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Embedded Systems Bulletin – May 2011

Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) – Silicon Valley 2011

VDC attended the 2011 Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose on May 3rd through May 5th and held face-to-face meetings at the conference with over 30 exhibitors. The Silicon Valley conference has always been the premier event in the US for embedded software and hardware suppliers and the customers they serve.

Conference organizers reported at the show that registration and attendance was up year over year. VDC observed during the course of the conference that there appeared to be more exhibitors than the prior year that the show floor area had expanded. In fact, we compared the exhibitors’ lists from this and last year conferences and found the number of exhibitors attending increased about 18%. Good news for the show promoters, exhibitors, and attendees.

Exhibitors we met with at the conference unanimously expressed upbeat views in terms of show attendance, floor traffic, and quality of leads from attendees. An improving economic climate and outlook has resulted in the supplier community reinvesting marketing budgets in attending conferences and OEMs seeking out technical solutions and looking to ramp investments in new project starts.

Next up ESC Chicago, June 7-9, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL in conjunction with theSensors Expo & Conference


Best of Show

VDC awarded our software “Embeddy” for best of show live on the conference floor to Mentor  Graphics   for the successful launch of the Mentor Graphics Sourcery CodeBench with System Analyzer, a tool targeted at helping embedded developers quickly visualize and analyze system data to identify and debug or decode problem areas easily and improve design performance. Engineering organizations are utilizing more complex hardware architectures, which places greater strain on their ability to efficiently debug and optimize software code. As such we expect that tools such as Mentor Graphics’ Sourcery Systems Analyzer will become increasingly valuable to engineering teams as they look for greater insight into the performance of their applications on new, complex target architectures.

Honorable Mention

VDC awards an honorable mention to MicroChip for their announcement of the next generation MPLAB X IDE. The IDE includes cross platform support for Linux, Mac OS, and Windows operating systems and its support for the company’s entire portfolio of 8, 16, and 32-bit microcontrollers including all 800+ PIC microcontrollers, dsPIC digital signal controllers, and memory devices. MPLAB X is based on the Oracle-sponsored open source NetBeans platform which allows users to customize the IDE to suite development needs and is available for free download from the company website.

Best Demos

Freescale demonstrated their Robot Kit as an easy to use mechatronics development and   demonstration  platform and includes the Tower System Mechatronics Board which is programmable in C/C++ using CodeWarrior. For fast prototyping, the board is supported by Robot Vision Toolkit and RobotSee (a simple language with the power of C).  The kit includes four PWM controlled servos, metal legs, and the board that has a 3-axis accelerometer and a 12 channel touch sensor.

Most Interesting Display

Samson, the 66-million year old dinosaur skeleton, was discovered in South Dakota in 1987 and on   display at the conference. Most likely the largest display ever at an Embedded Systems Conference, this one was hard to miss, and drew large crowds. The display was presented in partnership by ESC Silicon Valley and Green Hills Software.

Walking the Floor

AdaCore, a leading supplier of Ada development tools and support services, made several announcements at the conference including the selection of the AdaCore Toolset for the Argos Satellite Project by Thales and Rockwell Collins selection of the GNAT Pro for advanced avionics display systems. In addition, the company had an announcement based on a recently published report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that speaks favorably on the use and suitability of the SPARK language for secure programming.

ARM announced the release of v5.0 of the ARM Compiler and availability of the DS-5 Professional Edition toolkit, replacing RVDS, as the reference software development tool chain for ARM processor-based ASICs and ASSP cores. In addition the company had announcements regarding a new ARM memory interface solution and highly configurable debug and trace solution for complex SoC designs, their ARM CoreSight SoC-400.

Atego announced the release and availability of their Aonix PERC Ultra 6 which provides compatibility with the Java 6 language and incorporates a new high performance compiler, graphical console and a new Virtual File System. In addition, the company announced the acquisition of HighRely, a provider of engineering services and software solutions for critical systems design and development to the avionics, medical equipment, nuclear and other industries.

Atmel announced the availability of new evaluation kits for both ZigBee Pro and RF4CE application development and prototyping.  The evaluation kits come complete with reference boards with wireless support low power transceivers and software stacks. The company also announced expanding support for the Atmel AVR Xplained evaluation kits to support industrial, consumer, and automotive markets.

Cadence Design Systems announced their Cadence System Development Suite that features the Cadence Rapid Prototyping Platform and the Cadence Virtual System Platform and connects to the Palladium XP Verification Computing and Incisive Verification Platforms. These four platforms are focused on enabling hardware-software co-design from architectural-level development through to prototyping.

