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Design Recipes for FPGAs
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5/3/2016   Post a comment
Design Recipes for FPGAs is an interesting book that gives designers useful design examples.
IoT in 45ish Minutes at ESC Boston 2016
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4/19/2016   1 comment
How do you go from the normal six to twelve month development cycle to 45 minutes? Here are highlights from last week's Embedded Systems Conference.
Fixing C
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4/13/2016   31 comments
What would you change if you could fix one thing about the C language?
Are Ultra–Low-Power Watchdog Timers Any Good?
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3/1/2016   Post a comment
Is it even possible to build a decent watchdog in an ultra-low power system?
Make Useful Comment Headers
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2/19/2016   Post a comment
Modules should start with great comment headers. Too many don't.
On Resumes
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1/25/2016   Post a comment
A resume has to be a compelling sales document; here are some pointers.
Cortex MPU A Smart Option
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1/12/2016   Post a comment
Why wouldn't you use an memory protection unit in your next design? With an MPU, hardware can monitor every memory transaction and throw an exception when something silly happens.
Should We Have AI Anxiety?
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1/6/2016   4 comments
Whither AI? Will the machines take over the world or will they destroy labor?
Subthreshold Transistors and MCUs
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12/22/2015   Post a comment
It's time to dust off the textbooks and bone up on FETs operating below Vth because when Vgs is less than Vth, the world changes.
Happy Birthday, Ada Lovelace
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12/8/2015   Post a comment
Ada Lovelace -- she never had access to any sort of computer but was she nevertheless the first programmer?
What Language Does Your Firmware Speak?
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12/3/2015   4 comments
What language would you choose for your firmware?
Down with Productivity
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11/25/2015   Post a comment
How to kill a software team's productivity, in one easy lesson.
Are You a Superprogrammer?
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11/16/2015   5 comments
Unless we have a quantitative understanding of our profession it will be more art than science.
Computer Science In K-12
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10/29/2015   6 comments
Bill Maher has his new rules. But there's an old rule: When in doubt, petition the Federal government for a solution.
Upstart $500 Arbitrary Waveform Generator Worth a Look
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10/21/2015   Post a comment
Siglent’s new arbitrary waveform generator is a pro-level instrument for a (well-off) hobbyist price.
Fixed Point Math
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10/6/2015   1 comment
Ints have limited ranges. Floats can be slow and memory hogs. Are there any alternatives?
Hurry Up and Wait State
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9/22/2015   1 comment
ST's ART accelerator gives near-zero wait state operation out of slow flash.
Cheap DDS Signal Generator Does the Trick
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8/31/2015   1 comment
Less expensive test gear produced in China by smaller, local brands is worth a first look.
Microchip's New PIC16F18877s: Peripherals Are Central
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8/28/2015   Post a comment
Microchip's new PIC16F18877 MCUs offer a lot of interesting peripherals. The ADC is singularly powerful and complete.
Requirements Defects
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8/10/2015   Post a comment
How accurate are your requirements? Do you track this? There's plenty of historical data available.
Thank Ada Pioneer Robert Dewar For Glitch-Free Avionics
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7/8/2015   Post a comment
Robert Dewar, Ada pioneer, passed away last week. I only knew Dr. Dewar peripherally but had marveled at his intellect.
Buy Your Teenager a Car
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6/3/2015   1 comment
Mechanical aptitude seems to be waning. Why not give your kid a car to tinker with...er...drive?
On Control-S
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5/27/2015   1 comment
That nervous twitch of the left hand to save files may be obsolete.
Moore's Law: What Broke the Model
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5/20/2015   1 comment
In a sense Moore’s Law, or at least many of the benefits it gives, ended years ago around the 90 nm node when Dennard scaling fell apart.
Engineering Congress
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5/1/2015   5 comments
Congress needs an engineering mindset.
We Are Not Them
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4/22/2015   3 comments
IT people live in a different world from firmware developers.
Superstar Programmers
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4/9/2015   3 comments
A talent agent for the power programmers and superstar engineers makes sense.
