The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry
September 2009                   www.rtcmagazine.com




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Hi Temp, Small SpaceS:
         Getting the Heat Out




  46                                                       47    ...
SEPTEMBER 2009

                                                                                                          ...
EDITORIAL                      SEPTEMBER 2009




Tom Williams
Editor-in-Chief                 Resistance Is Futile!...
  ...
INDUSTRY
INSIDER
SEPTEMBER 2009
                                                                                          ...
the NICTA intellectual property       for anyone wishing to understand       pad for both retail and notebook        tectu...
INDUSTRY INSIDER




feature integrated transceivers
with data rates up to 3.75 Gbits/s,
and have a hard, configurable
   ...
Portwell
Built Tough for Broader Embedded Applications




                                                               ...
SMALL FORM FACTOR
FORUM
Colin McCracken & Paul Rosenfeld




SSDs... It’s What’s Inside
That Counts

I
    t’s not enough ...
OCTOBER 21–23, 2009




B4B
McCORMICK PLACE, CHICAGO, IL




BROADBAND FOR BUSINESS.
SUPERCOMM 2009 transforms B2B by deli...
EDITOR’S REPORT
Advances in Nonvolatile Memory


New Nonvolatile
Memory Technologies
Poised to Shake up
System Design
    ...
EDITOR’S REPORT




on rotating media, it in no way fits the bill                                                      by ...
EDITOR’S REPORT


                                                   Ionic Charge Movement
                               ...
TECHNOLOGY IN
             CONTEXT
             New Mobile Platforms



             Android Moves
             Beyond Mob...
FORMERLY ARM DEVELOPERS’ CONFERENCE:




