Tools – Renesas Synergy(TM) Configurator

The tools that embedded software developers use are extremely important to maximize development efficiency and minimize costs, time-to-market and perhaps most importantly, developer headaches. There are a lot of great tools and toolchains available to developers today, the one that has been catching my attention lately, and the one we will be exploring in this … Continue reading Tools – Renesas Synergy(TM) Configurator

Embedded Basics – Don’t Forget about Real-time

Microcontrollers are becoming more powerful every day, causing many developers to forget the resource constrained nature that many are working within. Microcontrollers are not general computing devices that can be treated like they have infinite memory and clock speeds equivalent to that found on modern PC’s (or cell phones). Most microcontroller based applications are designed … Continue reading Embedded Basics – Don’t Forget about Real-time

Tips and Tricks – 7 Tips for Meeting Real-time Deadlines

Embedded systems must meet their real-time deadlines in order to function efficiently and as expected. No one likes to press a button and wait thirty seconds before the system finally responds. More importantly, safety critical systems need to meet their deadlines or else very bad things could happen, such as injury or death. There are … Continue reading Tips and Tricks – 7 Tips for Meeting Real-time Deadlines

Tools – The Device Firmware Update (DFU) Utility

Nearly every product requires a software update at some point or another. Whether it’s our cellphones, TV’s or even our refrigerators (yea I went there). Microcontroller based systems typically aren’t running a high-level operating system that allows files to be replaced. Instead, developers need a bootloader. Microcontroller vendors have been including firmware update capabilities inside … Continue reading Tools – The Device Firmware Update (DFU) Utility

Embedded Basics – Selecting the Right Watchdog Strategy

Setting a watchdog strategy is easy. Just enable the microcontrollers internal watchdog timer and setup an interrupt to occasionally clear the timer and keep the dog happy right? Not exactly. Watchdogs help ensure that the embedded system we are creating is robust and can detect if something runs amiss. The chances for something going wrong on … Continue reading Embedded Basics – Selecting the Right Watchdog Strategy

Slowing Down to Go Faster

Speed is imperative in the business world. Getting to market before competitors, leading the way in innovation, the development cycle can be relentless. For embedded systems engineers, deadlines are always yesterday. There is always a push to get things done faster. How quickly can we get this done? So and so needs this as fast … Continue reading Slowing Down to Go Faster