Week in Review – 2006.06.23

Here are a bunch of interesting articles I found this week, but didn’t have time to post until now. Sorry, I’ll do better next week.

A Data-Centric OS for MCUs Using a Real-Time Publisher-Subscriber-Mechanism: Part1
Dirk Braun of BST International outlines a data-centric method for simplifying the synchronization problems in multithreaded systems. He believes it is superior to real-time operating systems. Throughout the article Braun discusses the proposed system and its features theoretically, provides example code and links it to the effect it has on overall software design, the software development process, reusability and code-maintenance.

Microarchitecture Performance
The computer industry continually needs smaller, faster, more efficient, and more capable servers. However, the fundamental challenge is in delivering that improved performance without increasing the system’s power requirements. Today, the challenge is compounded as CMOS manufacturing processes scale toward physical, atomic limits. Complicated physics and breakthrough manufacturing processes are now required to approach the performance-power problem from two directions: (1) Increase the amount of work being done per clock cycle and (2) Deliver this increase in performance without increasing power requirements.

Picking the Right 802.15.4/ZigBee Wireless Connection for Your Embedded Design: Part 2
This article is the second in a series on wireless Zigbee. The article focuses on power consumption, multitasking mechanisms, the best RF frequency, radio sensitivity and the application framework.

Startup Display Company Embodies Magneto-Photonics
Panorama Labs is seeking to exploit the concept of magneto photonic crystals to develop high-resolution cinema-quality displays. The company is trying to apply nanotechnology fabrication to magneto crystal materials to produce the technology for larger, high-res displays. The technology would enable fast pixel refresh rates as well as better grey-scale and color rendition than existing flat-panel technologies such as liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and plasma, according to the company.

The Challenges of RFID Adoption in the Real World
RFID technology offers a variety of benefits and advantages over current bar code ID technology. However, the cost of the technology and a number of technical hurdles have prevented it from attaining wide use. In the near future, hybrid bar code-RFID systems will be the norm.

Chip Designers Feel the Heat
At 90 nanometers and below, thermal variations are beginning to have an impact on chip power, performance and reliability, opening up a new concern for digital IC designers. For analog and mixed-signal IC designers, thermal concerns are nothing new, but analysis and optimization capabilities have been lacking.

Tutorial: Designing Real-Time and Safety-Critical Embedded Java Applications – Part 2
This is the second part of a tutorial on the most effective use of the Real Time Specification for Java. The tutorial provides developers ten basic rules for doing soft real time tasks in embedded systems.