                                                                   October 21–23,...
TEChNOlOgY IN CONTExT




                     Applications                         not optimized for after-market applica...
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  1. 1. The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry September 2009 www.rtcmagazine.com Hi Temp, Small SpaceS: Getting the Heat Out Non-Volatile Memories – A Surge in Innovation DSP Power Moves onto Small Modules LAN-Attached Controllers Tame TCA An RTC Group Publication
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  3. 3. Hi Temp, Small SpaceS: Getting the Heat Out 46 47 49 Fast microSDTM with Extended Temperature Rating Ultra Accurate Instrument for Correlation of Temperature TCA Management Controller Solution Incorporates and Voltage Measurements In-Shelf LAN Attachment TABLEOF CONTENTS SEPTEMBER 2009 Departments technology in context inDustry insight New Mobile Platforms Small DSP Boards 5 Editorial 16 Resistance Is Futile!...and Unnecessary Android Moves Beyond Mobile Bill Weinberg, Linux Pundit.com 34 Digital SignalofProcessorsFunction Intersection Form and at the Andres Frederiksen, Analog Devices 6Industry Insider in the Embedded solutions engineering Latest Developments Marketplace system integration High Temp in Small Spaces Rails and Boxes 10Small Form Factor Forum Counts 22 Thermal Management ofMyths and 38 IEC Power Substation Designers SSDs...It’s What’s Inside That Power in Small Spaces: High Misconceptions Challenged for 61850-3: The New Battle Cry 46Products & Technology Used by Bob Sullivan and Michael Palis, Hybricon Gary Cho and Tim Stemple, Moxa Newest Embedded Technology Industry Leaders 30 Thermal Management for the Small Box Joe Primeau, Acromag Digital Subscriptions Avaliable at http://rtcmagazine.com/home/subscribe.php RTC MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2009 3
  4. 4. SEPTEMBER 2009 Publisher COT COTS COTS OTS OT RAID/SAN/NAS/VME PRESIDENT John Reardon, johnr@rtcgroup.com Editorial EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Tom Williams, tomw@rtcgroup.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Colin McCracken and Paul Rosenfeld MANAGING EDITOR Marina Tringali, marinat@rtcgroup.com COPY EDITOR Rochelle Cohn Art/Production Phoenix International designs and builds rugged COTS Data Storage Systems that plug and play in any application -- from Multi-Terabyte Fibre Channel RAID and Storage Area CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jason Van Dorn, jasonv@rtcgroup.com Network configurations to plug-in Solid State Disk Drive VME/cPCI Storage Modules. ART DIRECTOR Kirsten Wyatt, kirstenw@rtcgroup.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Christopher Saucier, chriss@rtcgroup.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Maream Milik, mareamm@rtcgroup.com An AS 9100 / ISO 9001: 2000 Certified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business DIRECTOR OF WEB DEVELOPMENT Marke Hallowell, markeh@rtcgroup.com WEB DEVELOPER James Wagner, jamesw@rtcgroup.com Advertising/Web Advertising WESTERN REGIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGER Untitled-2 1 1/21/09 8:35:49 AM Stacy Mannik, stacym@rtcgroup.com (949) 226-2024 WESTERN REGIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGER Lauren Hintze, laurenh@rtcgroup.com The magazine of record for the embedded computing (949) 226-2014 industry EASTERN REGIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGER Shandi Ricciotti, shandir@rtcgroup.com (949) 573-7660 INSIDE SALES MANAGER The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry Carrie Bowers, carrieb@rtcgroup.com (949) 226-2029 Billing Maggie McAuley, maggiem@rtcgroup.com (949) 226-2024 Free Online www.rtcmagazine.com Spotlighting the Trends and To Contact RTC magazine: Breakthroughs in the Design, HOME OFFICE Development and Technology of The RTC Group, 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673 Phone: (949) 226-2000 Fax: (949) 226-2050, www.rtcgroup.com Embedded Computers. EASTERN SALES OFFICE The RTC Group, 3310 Twin Ridge Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 Search Archived Editions along Phone: (949) 573-7660 with the Latest News in the Editorial Office Embedded Community. Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief 245-M Mt. Hermon Rd., PMB#F, Scotts Valley, CA 95066 www.rtcmagazine.com Phone: (831) 335-1509 Fax: (408) 904-7214 Published by The RTC Group Copyright 2008, The RTC Group. Printed in the United States. All rights reserved. All related graphics are trademarks of The RTC Group. All other brand and product names are the property An RTC Group Publication of their holders. 4 SEPTEMBER 2009 RTC MAGAZINE
  5. 5. EDITORIAL SEPTEMBER 2009 Tom Williams Editor-in-Chief Resistance Is Futile!... and Unnecessary H ow is it that taking up a decidedly non-technical hobby can One of the biggest phenomena that seems not yet to have cause one to ruminate about any number of high-tech is- been fully appreciated by the technical community is the effect sues? In addition to being good for the garden and generat- that social networking may have on the nature of the Web and ing large quantities of delicious honey, beekeeping was supposed on its population of connected automated devices. Sites such as to be an alternative to constantly thinking about network proto- Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, to name a very few, may at first cols, processor architectures and interconnect standards. How- appear as toys for teenagers to