  Many commercial tools are still using old versions of Eclipse or GNU and so don't take advantage of the latest features and capabilities available.


SOMNIUM DRT is compatible with the latest GNU compilers and thus offers the latest C and C++ language support, whilst being compatible with existing project source code, including existing and future NXP Kinetis software enablement (such as Sensor Fusion, and Kinetis Software Development Kit and MQX).


SOMNIUM DRT is the only commercial tool currently available which is built on the latest Mars version of Eclipse, with SOMNIUM's plugins for improved debug, project creation and build.  These contain new features and bugfixes for common problems (such as the 8192 byte command line length restriction on Windows command lines which can cause nasty build problems with other tools).


Migrating project code to new tools has often been a major barrier to productivity, with developers wary of moving to new tools because they're so reliant on old project code and don't want to spend time manually rewriting code to work with new tools.  Migration tools which are easy to use and negate the need for rewriting code are therefore essential.


SOMNIUM DRT is the only product on the market which can seamlessly migrate projects from KDS and CodeWarrior for Kinetis devices, without the need to manually rewrite code. This makes trialling and adopting DRT a really easy no risk process. In the future we'll be adding even more features to help our customers upgrade from other legacy software development tools to DRT.


32%1 of software developers would improve software tools when asked to improve one thing about their embedded design activities. But, software developers are often reluctant to move to new tools because, whilst they can see there are technical benefits, they believe they'll present them with a steep learning curve.  Using tools that use familiar environments, based on industry standards such as GNU and Eclipse, whilst adding value to those environments is what is needed.


SOMNIUM DRT is based on Eclipse Mars and compatible with the latest GNU tools so the environment is familiar and no source code changes or build changes are required. Further value is added through improved ease of use and debug features. DRT also contains fixes for common bugs seen in older versions of Eclipse and GNU tools which would otherwise require developers to patch their tools and environment.



25% of developers1 also see the debugging process as their greatest concern when working on a project. Making the debugging process more efficient can therefore have a significant impact on a software developer's productivity. 



SOMNIUM DRT supports industry standard debug adaptors, and has trace features and fault diagnosis tools to greatly simplify the debug process and improve developer productivity. Future versions are DRT will add even more debug and trace features.



So, as 2016 commences is it time you took a critical look at your tools and think about whether they're improving or hindering your productivity?  To find out more about how SOMNIUM DRT can help you work smarter this year please visit our website at


References: 1 UBM 2015 Embedded Market Study

Where did your last project start? How did you get from an idea to the point where you knew it would work and could do real product development? What twists and turns did your path take before the first ‘for-sale’ units rolled off the production line?


This post is the short story of how one of our customers went from a big idea to a product, and the technology choices they made along the way.


Meeting new challenges


Our customer is in the security industry and was looking to upgrade a successful ticketing-based product to a camera-based system with machine vision. This new product would include up to 8 cameras and be a big step up in technology and capability.


Like all good engineers tackling a big development, they took small steps. Starting with what they knew, a Raspberry Pi, they developed a proof-of-concept with a single camera.

This was enough to get a green light for the project. But where to from here? One of the lead designers had been on a project that used a Raspberry Pi. In that project, they kept it as their processing platform for their final product and saw no end of issues in production.


It was a case of “use the right tool for the job”. Hobby boards are great for proof-of-concept work, but they’re not built with production in mind.




Opal-6 QuadWorking with ILR, one of our NZ-based design partners, the customer was introduced to Opal-6. Apart from working with Device Solutions modules, ILR’s expertise also includes camera systems and cellular connectivity – a perfect fit for this application.


Opal-6 is a system-on-module designed for use in industrial applications. It has a small, robust form-factor and handles extended temperature requirements. It also has the long life-time availability required for this application. The customer did not want to re-design their system every time components were made obsolete.


Options were important. The first proof-of-concept design was OK with a single camera, but they were still not sure how much processing would be required for a system with 8 cameras.


Being a connected application, they also had questions about the overall architecture. How much processing would they do locally vs on their cloud platform?




The scalability of Opal-6, from i.MX6 Solo to QuadPlus, gave them confidence that they could continue their design and keep their options open. They could go with a quad-core processor and would not be limited by processing power if they chose to do more work on the device. Likewise, they would not be stuck with a higher cost option if they chose to push more processing out to the cloud.


Marcus Clyne, Managing Director at ILR said “Opal-6 provided the peace-of-mind for the customer that they were getting a professional level solution with long term support. The flexibility of different module variants meant one less architectural decision that had to be made early in the design process, which kept the project development moving forward“.




So what of software? Most hobby boards support Linux, as does Opal-6. The customer developed the initial software using standard open-source libraries. Porting these to Opal-6 was trivial, and they continued development from there, expanding the capabilities and including the cellular connectivity.




The journey of developing a product rarely travels from start to finish in a straight line. Navigating the twists and turns successfully requires choosing components that are the right fit for your project.


Are you starting a project with i.MX6 and wondering if Opal-6 would work for you? Drop us a line at and tell us what you are working on. We would love to talk through your options and how we could help with your journey.

Engineering differs from project management especially in the age of hardware-software systems. Learn how with plenty of examples in the online credited course.


Managing complex technical systems presents different challenges from typical project/program management. This course will explore those differences using good systems_engineering principals, numerous case studies and modern tools. Some of the contemporary topics include:


  • Implementing a strategic, tailored middle-out approach to development that incorporates legacy systems.
  • Collaborating change across many engineering and business disciplines without affecting existing tool flows or development processes.
  • Managing integration and assessing challenges between hardware and software teams.
  • Exposure to Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) techniques.
  • Modern case studies to support up-to-date system engineering principles and concepts including decision modeling,trade-off analysis for hardware and software systems and the effect of organizational structure on product iot design
  • Practical system engineering program and design review checklists to aid in the effective and efficient implementation of overall program requirements (partially available online).


This course is based on the latest 5th edition of Wiley's "Systems Engineering Management," by Blanchard and Blyler.


Online course students will receive 3 CEUs from the Florida Institute of Technology or a certificate of completion that may be applied as 30 Continuing Learning Points (CLPs).




Visit the RMS Partnership page (right-hand column) to register

Last Day to Register is Thursday, February 4th

Instructor: John Blyler

Soon after you registered a member of the RMS Partnership will contact you regarding on-line procedures and related information

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