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
The IoT Online Conference is back, and this time the core focus is on IoT embedded systems and edge computing. This post will explore what will be happening at this year’s conference and how teams and developers can benefit.The IoT Online Conference Overview
The IoT Online Conference will be taking place December 8 – 10, 2021. This is the conferences’ fourth year, although it started as a fall embedded systems conference which was a single day of webinars. The...
Here are six tools to help you with software design. The first two are very simple, almost deceptively trivial, while the last four are more involved. They apply universally, to all types of software, all types of systems, and all languages. This is part of good engineering discipline.
At face value, this is just a bunch of acronyms,...
The initial hardware architecture for the prototype VolksEEG uses an Adafruit Feather nRF52840 Sense, which connects to a PC via USB for UI (User Interface). Through several additional chips, this provides power to and acquires data from the ADS1299 ADC.
An important topic I mentioned in my introduction to the project is isolation, ensuring there is no conductive path for current through the patient. The architecture is therefore split into...
The VolksEEG project is an open-source project with the goal of creating an electroenchephalogram (EEG) machine, fully cleared by the FDA for standard clinical use. All designs will be freely available for others to manufacture.
- Lesson Plan 1: Introducing Arduino
- Lesson Plan 2: Circuit Drawings With Fritzing
- Lesson Plan 3: Basic Electronics
- Coming Soon
This post continues from part 1. It contains the first three lesson plans.Lesson Plan 1: Introducing Arduino
This lesson is first because Arduino is the simplest programming environment, yet allows lots of interaction with hardware. In...
- Adapting To Your Circumstances
- Suggested Policies
- The Video Educators
- Equipment, Books, and Supplies
- Lesson Summary
- Suggested Teaching Method
Prototype to Product: A Practical Guide for Getting to Market, by Alan Cohen, is a must-read for anyone involved in product development, whether in a technical, management, or executive role.
I was reminded of it by Cohen's recent episode on Embedded.fm, 388: Brains Generate EMF, which is worth listening to a couple times through, especially if you're interested in medical device development. And in fact his first episode there,
The 2021 DSP/ML Online Conference is just around the corner and this year again, the program is packed with opportunities to learn.
By registering for the conference, not only will you have full access to all talks, workshops, and Q&A sessions at this year's event, but you'll also gain instant access to all talks from last year's edition.
We've asked the speakers to tell me a few words about their sessions, here are some of the answers we've...
Electronic component distibutor Digi-Key recently announced part tracing for surface-mount components purchased in cut-tape form. This is a big deal, and it’s a feature that is a good example of traceability. Some thing or process that has traceability basically just means that it’s possible to determine an object’s history or provenance: where it came from and what has happened to it since its creation. There are a...
Lost Secrets of the H-Bridge, Part IV: DC Link Decoupling and Why Electrolytic Capacitors Are Not Enough
Those of you who read my earlier articles about H-bridges, and followed them closely, have noticed there's some unfinished business. Well, here it is. Just so you know, I've been nervous about writing the fourth (and hopefully final) part of this series for a while. Fourth installments after a hiatus can bring bad vibes. I mean, look what it did to George Lucas: now we have Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and
This two-part article explains five tips to make a fixed-point PI controller work well. I am not going to talk about loop tuning -- there are hundreds of articles and books about that; any control-systems course will go over loop tuning enough to help you understand the fundamentals. There will always be some differences for each system you have to control, but the goals are the same: drive the average error to zero, keep the system stable, and maximize performance (keep overshoot and delay...
Yeeehah! Finally we're ready to tackle some more clever ways to figure out the velocity of a position encoder. In part I, we looked at the basics of velocity estimation. Then in my last article, I talked a little about what's necessary to evaluate different kinds of algorithms. Now it's time to start describing them. We'll cover tracking loops and phase-locked loops in this article, and Luenberger observers in part III.
But first we need a moderately simple, but interesting, example...
For 50 years, the C programming language has dominated the embedded software industry. Even today, more than 80% of embedded projects are using C; however, over the last few years, many teams have begun transitioning from C to C++. C++ offers embedded developers a robust, modern set of tools that can be used to write flexible, scalable, and reusable applications. As embedded applications become more complex and connected, teams need a more modern language to help them deal with the software...
A standard first program on an embedded platform is the blinking LED. Getting an LED to blink demonstrates that you have your toolchain set up correctly, that you are able to download your program code into the μC, and that the μC and associated circuitry (e.g. the power supply) is all working. It can even give you good evidence as to the clock rate that your microcontroller is running (something that trips up a great many people,...
Chances are that you already know that I went to Embedded World a few weeks ago and came back with a bag full of "goodies". Initially, my vision was to do a single draw for one person to win it all, but I didn't expect to come back with so much stuff and so many development kits. Based on your feedback, it seems like you guys agree that It wouldn't make sense for one person to win everything as no-one could make good use of all the boards and there would be lots of...