exchange trivia. Yet they represent ever, observing the behavior of a hive has led me back to some of resources that can profoundly change the very nature of world those thoughts about technology that can sometimes fuel dark sci- commerce. Millions of people are making personal data avail- ence fiction plots, but that can also lead to some pretty optimistic able that reveals mega-patterns of social interaction, personal ideas on where some of the latest developments are leading. preferences, political views, economic status and much more. Anyone who observes a hive of honeybees for any length of This data, to the extent that it is made public, is available to ap- time quickly realizes that the actual organism here is not the indi- plications that can mine it for market research, individual sales vidual bee. The actual organism is the hive. The bees pass infor- and advertising efforts, political drives, educational and enter- mation by way of pheromones and vibrations much the way nerve tainment purposes and much, much more. cells communicate using neurotransmitters. The communication Here are some startling statistics: By 2010, GenY-ers will out- of information about threats, locations of nectar and the like prop- number Baby Boomers and 96% of them have already joined a so- agate throughout the colony and cause it to react as if it were a cial network. And social networks are now more popular than por- single organism. Individual bees go through a life span that lasts nography on the Web. Radio took 38 years to reach 50 million users only a few weeks, acting in a range of roles from cell cleaner to and TV took 13. Facebook added 100 million users in less than nine queen tender to entrance guard to forager. They die off at a regular months. Online education is now outpacing face-to-face instruction. rate, but the hive continues as an active thinking entity. Over 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices. The younger gen- Now it might be a cliché to transition to the standard conclu- eration considers email passé. YouTube is the second largest search sion when this analogy is applied to the world of interconnected engine in the world with over 100 million videos online. computer intelligence and the Internet. Forgive me if I do not Is this merging of social connection and Web automation raise the standard dire warning about our imminent assimilation going to result in a hive mentality or something like a Borg col- into some sort of Borg collective enslaved to machines with a lective? Hardly. Things like Twitter are not just for the 140-char- will and intelligence of their own. That’s been done. acter messages about what I’m doing. They are a way to share It is true that a vast amount of autonomous and semi-autonomous links to content that is interesting to those interested in the per- intelligence exists out on the Web. A host of machine-to-machine son they are following. The social networks act as an amplifier (M2M) systems are addressing many different applications. These for social trends, intelligence and tastes that can be interpreted consist of intelligent modules and nodes that exchange data and make and accessed by smart marketers. Those that are also linked to decisions independent of human operators, but most often connect intelligent, networked automated systems will be the first that are to some human interface for overall status monitoring and control. able to respond to these trends and will be successful in a people- We have long since come to the point where there are many more driven economy by listening first, then understanding, and then communicating devices connected to the Web than there are human selling. They will be able to provide the content related to the beings. Still, this is not the primrose path to computer control of our products and services being readied by their networked and au- world. Rather it is an extension of human intelligence. The only dan- tomated operations to appeal to the expressed desires and needs ger is whether a small clique of humans with nefarious agendas can gleaned from understanding the social networks. gain control of it, not that machines might do so independently. Where did I get these statistics? Off of YouTube, of course. RTC MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2009 5
  6. 6. INDUSTRY INSIDER SEPTEMBER 2009 market in future generations of Beyond Handsets: Android Platform Picking up Major Chip and mobile virtualization products. The project centered on the Tools Supporters need to ensure extremely high The Android platform, originally developed by Google and the Open Handset alliance, is coming out of the levels of reliability and security handset and is poised to turn up in a wide range of devices aimed at the digital home and beyond. While Android is in mission-critical domains that include aerospace and transpor- an open-source product, major companies are now releasing their own proven source code and offering develop- tation. By mathematically prov- ment tools. ing the correctness of underly- Mentor Graphics has unveiled its Android and Linux strategy, including the acquisition of Embedded Alley, a ing kernel functioning, NICTA specialist in Android and Linux development systems. By combining Embedded Alley’s Android and Linux products and OK Labs pave the way for and services with the Mentor Graphics Nucleus real-time operating system (RTOS), tools and middleware, Mentor validating and deploying mobile can now provide device manufacturers with the software they need to build their