Fighting For High-Reliability Firmware Design
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3/10/2015   Post a comment
Jack talks to HCC Embedded about very high-reliability firmware design.
Freescale v. Too Many Others
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2/24/2015   1 comment
Freescale gets “typ” and “max” right for their Kinetis family.
A "New" Technology to Watch
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1/6/2015   2 comments
Career alert! Embedded systems are hot!
Farewell, Dr. Dobb's
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12/23/2014   5 comments
Another important publication bites the dust, says Embedded.com columnist Jack Ganssle.
The Role of QA
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11/17/2014   Post a comment
Delivering high quality doesn't mean leaning on QA to find your errors. Quality assurance is not supposed to find bugs.
Gimme an MMU!
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11/14/2014   11 comments
Software is inherently fragile. A memory management unit can prop it up.
What an Engineering Education Lacks
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11/8/2014   19 comments
Reading, writing, and arithmetic: all are important in engineering education.
On Backups
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10/23/2014   4 comments
Storing files in the cloud may be the solution du jour, but here are one engineer's concerns on the risks.
Trillion Sensors Not Likely
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9/2/2014   15 comments
The trillion-sensor world is not going to happen anytime soon. Just do the math.
A Checkup from the Neckup
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8/20/2014   Post a comment
Who do you use as a sounding board? Jack Ganssle sees the value in having the right person to tell your troubles to -- if only just for a brain tune-up.
Brown-Out Reset – an Update
Break Points  
7/8/2014   2 comments
When using brown-out reset circuits, the bottom line is that on many MCUs you can’t use the A/D to monitor Vdd during flash writes unless there’s some way to simulate the expected load. As always, do a careful, worst-case engineering analysis.
Fifty Years of TTL
Break Points  
6/25/2014   26 comments
Depending on your source, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of TTL (transistor-transistor logic). Although some say 1961 is the birth year, TI released the 5400 family in 1964 and the 7400 series in plastic two years later. Since TTL is synonymous with 5400 and 7400, why not offer 50th birthday congratulations?
Typically Typical – Take Two
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6/14/2014   4 comments
Jack Ganssle has some more thoughts on “typ” numbers.
SLOTH: the Programming Language
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6/6/2014   17 comments
Why settle for SWIFT when you can have SLOTH, a new programming language that will suck the life out any project?
BASIC at 50: Bad Trip or Bad Rap?
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5/7/2014   40 comments
Is it true that a person reared on BASIC, lingua franca of the eight-bit computer world, is forever damned by the experience? Jack Ganssle,the embedded systems guru, shares his experience with BASIC on its 50th anniversary.
Using a Capacitor to Sustain Battery Life
Break Points  
4/29/2014   1 comment
Is it possible to extend coin cell life using a capacitor?
How Much Energy Can You Really Get From a Coin Cell?
Break Points  
4/24/2014   6 comments
Motivated by what he considers outrageous claims made by a number of MCU vendors that their processors can run for several decades from a single CR2032 cell, Jack Ganssle compares coin cell batteries to see if the claims are legit.
Where's the CPU?
Break Points  
4/14/2014   8 comments
Jack Ganssle is having fun with Raspberry Pi and other popular boards by asking fellow engineers to find the CPU. Most can't.
Adding Up Toyota's Expensive Software
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3/31/2014   5 comments
Take your pick: Do it the expensive way or get it right.
Extending Debugging Resources
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3/30/2014   1 comment
Are we using the debugging resources available in so many MCUs in the most effective manner?
Screens Everywhere Make a GUI Dilemma
Break Points  
11/7/2013   2 comments
We live in the age of screens: Display screens are everywhere and each one has a graphical user interface. How are all these GUIs being designed?
Cloudy Benefits of the Cloud
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10/14/2013   9 comments
The cloud offers some advantages, but at a steep price.
Decoding Time to Market
Break Points  
9/19/2013   3 comments
What's the fastest way to get a firmware project out the door? Ship junk. What's the second-fastest way to market? Here's how to predict your time to market by looking at code practices.


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What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.
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