Zebras Hate You For No Reason: Why Amdahl's Law is Misleading in a World of Cats (And Maybe in Ours Too)
I’ve been wasting far too much of my free time lately on this stupid addicting game called the Kittens Game. It starts so innocently. You are a kitten in a catnip forest. Gather catnip.
In Part I we talked about some of the issues around discrete-time proportional-integral (PI) controllers:
- various forms and whether to use the canonical form for z-transforms (don't do it!)
- order of operation in the integral term: whether to scale and then integrate (my recommendation), or integrate and then scale.
- saturation and anti-windup
In this part we'll talk about the issues surrounding fixed-point implementations of PI controllers. First let's recap the conceptual structure...
Are you passionate about embedded systems? Do you have valuable insights, tips, or stories to share with the embedded community? Do you want to reach a large and engaged audience of embedded enthusiasts and professionals? We are currently looking at adding a few more inspired writers to our team of bloggers.
The first part of this article described the conditions for an exception request to be accepted by a Cortex-M processor, mainly concerning the relationship of its priority with respect to the current execution priority. This part will describe instead what happens after an exception request is accepted and becomes active.PROCESSOR OPERATION AND PRIVILEGE MODE
Before discussing in detail the sequence of actions that occurs within the processor after an exception request...
- The Skills
We've been analyzing the ripple current in an H-bridge, both in an inductive load and the DC link capacitor. Here's a really quick recap; if you want to get into more details, go back and read part I and part II until you've got equations coming out of your ears. I promise there will be a lot less grungy math in this post. So let's get most of it out of the way:
Switches QAH and QAL are being turned on and off with pulse-width modulation (PWM), to produce an average voltage DaVdc on...
One ubiquitous microprocessor of the late 1970s and 1980s was the MOS Technology MCS 6502. I included a section on the development of the 6502 in Part 2 of Supply Chain Games, and have posted it as an excerpt here, as I believe it is deserving in its own right.
(Note: MOS Technology is pronounced with the individual letters M-O-S “em oh ess”, not “moss”, and should not be confused with another semiconductor company,
The embedded purists are going to hate me for this. How can you even think of using Android on an embedded system ? It’s after all a mobile phone operating system/software.
Sigh !! Yes I did not like Android to begin with, as well - for use on an Embedded System. But sometimes I think the market and needs decide what has to be used and what should not be. This is one such thing. Over the past few years, I have learned to love Android as an embedded operating system....
It's time to look a little closer at what happens in an interrupt request and response. Again this is in general terms, and different microcontroller designs may do things somewhat differently, but the basics remain the same. Most but not all interrupt requests are latched, which means the interrupt event sets a flag that stays set even if the interrupt event then goes away. It is this latched flag...
You often debug by adding a few printfs and looking at the logs. In some real-time/low-level contexts though, you don't have time for text formatting.
You don't want prints to affect timing too much, because then timing-related bugs you're chasing might disappear. And you certainly don't want the system to stop functioning altogether because prints cause it to miss real-time deadlines.
A common alternative to prints is more "raw" logging - an event buffer, where event is a union keeping...
So you think you know about H-bridges? They're something I mentioned in my last post about signal processing with Python.
Here we have a typical H-bridge with an inductive load. (Mmmmm ahhh! It's good to draw by hand every once in a while!) There are four power switches: QAH and QAL connecting node A to the DC link, and QBH and QBL connecting node B to the DC link. The load is connected between nodes A and B, and here is represented by an inductive load in series with something else. We...
Later there will be, I hope, some people who will find it to their advantage to decipher all this mess.
— Évariste Galois, May 29, 1832
I was going to call this short series of articles “LFSRs for Dummies”, but thought better of it. What is a linear feedback shift register? If you want the short answer, the Wikipedia article is a decent introduction. But these articles are aimed at those of you who want a little bit deeper mathematical understanding,...
This is a bit of a side tangent from my normal at-least-vaguely-embedded-related articles, but I wanted to share a moment of enlightenment I had recently about descriptors in Python. The easiest way to explain a descriptor is a way to outsource attribute lookup and modification.
Python has a bunch of “magic” methods that are hooks into various object-oriented mechanisms that let you do all sorts of ridiculously clever things. Whether or not they’re a good idea is another...
I was looking for a good reference for some ADC-driving circuits, and ran across this diagram in Walt Jung’s Op-Amp Applications Handbook:
And I smiled to myself, because I immediately remembered a circuit I hadn’t used for years. Years! But it’s something you should file away in your bag of tricks.
Take a look at the RC-RC circuit formed by R1, R2, C1, and C2. It’s basically a stacked RC low-pass filter. The question is, why are there two capacitors?