products. virtualization under certification MIPS Technologies has also recently announced that it has met a key milestone in driving the Android platform and security regimes like Com- beyond mobile handsets. Two months after announcing its port of the Android platform to the MIPS architecture, the mon Criteria for business-critical company is making the source code publicly available. MIPS Technologies also initiated an Early Access Program applications in mobile telephony, business intelligence and mobile for a small group of key customers who will have access to specific hardware and code optimizations before they financial transactions. are publicly available. These customers will work closely with MIPS’ engineering team, providing critical feedback Existing certification re- and market expertise. MIPS Technologies plans to announce initial Early Access customers shortly. gimes center on software process- “We are seeing an enormous amount of customer interest in Android on the MIPS architecture,” said Art Swift, es and conformance to specifica- vice president of marketing, MIPS Technologies. “Android presents a compelling value proposition in bringing In- tions of models of software. By ternet connectivity and a broad range of applications to MIPS-based digital home devices. We are working closely contrast, the NICTA project actu- with customers and partners to ensure that critical technologies are available for developers to take advantage of ally proves the correctness of the Android for consumer electronics.” code itself, using formal logic and “Mentor’s strategy acknowledges two strong trends we see in embedded device development today,” stated programmatic theorem-checking. The combination results in un- Glenn Perry, Mentor Graphics Embedded Systems Division general manager. “One is a huge demand for Google’s precedented reliability and secu- Android platform in new, complex devices beyond the mobile phones for which Android was originally developed. rity. The verification eliminates a The other is the growing use on multicore processors of multiple operating systems, usually Linux and an RTOS wide range of exploitable errors like Nucleus.” in the kernel, including design MIPS and its partners last week outlined their progress in taking Android beyond mobile handsets during fo- flaws and code-based errors like rums in Taiwan and Japan. At the Japan forum—sponsored by the OESF—MIPS Technologies’ long-time partner buffer overflows, null pointer D2 Technologies demonstrated its mCUE converged communications client for Android-based devices. The demon- dereference and other point er- stration showed how embedded software products such as mCUE can enable VoIP, video chat and other IP commu- rors, memory leaks and arithme- nications in Android-based embedded equipment and consumer electronics devices. The MIPS ecosystem around tic overflows, and exceptions. The joint four-year project Android, including tools from partners like Viosoft Corporation and Mentor Graphics Corporation, enables OEMs to verified 7,500 lines of source quickly optimize Android for their specific platforms and debug their solutions across the entire software stack. code, proving over 10,000 inter- Mentor’s Android, Linux and Nucleus ecosystem for Android- and Linux-based devices is supported by leading mediate theorems in over 200,000 semiconductor partners, including ARM, Freescale, Marvell, MIPS, RMI and Texas Instruments. Mentor has also lines of formal proof. The veri- announced support for the ARM Mali graphics processing unit family, Freescale Power Architecture processors and fied code base, the seL4 kernel Marvell Sheeva MV78200 Dual-core Embedded Processors. Embedded Alley was the first to market commercial (“secure embedded L4”), derived Android tools and services in May 2009, for the RMI Au1250 SoC and the MIPS architecture. from the globally developed and deployed open source L4 project (as did OKL4, the OK Labs mo- broadband Internet devices, has Information and Communications bile virtualization platform). OK Labs Claims announced completion of long- Technology Australia (NICTA), The outcome of the proj- Mathematically Verified term research and development the company’s incubator and in- ect—the seL4 code, theorems Microkernel / Hypervisor that it says provides formal math- vestor, OK Labs staff, researchers and testing framework—will be Technology ematical proof of the correctness from the University of New South transferred from NICTA to OK Open Kernel Labs, a pro- of the microkernel technology Wales and other institutions. Labs as part of the ongoing rela- vider of embedded virtualization underlying OKL4, the company’s Moreover, as commercialization tionship between the two entities. software for mobile phones and mobile virtualization platform. partner for NICTA, OK Labs will For its part, OK Labs plans to use This project involved the National bring the results of the project to 6 SEPTEMBER 2009 RTC MAGAZINE
