Week in Review – 2006.06.16

The winners for this week’s highlights are:

Optical CPU Claims Terabit/sec
As CPU performance continues its rapid climb, engineers everywhere face a similar challenge: How to speed signals from ever-faster central-processing units to peripheral large-scale integration chips. Fully expecting electrical transmission to max out eventually, Toshiba has responded with optoelectronics that can zip signals at a trillion bits a second. Other companies have reported similar speed breakthroughs. In technical papers, claims have included data rates of 640 Gbits/second (10 Gbits/s/channel) and 800 Gbits/s (12.5 Gbits/s/channel).

Picking the Right 802.15.4/ZigBee Wireless Connection for Your Embedded Design
For the embedded developers looking to add connectivity to their designs, selecting the right solution is critical to success. But it is particularly important in the case of ZigBee or any other 802.15.4 wireless application, where integrating the various hardware and software layers can be daunting, especially for engineers and developers who are not experts in RF communication. This first in a two part series on wireless Zigbee takes you beyond the details of the protocols themselves and focuses on issues much closer at hand, such as power consumption, multitasking mechanisms; the best RF frequency; radio sensitivity and the application framework.

OMG Workshop: Distributed Object Computing for Real-time & Embedded Systems
July 10-13, 2006, Arlington, VA
Software standards for real-time & embedded systems must support stringent resource, reliability, and timing requirements. Middleware standards cope with performance and reliability variations of the underlying infrastructure. The workshop is open to those with an interest in real-time, high-confidence, or embedded applications, services, tools and methodologies. The program will likely include one day of tutorials on relevant technologies and three days of presentations, panels and discussions.

32-bit MCU and Core ARM-Wrestle
A pair of 32-bit ARM-based embedded processors will let designers wrestle with a tough choice: take advantage of an off-the-shelf ARM 9E-based solution from STMicroelectronics or design their own high-performance solution with the latest Cortex-R4 ARM core from ARM Ltd.

Robots Kick For Another Soccer World Cup
Here’s a fun story. While the rest of Europe stays glued to the World Cup matches, another event involving soccer might be at least as interesting for the engineers among those fans: the world cup for robots. Robot soccer is a discipline of artificial intelligence, but its requirements go far beyond software. The machines show off the latest developments in sensor technology, processors, actuators and embedded—system technology. The long-term objective is to form a team of autonomous humanoid robots that can win against a human team—and not just any human team, but the World Cup winners themselves.

Developing Real-Time and Safety-Critical Embedded Java Applications Tutorial
As a very high-level programming language, Java offers programmer and software maintenance productivity benefits that range from two- to ten-fold over uses of C and C++. By carefully applying Java technologies to embedded real-time systems, software engineers are able to deliver higher software quality, increased functionality, and greater architectural flexibility in software systems. In this first of a four part tutorial on how to use the Real Time Specifications for Java (RTSJ) effectively, Kelvin Nilsen (CTO of Aonix) explains how the thread stacked memory model and scoped memory can be used instead of garbage collection.