Embedded TechCon Day 3: Embedded vision, hands-on with an ARM Cortex-M3 board, security, software, automotive, IoT sensors and gateways

June 10, 2015 OpenSystems Media

Embedded TechCon Day 3 concluded the event with another full schedule of classes on a wide range of topics.

Dr. Jakob Engblom, Product Line Manager at Wind River, began Day 3 of Embedded TechCon with a discussion on continuous integration best practices for agile development, with specifics on the challenges and advantages of simulating hardware to test in order to improve software quality.

Robert Van Scoy, Technical Fellow at Kontron, talked about one of the most fundamental aspects of the IoT: sensors. He talked about their evolution over the years, sensor interfaces, and an agricultural system example of sensors and interfaces.

Philippe Chevalier, Director of Technology Platforms at Kontron, followed up Robert’s sensor discussion with a talk on the anatomy of the IoT gateway, networking, and connecting various IoT devices to infrastructure. A brief discussion on the upcoming 5G network, which weighs in at 1000x the speed of 4G, that’s being developed with IoT in mind was interesting.

Paul Anderson, Vice President of Engineering at GrammaTech, went over the various security vulnerabilities, attacker types, threats, and taint that can negatively affect embedded software and why it’s important to pay attention to security as software covers more and more functions, and because, as Anderson claimed, C is a very insecure language. Static analysis can help address security vulnerabilities in software and Anderson went over how static analysis tools help verify code with specific examples.

Rob Oshana, Director of Global Software R&D and Enablement at Freescale, continued the software discussion after the break, touching on performance, memory, and power optimization strategies for developing efficient and effective embedded software. He emphasized iterative development when optimizing software as the best approach, and best practice strategies and techniques for optimization.

Charles Qi, System Solutions Architect at Cadence, talked automotive, specifically IP and subsystem development to meet the demands of automotive compute power, memory, and connectivity/networking. Charles covered the complexity of current infotainment and ADAS audio/radar/vision systems, and how Xtensa customizable processors can help generate processors and DSPs to facilitate the development of these complex automotive systems.

Jeff Bier, President at BDTI, representing the Embedded Vision Alliance presented on embedded vision, which is being used in a wide range of applications and industries for a wide range of functionality. For example, smart glasses with embedded vision capabilities can allow people who work in industrial settings to be able to have their hands free while also accessing databases as needed. Other embedded vision systems can assist people with hearing or vision impairments to interact with others and their surroundings. And one very popular up and coming application of embedded systems are automotive ADAS systems and autonomous driving capabilities. Jeff gave a brief history and advancements of embedded vision, an explanation of how it works, and discussed tools including Khronos’s OpenVX and hardware such as vision-specific processor chips that can be used as part of embedded vision systems.

Steven Guan, Applications Engineer, and Joe Hale, Senior Software Engineer, of NXP Semiconductors led a hands-on lab on how to use a Cortex-M3 board (LPCXpresso Board for LPC1549) and integrated development environments, specifically Keil MDK for the lab. Participants worked on labs to learn how to work with the MCU, compile projects with the IDE, and use the debugger, among other projects.

Stefan Thom, Sr. Security Architect/Software Development Engineer at Microsoft representing the Trusted Computing Group wrapped up the day along with the NXP lab with a talk on IoT security, specifically trust between the devices and infrastructure. Stefan says designers need to create strong, defendable trust boundaries inside your device hardware from the beginning – not only software, and not in a firmware update. With embedded devices becoming increasingly connected, security and trust are important topics.

With that, the first Embedded TechCon wrapped up. We hope the attendees learned some valuable information from our industry experts.

Monique DeVoe, Managing Editor
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