  7. 7. the NICTA intellectual property for anyone wishing to understand pad for both retail and notebook tectures such as Iuh and IMS for comparable verification of what a Smart Grid is all about. computers, and it continues to ex- • Support for securing the wire- OKL4, for a fully verified future The portal can be visited at http:// pand the envelope of what is pos- less traffic, from the mobile de- commercial product. www.iec.ch/zone/smartgrid/. sible with capacitive touch tech- vice to the femtocell nology. Cirque is a subsidiary of • Deployment of a device in the IEC Smart Grid Portal: A Cirque and Ocular Team up ALPS Electric, the Tokyo-based subscriber’s home, which could One-Stop Resource to Tackle on Crystal TouchT Display world leader in electronic compo- open the femtocell to direct nent manufacturing. physical attack by hackers Global Energy Efficiency Screens The aim of the Smart Grid Cirque Corporation has The standard, as finally is to optimize energy distribution formed a strategic relationship PicoChip and Elliptic agreed upon, uses a combination and use by becoming increasingly with Ocular, a provider of ad- Collaborate on Security of techniques including IKEv2 efficient in how energy is pro- vanced display-centric solutions. Solution for Femtocell SoC (Internet Key Exchange v2) and duced, distributed and used. It is Cirque and Ocular are working Femtocells—small, low-cost IPsec (IP Security) protocols to also aimed at integrating electric- together to advance the state of base stations that provide en- authenticate the operator and sub- ity from small and big producers the art of touch display screens. hanced cellular services in homes scriber and then guarantee the and from renewable sources. To As a first step, Ocular has incor- and offices—present unique secu- privacy of the data exchanged. do so, Smart Grid projects depend porated Cirque’s capacitive touch rity challenges because they are Femtocell design is further on protocols and standards that controller into its Crystal TouchT directly connected to operators’ complicated due the traffic mix. ensure seamless interoperability line of capacitive touch screens. networks. So when picoChip was Cellular network traffic includes of existing and new devices and With sizes up to 10.1 inches, designing its PC3xx picoXcell a mix of small packets generated systems. Ocular’s Crystal TouchT is the family of system-on-chip (SoC) by voice calls interleaved with With the launch of its Web industry’s most extensive line solutions for the femtocell mar- larger packets carrying video, portal, “IEC Global Standards of projected capacitance touch ket, it turned to leading security- Web browser or other data. for Smart Grid,” the Interna- screens. Crystal TouchT display based semiconductor IP supplier To accommodate this di- tional Electrotechnical Commis- screens are made of durable glass Elliptic Technologies to help cre- versity the design team elected sion (IEC) provides the basis for and feature bright, clear optics. ate a secure, standards-compliant to integrate multiple security en- building safe and efficient Smart Thanks to Cirque’s capacitive architecture. gines into the SoC to support the Grid projects. This one-stop ac- touch controller, Crystal TouchT Because femtocells inter- different modes of wireless and cess point for anyone involved screens are easy to use and pro- face directly with the operator wireline security. As a result, pi- in Smart Grid projects provides vide smooth and responsive ad- network, they need to be very coChip’s new PC3xx devices sig- a comprehensive catalog of well- vanced gesture (AG) input. secure and comply with telecom- nificantly outperform competing focused standards. Projected capacitance tech- munications industry standards. solutions and can accommodate The IEC is the international nology is suitable for a variety These were finalized as recently this challenging mix of traffic. electrical standards development of applications, from new device as March 2009 in 3GPP Release organization. Together with lead- types like netbooks and mobile 8, after an accelerated definition Altera’s 40nm Arria II ing experts on Smart Grid tech- Internet devices (MID), to indus- process driven by the Femto Fo- nology, it has developed a frame- trial and medical systems, con- GX FPGAs Meet PCI-SIG rum and 3GPP. Working collab- work for standardization that will sumer electronics and other sorts Compliance for PCIe 2.0 oratively well before the publica- help many countries to take the of applications. The durable glass Spec tion of the standards, picoChip first step toward addressing their of capacitive touch screens is im- Altera has announced that and Elliptic crafted a robust secu- Energy Efficiency Challenge. mune to scratching and contami- its 40nm Arria II GX FPGAs are rity architecture with the power The dedicated Web zone, nants in the environment and the compliant with the PCI Express and flexibility needed by OEMs which is bound to expand as proj- screens can be cleaned with caus- 2.0 specification. The device in this fast-changing, evolving ects evolve, provides a single da- tic chemicals. Crystal TouchT successfully passed the PCI-SIG sector. tabase of standards for anybody screens will work with a bare or Compliance and Interoperability The security standard must involved in Smart Grid projects. gloved hand and they operate over Tests at the PCI-SIG Workshop accommodate the following as- It demonstrates the purpose of the extended industrial tempera- and is now included on the PCI- pects: Smart Grid Standards in facing ture range. Because the screen is SIG Integrators List. Arria II GX • Secure backhaul of subscriber technical and interoperability constructed of glass, it will not FPGAs achieved compliance for voice and data traffic across the challenges. The site also provides deform over time and provides up to x8 lane configurations for public Internet from the femto- a definition of the Smart Grid maximum optical clarity. PCIe Gen1 end-point applica- cell to the operator’s core concept, a section regarding re- Cirque Corporation, Salt tions. • Accommodation of many differ- gional differences, context and Lake City, UT, produced the first Currently shipping, Altera’s ent networks and security archi- needs, and is a good starting point commercially successful touch- mid-range Arria II GX FPGAs RTC MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2009 7
