MapuSoft Porting Post – 1st Quarter Newsletter ‘08

Embedded Systems Conference 2008

When: April 14-18

Where: McEnry Convention Center, San Jose, CA

Details: Stop by MapuSoft’s booth #2432 for free t-shirts and hats!

More info: ESC Silicon Valley Home Page
Full List of Exhibitors

ASNE Symposium 2008 Shipbuilding in Support of the global War on Terrorism

When: April 14-17

Where: Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, MS

Details: April 15, 3:45pm – MapuSoft’s Dan Arzonico is giving a technical presentation titled “Challenges in Application Porting and Abstraction in Ship Systems”.

More info: www.navalengineers.org

FCS Best of Industry Conference
When: April 9-10

Where: Regan International Trade Center, Washington, DC

Details: The event will premier some of the FCS Program’s latest unmanned air and ground vehicles and hopes to carry a powerful message to Congress in efforts to maintain support and funding.

Webinars

April 2 & 30
See an application ported to multiple RTOS with OS PAL
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9:30am US (CDT) – VxWorks Porting
1pm US (CDT) – pSOS Porting

April 23, May 7
Generate portable code for multiple RTOS with OS PAL
More Information

9:30am US (CDT) – OS Abstractor
1pm US(CDT) – OS Abstractor

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Technical Advantages of Host Development

Designing embedded software on a target platform can be a highly problematic and costly task. Many times the specific target hardware is either not available (due to cost or supply), or is new and not fully functional. Certain targets can also have restrictive specifications and tough performance requirements, and they often have less available memory than a host machine.

Once you have developed the code for a specific target, you may encounter additional problems like memory leaks and performance bottlenecks when you manually port the code to another target. This can be especially undesirable when mission and safety critical features are at stake. Additionally, if the new target has a different OS altogether, then you may need a time consuming code rewrite.

A growingly popular alterative is using host machines, such as commonly available PCs, for the initial development. This approach allows developers to begin the project without having access to the end device and eliminates many memory space issues as hosts provide greater memory capacity. In addition, using a host makes modular development and integration easier.

Developing on a host comes with the advantage of a number of robust development tools available making it more conducive to beginners. These tools can provide GUIs and task wizards to make the job easy. They offer compilers that will give different code sizes for a single application and state-of-the-art graphical development tools. Host development tools enable easy addition of peripherals at the developer’s pace and give the ability to monitor the behavior of the code. Profilers can run reports on performance giving a developer feedback to make optimization decisions. Furthermore, developers can use a standard host machine and the same development tool for multiple targets.

However, once all of the code is developed, many issues will arise when moving the code from the host to the actual target. You need to deal with target specific issues like timers, peripherals, interrupts, etc. Also, target specific drivers will need to be changed, which could lead to changes in the behavior of the application.

A tool like MapuSoft’s OS PAL allows developers to easily develop, port, abstract and optimize code on a host machine and run the application on multiple target platforms. It virtually eliminates the need for code changes or rewrites when moving to a new target or new OS. OS PAL provides an easy-to-use graphical user interface that is integrated with the Eclipse based CDT environment. OS PAL is engineered to optimize the code, leaving a small memory footprint, maintaining performance critical features and guaranteeing code behavior.

To learn more about developing with OS PAL visit:
http://mapusoft.com/products/ospal/

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Business Benefits of Developing on a Host

Developers throughout various industries often need to start developing software for their next generation platform before the target specifications, such as hardware, OS and tools, are known. Since it is unrealistic to wait to start development until the target is known and available, engineers often need to develop the software on a host. They may also have a need to develop a product prototype or simulate embedded applications for learning and demonstration purposes. Once the host development is complete, developers run into many problems when manually porting the applications to the actual target platforms.

As developers well know, a manual port, especially between a host and target device, is highly problematic. One issue would be the technical differences in the host and target devices. Developers might need to simulate on a host platform that has a different OS than that of the end target. Porting code to multiple operating systems is both time consuming and expensive. Additionally, a great deal more manpower is required to complete the process and the inconveniences take focus away from the core project.

Another matter of concern is that target boards can be hard to come by and are often very costly. Initial hardware prototype platforms are unstable and not conducive for software development. It is much more resource effective to develop on readily available host machines. Easily accessible industry standard host PCs also allow for quick parallel development, which can drastically reduce time to market.

Developers need a tool to quickly and easily move software back and forth between the target and host platforms while using cost efficient host development. Utilizing a product such as OS PAL (OS Porting and Abstraction Lab) gives developers the ability to easily run embedded software on a host for quick porting, abstraction and API optimization. Once the application is ready, software can easily run on multiple target operating systems across host and target devices.

More information about technical issues related to embedded development directly on a target device, as well as porting issues between host and target devices can be found in the Engineering Corner.

Sincerely,

Raj Johnson
President & CEO

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Happenings in the Embedded World:

Safety, Security Set to Drive Embedded Apps

Static Analysis Stomps on Bugs

Fault-Robust Microcontrollers Allow Automotive Technology Convergence

Rolling Your Own

Milstones in Embedded Systems Design

The Times They Are A-Changin’

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MapuSoft Technologies is pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs. Jennifer Mitternight as Senior Account Manager in the US. Mrs. Mitternight will oversee sales activities in North America, Canada and Europe in industries as diverse as telecommunications, medical, and OEM/silicon. She brings 8 years of experience in the embedded industry to MapuSoft’s team.

Click to view full press release

MapuSoft has also added to its sales team in India. We recently appointed J.V.R. Subramaniaraajaa (Maniraj) as International Account Manager. Maniraj has more than 5 years of sales experience and extensive exposure to embedded systems. He previously served as Senior Sales Engineer for Epsilon Embedded Computing and as Sales Executive for Ceasefire Industries, among others. Maniraj earned a B.E. in Electronics and Communication from Kongu Engineering College, Erode and a PGDCRM in Customer Relation Management from ICFAI University, Bangalore.

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