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Memfault Beyond the Launch

A Sneak Peek at the 2024 Embedded Online Conference

Jacob Beningo January 19, 2024

The embedded systems industry is evolving at a rapid pace. Just a few years ago, most embedded products were disconnected systems that used bare-metal scheduling techniques. Today, the drive to connect devices and add intelligence at the edge is revolutionizing how we build embedded products. The only way to stay current and not get left behind is to learn and network with colleagues and industry experts continuously.

This year, the 2024 Embedded Online Conference is...


Embedded Systems Roadmaps

Nathan Jones November 9, 2023

What skills should every embedded systems engineer have? What should you study next to improve yourself as an embedded systems engineer? In this article I'll share with you a few lists from well-respected sources that seek to answer these questions, with the hope of helping provide you a path to mastery. Whether you've only just finished your first Arduino project or you've been building embedded systems for decades, I believe there's something in here for everyone to help improve themselves as embedded systems engineers.


Embedded Developers, Ditch Your IDEs – Here’s Why!

Amar Mahmutbegovic September 25, 20231 comment

Ditching your Integrated Development Environment (IDE) temporarily can be a transformative learning experience in embedded development. This post invites you to explore the underpinnings of IDEs by delving into alternative tools and processes like Makefile, CMake, Vim, GDB, and OpenOCD. Understanding these tools can demystify the background operations of IDEs, revealing the intricacies of compiling, linking, and debugging. This journey into the “under the hood” aspects of development is not just about learning new tools, but also about gaining a deeper appreciation for the convenience and efficiency that IDEs provide. By stepping out of your comfort zone and experimenting with these alternatives, you can sharpen your skills, enhance your knowledge, and possibly discover a more tailored and streamlined development experience. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned developer, this exploration promises insights and revelations that can elevate your embedded development journey.


Three more things you need to know when transitioning from MCUs to FPGAs

Duane Benson August 24, 20231 comment

Take a look at three more important difference between FPGAs and MCUs: "code reuse" vs templating, metastability and blocking vs. non-blocking operations.


Bit-Banged Async Serial Output And Disciplined Engineering

Steve Branam August 3, 2023

This post covers implementing asynchronous serial output directly on a GPIO with bit-banging. This can be a valuable debug tool for getting information out of a system. It also covers disciplined engineering, using the bit-banging module as an example and template you can apply to other projects.


Jumping from MCUs to FPGAs - 5 things you need to know

Duane Benson July 31, 2023

Are you a microcontroller expert beckoned by the siren song of the FPGA? Not long ago, that was me. FPGA-expert friends of mine regularly extolled the virtues of these mysterious components and I wanted in. When I made the leap, I found a world seemingly very familiar, but in reality, vastly different. I found that my years of C programming and microcontroller use often gave pre preconceived interpretations of FPGA resource material which resulted in eye-roll class mistakes in my code. I’ve gleaned five things of vital importance to help you make that transition faster than I did.


Moulding the Embedded Systems Engineers of Tomorrow: Adapting to a Constantly Transforming Technological Terrain

Lance Harvie June 26, 2023

Embedded systems engineers, previously focused on device architecture, are now steering the digital era, encompassing firmware, software, complex silicon, and cloud computing. To keep pace, mastery in new areas like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and cloud technologies is critical. In today's highly connected world, security is foundational to design, necessitating knowledge in encryption, secure coding, and data protection laws. Additionally, expertise in AI and ML is essential for managing vast global data, requiring understanding of ethical implications and effective system design for data analysis. The advent of cloud technology mandates learning about cloud architectures and data security. In this fast-paced field, continuous learning and adapting these new skills is the key to staying relevant and spearheading future advancements.


Review: Embedded Software Design: A Practical Approach to Architecture, Processes, and Coding Techniques

Steve Branam February 28, 2023
Introduction

Full disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to review.

Embedded Software Design: A Practical Approach to Architecture, Processes, and Coding Techniques, by Jacob Beningo, is an excellent introduction to strategies for embedded systems design and bringing those designs to fruition. Renowned embedded systems expert Jack Ganssle was the technical reviewer.

This is a practical how-to book on the modern professional practice of embedded systems...


A Beginner's Guide to Embedded Systems

Manasi Rajan December 6, 2022

I was in my Junior year of college when I first learned about embedded systems. Sure, I’d heard about this mystical world of sensors and IoT, the same way I’d heard about thermonuclear astrophysics; But, the phrase “embedded systems” didn’t really mean anything to me. This, here, is a guide for people like teenage me. We’re going to learn what an embedded system actually is, and why working on embedded software is the coolest thing you could ever do!

What's an embedded...

Learning Rust For Embedded Systems

Steve Branam November 12, 2021
The Motivational Portion

Based on recommendations from Kevin Nause, the VolksEEG project is considering using Rust as the embedded system programming language. So I've been off on a tear skimming books and e-books and watching videos at 2x to evaluate it.

My conclusion? Do it!

Most of the rest of us participants are primarily C/C++ embedded developers. I had previously been sensitized to Rust for embedded systems by 


C++ on microcontrollers 2 - LPCXpresso, LPC-link, Code Sourcery, lpc21isp, linkerscript, LPC1114 startup

Wouter van Ooijen October 24, 20115 comments

 previous parts: 1

This blog series is about the use of C++ for modern microcontrollers. My plan is to show the gradual development of a basic I/O library. I will introduce the object-oriented C++ features that are used step by step, to provide a gentle yet practical introduction into C++ for C programmers.  Reader input is very much appreciated, you might even steer me in the direction you find most interesting.

I teach my students that...


Review: Embedded Software Design: A Practical Approach to Architecture, Processes, and Coding Techniques

Steve Branam February 28, 2023
Introduction

Full disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to review.

Embedded Software Design: A Practical Approach to Architecture, Processes, and Coding Techniques, by Jacob Beningo, is an excellent introduction to strategies for embedded systems design and bringing those designs to fruition. Renowned embedded systems expert Jack Ganssle was the technical reviewer.

This is a practical how-to book on the modern professional practice of embedded systems...


Levitating Globe Teardown, Part 2

Tim Wescott November 6, 20139 comments

Part 1 of this article was really more of an extended (and cynical) product review.  In this part of the article, I actually take things apart (sometimes a bit more suddenly than I meant to) and show you some innards.First the globe.  I knew there was a magnet in there someplace, because it's obviously plastic and it also attracts metal.  I had intended to gently part the globe at the glue bond along the equator.  I started by trying to gently flex the thing on my work...


Levitating Globe Teardown, Part 1

Tim Wescott November 4, 20133 comments

I've been kicking some ideas around for a long time for a simple and inexpensive platform I could use for control systems experimentation for the beginner.  I want something that can be controlled easily in a basic fashion, yet that provides some depth: I want to be able to present ever-more challenging goals to the student, that can be attained by fancier control algorithms all on the same device.

I'm currently looking at magnetic levitation.  It's fun, it has the potential to be...


Examining The Stack For Fun And Profit

Steve Branam February 19, 20201 comment

Well, maybe not so much for profit, but certainly for fun. This is a wandering journey of exploration and discovery, learning a variety of interesting and useful things.

One of the concerns with an embedded system is how much memory it needs, known as the memory footprint. This consists of the persistent storage needed for the program (i.e. the flash memory or filesystem space that stores the executable image), and the volatile storage needed to hold the data while executing over long...


Memfault Beyond the Launch