  8. 8. INDUSTRY INSIDER feature integrated transceivers with data rates up to 3.75 Gbits/s, and have a hard, configurable VME-64 Pioneer John Peters Passes Away PCIe interface embedded within John J. Peters of Performance Technologies the device. The device’s hard IP passed away unexpectedly earlier this month. block implements PCIe Gen1 Peters served as Senior Vice President, Platform (PIPE) PHY-MAC, data link and Engineering and Chief Technology Officer with transaction layers. This IP block Performance Technologies since March 2009. He is highly configurable to meet was greatly respected in the industry as the “father” the requirements to support end- of the VME-64 specification. In a message regard- point and root-port applications, and is PCIe 2.0-compliant in x1-, ing Peters to VITA members, VITA’s Executive Direc- x4- and x8-lane configurations. tor, Ray Alderman cited Peters’ contributions to the industry. “He brought the multiplexed VME data/ad- dress technique to VITA and the VSO, and initiated Florida Cable Turns to Digital the activities to incorporate those enhancements Voice and Video to Expand into the VME-64 standard,” Alderman noted. its Product and Service Previously, Mr. Peters served as Senior Vice Portfolio President of Embedded Engineering and Chief Tech- XCast Labs, a provider of nology Officer since November 2005. From 2000 SaaS digital voice and video solu- to 2005, he served as Vice President of Engineer- tions, has announced that Florida ing. From 1997 to 2000, he held the position of Cable, Inc. has joined the ranks of cable operators that will utilize Vice President of Development, Network Switching its proprietary platform. Florida Products. From 1994 to 1997, he was Vice President Cable serves several of Lake of Hardware Engineering. From 1990 to 1994, he served as Technical Director of the Hardware Products busi- County’s most prestigious private, ness unit, and from 1986 to 1990, he served in various engineering positions. Prior to joining the Company, residential golf communities in- Peters held various engineering positions with Computer Consoles, Inc. (now a division of Nortel Networks). cluding Royal Harbor, Legacy of Mr. Peters held a BS degree in engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Leesburg, Highland Lakes, Black Bear Reserve, Twin Lakes and Arlington Ridge. Together, these communities provide Florida Upcoming Events Cable a showcase for its range of services. Florida Cable’s Jim Pierce said, “We currently pass in excess of 40,000 homes with a Hybrid- RTECC Is Coming to a Location Near You Fiber Coaxial system and offer our customers state-of-the-art broadband entertainment servic- es. We keep a competitive edge over other cable and satellite/DBS providers by consistently exceed- ing our subscribers’ expectations for the highest quality services backed up with excellent custom- er support. We’re confident that XCast will help us maintain, if not grow, our advantage.” Florida Cable is an indepen- dently owned and operated com- November December January pany that has provided entertain- ment services to the residents of Florida since 1983. Currently, the Washington DC Copenhagen, Denmark Santa Clara, CA company is implementing an ex- 11/17/09 12/08/09 01/26/10 pansion plan that should triple the size of its customer base within Pax River, MD Gothenburg, Sweden three years. 11/19/09 12/10/09 www.rtecc.com 8 SEPTEMBER 2009 RTC MAGAZINE
  9. 9. Portwell Built Tough for Broader Embedded Applications PEB-2738 Intel ® Atom™ processor (Z510P, Z510PT, Z520PT or Z530P) with industrial temperature range Intel ® Embedded Compact Extended Form Factor Intel ®ECX Form Factor Dual display (LVDS and SDVO) Multiple USB ports Low power, fanless & small footprint Portwell ruggedizes its new PEB-2738 ECX board with the new Intel® Atom™ processors Z510P, Z510PT, Z520PT and Z530P. The power optimized micro-architecture consumes very low power and operates at a wider temperature range. As a result, it creates an even more robust system with fanless configuration. Portwell’s PEB-2738 ECX solutions can be employed in far more embedded applications than those of other suppliers. Applications for the new PEB-2738 include military-grade computers, in-vehicle infotainment systems, outdoor computing systems, industrial automation and control applications and many more. ECX PEB-2737 Nano-ITX NANO-8044 Intel ® Atom™ processor Z510 or Z530 Intel® Atom™ processor Z510 or Z530 Intel ® ECX form factor Dual display (VGA and LVDS) Dual display (VGA and LVDS) Multiple USB ports 4.02” Multiple USB ports 4.7” IDE and SD interface for storage Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet Low power, fanless and small footprint PCIe x1 for expansion 5.75” 4.7” Low power, fanless and small footprint Qseven PQ7-M100G COM Express PCOM-B214VG Intel ® Atom™ processor Z510 or Z530 Intel® Atom™ processor N270 Dual display (LVDS and SDVO) Mobile Intel® 945GSE express chipset & ICH7-M Multiple USB ports Multiple USB ports IDE and SATA 2.75” SDIO interface for storage 3.7” Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet PCIe x1 for expansion PCIe x1 and PCI for expansion 2.75” 4.5” Low power, fanless and ultra compact Low power, fanless and compact Portwell’s extensive product portfolio includes single-board computers, embedded computers, specialty computer platforms, rackmount computers, communication appliances, and human-machine interfaces. We provides both off-the-shelf and versatile custom solutions for applications in the medical Portwell equipment, factory automation, retail automation, semiconductor equipment, financial automation, mission critical and network security markets. www.portwell.com American Portwell is both an ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 13485:2003 certified company. 1-877-278-8899