RTOS and tools supplier Enea made several announcements at the show including support for the ARM Cortex A9 MPCore and the Xilinx Zynq-7000 processing platform; the Enea Bare Metal Performance Tools (Enea BMP Tools) solution for multicore implementations on the NetLogic Microsystem XLP processors; and extended support for the company’s Optima IDE Tools to support heterogeneous multicore and Linux.

eCosCentric announced an update, version 3.1, to the eCosPro Developer Kit which focuses on and includes enhancements to cross development environment tools and host development environments supported. In addition the company announced with MIPS Technologies that the eCosPro RTOS has been ported to support the microMIPS instruction set architecture.

Eurotech announced the launch of the Zypad BR2000 series of vehicle mounted and man worn computers that are considered ideal for rugged environments. In addition, the company announced the launch of a new low power PC/104+ module based on the Vortex86DXprocessor, the CPU-1440.

Express Logic demonstrated their ThreadX RTOS and TraceX software logic analyzer that will offer information about the real-time behavior of a system running on the new AMD Embedded G-Series Platform that is expected to target transportation, medical and gaming systems. Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS will provide instant on, hard real-time support, and scalable footprint.

Static analysis tool vendor GrammaTech announced a new sophisticated program-analysis engine that is being incorporated into the CodeSonar static analysis tool to identify data race conditions and other serious concurrency defects for multicore and multi-threaded applications.  The technology is compatible with a wide range of compilers such as ARM’s RealView, Freescale’s Codewarrior, GCC, and Green Hills’ MULTI, and others.

Green Hills Software announced significant updates to their Platform for Secure Networking that include a new multicore communications API, fast path network packet optimization, support for native and virtualized third-party Linux Oss, and optimizations for Freescales QorIQ multicore networking processors.  In addition, the company announced a new business unit, INTEGRITY Security Services. The new business unit will offer toolkits based on GHS proprietary FIPS compliant Cryptographic support for Windows, Linux, VxWorks, INTEGRITY, INTEGRITY-178B and general purpose Oss on ARM, Intel, Power Architecture, MIPS and others.

LDRA Software Technology announced support for object-code traceability within the LDRA tool suite. This capability ensures that verification problems found at the object-code level can be traced to the originating source code and requirements levels.

Logic PD announced their Torpedo System on Modules (SOM) which is described at the industry’s smallest embedded modules. The tiny Torpedo System on Modules is based on TI’s DM3730 DaVinci video processor and AM3703 Sitara ARM microprocessor. Android, Linux, and Windows CE BSPs are available for all versions of the DM3730 and AM3703 SOMs.

LynuxWorks announced the port and demonstration of their latest version of LynuxSecure separation kernel and hypervisor to the Themis Computer CoolShell and Rugged Enterprise Server platforms.   

MontaVista Software showcased their commercial Linux products and services at the conference and also was demonstrating their Bare Metal Engine that provides a light weight, configurable run-time environment that offers RTOS performance inside a Linux environment.

QNX Software Systems reviewed recent announcements and the company’s continued focus for both safety and security. The QNX Neutrino RTOS Certified Plus has been certified to both IEC 61508 SIL 3 and Common Criteria EAL 4+ and is also POSIX-compliant. In addition, QNX highlighted their support for safety-critical medical devices built on the QNX Neutrino RTOS which as a proven history in FDA-certified devices.

Wind River announced the availability of and security certification for their Linux Secure to achieve Common Criteria EAL4+ certification by the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) using the General Purpose Operating System Protection Profile (GP-OSPP). In addition, the company announced version 4.6 their Simics full system simulator that expands over multiple boards, enhances team collaboration, and allows for target system visualization and surveillance.

Other leading embedded systems vendors in attendance at ESC/San Jose included  Adapteva, Aicas GmbH, AMD, Arium, Cavium, CMX Systems, Datalight, Digi International, Electric Cloud, EMA Design Automation, IAR Systems, IBM, Klocwork, Kontron, Lauterbach, Macraigor Systems, MapuSoft Technologies, Marvell Semiconductor, McObject, Micrium, National Instruments,  Netronome, NXP Semiconductors, Parasoft Corporation, Perforce Software, PolyCore Software, Programming Research (PRQA), SEGGER Microcontroller, Signum Systems, Synopsys, Target Compiler Technologies, TenAsys, TimesysXilinx, VersaLogic Corporation, and others.


Many names of companies, associations, technologies, products, and product types, etc. mentioned in this bulletin comprise Trademarks, registered or non-registered, owned by various entities. These are too numerous to mention individually. VDC acknowledges that ownership of these Trademarks exists and requests that readers acknowledge this as well.


The Embedded Systems Industry Bulletin is published as part of VDC’s Embedded Software Market Intelligence Service. VDC has been providing embedded systems market intelligence for over 20 years.

Published by VDC Research Group, Copyright 2011, all rights reserved.

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