Hardware In-Loop Testing

Hardware In-Loop (HIL) testing runs the test case code on the target microcontroller rather than using a mocked software layer to act as the hardware. HIL testing can be extremely useful for verifying that hardware accesses from a HAL are working as expected and even test that all outputs from the system work as expected. … Continue reading Hardware In-Loop Testing

Tips and Tricks – Build an Embedded Workbench for less than $1000

An embedded systems developer looking to build a workbench could spend tens of thousands of dollars on test equipment, development boards and miscellaneous tools. Unfortunately, most equipment just sits on the bench collecting dust and is rarely if ever used. Let’s examine the core tools that every developer needs to build an embedded workbench on … Continue reading Tips and Tricks – Build an Embedded Workbench for less than $1000

Tools – The April Board

The April board is a break-out for the Imp Developer module. The April module provides the ability to power the Imp module using a standard USB-Mini cable, an optional battery connector, or through a standard .100 header. The April board also has an on-board 3.3V regulator that can with stand an input up to 17 … Continue reading Tools – The April Board

Tools – Isolated USB to UART

Connecting an embedded systems UART to a PC through a USB to UART converter is something that every embedded software developer is familiar with.  Many developers don’t leave home without a FTDI232R board from Sparkfun (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12731).  The only problem with this great little tool though is that it doesn’t provide any protection to the PC … Continue reading Tools – Isolated USB to UART

Tips and Tricks – An API for Interrupts

Interrupts play a critical role in a real-time embedded system but rarely is interrupt control ever associated with an application programming interface (API).  Assembly language code or compiler intrinsics are usually sprinkled throughout the code making the use of interrupt functions hap hazard and difficult to understand.this post will explore what an interrupt API should … Continue reading Tips and Tricks – An API for Interrupts

Embedded Basics – Understanding the Microcontroller Boot Process

One of the most overlooked processes in embedded software development is the microcontroller boot process. The reason for this is that silicon toolchains have become very good at providing and abstracting out the boot process so that developers generally don’t think about it. Unfortunately this can lead to a lack of understanding how the microcontroller … Continue reading Embedded Basics – Understanding the Microcontroller Boot Process

A simple buffer circuit

There are times when connecting two electronic systems can be dangerous!  An electrical issue in one system can back feed into the other causing significant damage.  This can be prevented by the use of an isolation circuit.  Using a unity gain amplifier will provide this isolation.  This is a great extra step to Turning a … Continue reading A simple buffer circuit