  10. 10. SMALL FORM FACTOR FORUM Colin McCracken & Paul Rosenfeld SSDs... It’s What’s Inside That Counts I t’s not enough to focus on a processor, chipset, form factor, OS Flash may be viewed as dated and large, its bigger size means 2x and development tools for your next project. The playing field to 8x the capacity of the latest camera media. Competition in the is leveling in the storage market. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are primary market has forced space-inefficient NOR technology out now available in many shapes and sizes, and celebrate more than the door, giving way to single-level-cell (SLC) NAND flash and 10 years of acceptance in some embedded applications. now multi-level (MLC), since cost is king for consumer devices. Popular SSD form factors were invented for other markets MLC comes with concerns about data reliability, however. A lost first, such as 2.5” and 1.8” disk drive outlines and CompactFlash photo or a crashed netbook is not the end of the world. For mil/ media for cameras. DiskOnChip enjoyed a good run for ten years aero and most industrial applications, however, data corruption until M-Systems was acquired by SanDisk. To select a device for can have larger consequences, so devices tailored for these de- a new project, it’s tempting to search the Web and design in the manding market segments have an advantage over commercial bargain-du-jour from e-tailers who sell on price and free ship- (camera) media. ping. But as discriminating readers of industry journals, we need An SSD is not only appealing for data storage, but is also to look deeper. useful as a boot device for the operating system (OS). Read SSDs offer numerous benefits over rotating drives to our and write times are important to understand when considering marketplace, such as lower power, latency/seek time, noise, and a given device, especially in the realm of large operating sys- longer lifecycle. In rugged environments, electromechanical de- tems that use these drives for virtual memory, paging, etc. Since vices can fail due to shock and vibration, temperature extremes writes involve block erasing, and flash technology has a limited and humidity. SSDs are not completely immune to shock and vi- number of write cycles until rendered unusable, wear leveling bration, but some sockets have latches or retaining clips to secure algorithms and caching must be implemented by the controller them. Some new SSDs come in single-chip BGA packages to IC on the device. be soldered onto the circuit board, but this won’t work if the ap- Devices are available today with PATA, USB and even plication requires the device to be removed, and makes upgrade SATA interfaces. SATA controllers burn a lot of power, so you problematic. may need to trade off between a shorter technology lifetime and Price compared to rotating media is the most significant dis- power consumption in some cases. In the coming years, look for advantage of SSDs. The good news here, however, is that 30-50% higher data bandwidth interfaces like SATA II 300, USB 3.0 and cost reductions per Gigabyte each year—at least for capacities even PCI Express lanes. Higher bandwidth will require more ad- under 16 Gbytes—coupled with the ongoing EOLs of HDDs be- vanced controller technology, caching and wear leveling algo- low 160 Gbytes, have created an attractive opportunity for em- rithms. The consumer and industrial markets may continue to bedded applications that need less than 16 Gbytes of non-volatile diverge. storage. Even if none of the ruggedness attributes are essential, Look for flexible interfaces and sockets that can handle the stepping off the HDD obsolescence treadmill would allow OEMs industry migration without obsolescence, which causes inconve- to return their focus to adding value to customers. nient board spins. At the end of the day, selection means more Cracking open the plastic cover reveals some flash memory than just finding the lowest price. Being educated means betting ICs and a controller IC. Benign in appearance, these ICs contain on the success of the device’s primary market and understanding the keys to performance and longevity. The form factor deter- its internal design. As usual, comments about this topic can be mines the overall memory capacity, so even though Compact- sent to sf3@rtcgroup.com. 10 SEPTEMBER 2009 RTC MAGAZINE
