Breaking News
Comments
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
SrivRagh
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Long overdue
SrivRagh   10/10/2013 10:28:38 AM
NO RATINGS
Hi Cuno,
 
Apologize I could not reply to your comment.   
 Thanks for your comments. Yes, you are right. Writing S/W abstractions to do register twiggling for all the AT commands or for other devices can make any body question their existence :-))
Indeed HW abstractions seem to be accepted so widely and profilerate while same cannot be said for S/W drivers. 
I wish major IP vendors can agree on low-level driver abstractions for set of device-class and they deliver this implementation with the IP. Imagine the benefit it will open for folks who deal with firmware or OS-layer or for verification folks.
 
Few weeks back we were talking to a senior folks in networking switch company and they mentioned that they have stopped asking S/W team to deliver low-level drivers. It is now the responsibility of verification folks to deliver them. So someone at SoC level, who has to deliver S/W with H/W down the chain,  has already started thinking in this direction. Imagine if IP vendors can think in the same manner and deliver this S/W abstraction with IP. 
I think we are at the curve and things will turn around.
 
That is something on which we are working.
 
Thanks 
Srivatsan

 

Cuno
User Rank
Rookie
Long overdue
Cuno   10/8/2013 5:13:10 AM
NO RATINGS
It's great to see this topic addressed! I am sick of having to deal with badly designed low-level abstractions - like a driver for a GSM M2M module I am currently writing. AT commands in the 21st century? We should be able to do better than that...

Modern embedded systems often contain multiple microprocessors, so they are basically distributed systems (meaning partial failures are a key design challenge). SoCs may have multiple cores, usually specialized for specific tasks. Thus we might learn from robust distributed system architectures like the Internet. One approach thus could be to use a RESTful architecture approach (idempotent operations that can be repeated after an error, without danger of creating inconsistent state). Obviously, we don't want heavyweight protocols and formats like HTTP and XML just for communicating between subsystems of a device, or within a chip. But maybe an even further stripped-down version of CoAP might make sense?

Another approach would be to define a USB-like plug-and-play standard for use within devices, rather than to connect different devices. Here again, we would need something more lightweight than real USB. I know of one approach at defining such a protocol called Go Bus, but the creator seems to have overreached and appears unable to evolve it into a mature technology (http://forums.netduino.com/index.php?app=core&module=attach§ion=attach&attach_id=2139).

I am sure there are other candidates, but what exactly are reasonable requirements (e.g., easy to deal with partical failures, what degree of plug-and-play for easier integration of IP blocks, maximum cost in terms of transistors or code size, etc.)? What problems really need to be solved, and which ones should not be solved in order to keep complexity as low as possible? Just adding SPI or what-have-you low-level interfaces has proven to be too little, but what more is truly needed?

And then how could such a technology be turned into a widely used standard, without having its complexity increased by the various bells and whistles that different vendors might be tempted to add?

I have no solution, but hope to see a fruitful discussion and further coverage of the topic here...

Cuno Pfister

 

 



EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
Glen Chenier

Engineers Solve Analog/Digital Problem, Invent Creative Expletives
Glen Chenier
Post a comment
An analog engineer and a digital engineer join forces, use their respective skills, and pull a few bunnies out of a hat to troubleshoot a system with which they are completely unfamiliar. ...

Max Maxfield

What's the Best Traveling Toolkit?
Max Maxfield
13 comments
A few years ago at a family Christmas party, I won a pocket knife as part of a "Dirty Santa" game. This little scamp was a Buck 730 X-Tract. In addition to an incredibly strong and sharp ...

Rishabh N. Mahajani, High School Senior and Future Engineer

Future Engineers: Don’t 'Trip Up' on Your College Road Trip
Rishabh N. Mahajani, High School Senior and Future Engineer
10 comments
A future engineer shares his impressions of a recent tour of top schools and offers advice on making the most of the time-honored tradition of the college road trip.

Larry Desjardin

Engineers Should Study Finance: 5 Reasons Why
Larry Desjardin
41 comments
I'm a big proponent of engineers learning financial basics. Why? Because engineers are making decisions all the time, in multiple ways. Having a good financial understanding guides these ...

Top Comments of the Week
Flash Poll
Like Us on Facebook
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)