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  12. 12. EDITOR’S REPORT Advances in Nonvolatile Memory New Nonvolatile Memory Technologies Poised to Shake up System Design FIGURE 1 The XceedIOPS PCIe from Smart Modular Technologies with a maximum capacity of 400 GB can deliver up to 140,000 random Advances in solid-state storage are poised to give IOPs over a x8 PCI Express lane. designers more possibilities in fast, nonvolatile memory It is also configurable in a lower capacity in a half-length PCIe card that will reduce power, shrink size and increase speed form factor. both in system memory and in storage class memory. to so often that it wears out before the oth- ers. This wear leveling entails complex ad- by Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief dress translation and the need to keep track of the usage of blocks. As wear progresses on such a device, the write speeds tend to W hat would be the wish list for the density. NAND flash is the ubiquitous tech- slow down due to all the block remapping. perfect memory device? Among nology used in memory sticks and is also There are also additional issues such as er- the items on such a list would be enjoying increased popularity as a storage ror correction that must be dealt with. maximum density and minimum power medium in embedded systems in which Despite these complexities, the cost consumption, read/write speeds that could we find convenient SATA interfaces where levels and the advantages of flash SSDs keep up with the fastest CPU, byte address- flash memory devices can reside. In this are making them increasingly popular in ability and minimally low cost per bit. Such role, however, NAND flash is serving as a consumer devices, such as netbooks, cell a memory device would never wear out and replacement for rotating hard disk drives phones and MP3 players. The ability to use it would be inherently nonvolatile. Of course, and is obviously attractive to embedded de- a variety of interfaces, among them a serial no such single technology yet exists, and so signers due to its ability to resist shock and flash interface such as SPI, is an advantage over the years designers have been forced to vibration and its low latency as well as for in embedded systems because it means resort to combinations of memory technolo- its increasing cost/capacity characteristics. fewer traces on a PCB. Flash-based SSDs gies to address various system needs ranging Use as a substitute for rotating media are even beginning to attract the attention from on-chip cache memory to fast DRAMs suits NAND flash well due to its very high of enterprise-level server designers. and SRAMs to ROMs, EEPROMs, NOR sequential read speeds and because behind For example, the XceedIOP PCIe from and NAND flash memory devices, and all something like a SATA (or a PCIe or a Smart Modular Technologies boasts a top the way to large rotating disk drives. USB) interface, the software protocols and capacity of 400 Gbytes by incorporating The particular mix of technologies the controller chip can deal with a number eight of the company’s flash storage nodes on in a system depends on the specific needs of problematic issues inherent in the under- a full-height x8 PCI Express card (Figure 1). for code and data, cost and performance, lying technology and still have the device The card can be configured with two, four or power consumption and so on. Integrating appear to the system as a solid-state drive eight nodes, but smaller capacity also means the various solutions has also involved dif- (SSD). Among these issues is the inability slower speed because the number of PCI Ex- ferent interfaces, protocols and software to to read and write individual bytes. In or- press lanes is reduced to x2 and x4 respec- hide many of the idiosyncrasies of the dif- der to change a single word, an entire block tively. The power savings can represent up to ferent technologies behind standard inter- must be copied to DRAM, the new word 200x reduction below that of a hard drive. faces. Ironically, the most complicated flash written into DRAM and the entire block memory technology to manage, NAND copied back into the flash array. In addition, Phase Change Memory flash, also appears to be the most cost-ef- algorithms are needed to level the usage of While NAND flash technology ap- fective and the one that achieves the highest blocks so that the same block is not written pears to be on a roll in terms of moving in 12 SEPTEMBER 2009 RTC MAGAZINE
  13. 13. EDITOR’S REPORT on rotating media, it in no way fits the bill by Unity Semiconductor. CMOx is built for a broader nonvolatile memory archi- Theory around an array of four layers of storage tecture, the ideal of which would be non- cells, each of which can store two bits. The volatile devices with the low cost, high ca- Top Electrode memory cells are connected in a cross- pacity, byte addressability and high speed point memory array and are not based on of today’s DRAMS. Maybe nothing ever transistors, but rather a technology that truly will, but we are seeing the advent uses the movement of ionic charge under of devices that are getting close and also control of an electric field. The immedi- have the potential for even higher densi- ate advantages are that four layers of 2-bit ties. One very promising technology just Chaloogenide multilevel cells make it possible for the die now appearing in product form is phase to be four times smaller than a NAND die change memory (PCM). Resister of the same capacity and based on a cell (Heater) PCM works not by storing a charge, size that starts smaller than NAND and Bottom but by changing the phase of an amor- Electrode will continue to be reduced in size. phous material from amorphous to crys- CMOx technology is targeting stor- talline and back (Figure 2). In the amor- age class memory with write latencies that phous phase, it exhibits high resistivity, challenge NAND flash and a targeted cost- while in the polycrystalline it has low re- FIGURE 2 per-bit of 1.5x that of hard disk storage sistivity. The two phases, then, correspond In a phase change memory with device capacities that are expected to logical 1s and 0s. Since it takes another (PCM), intense localized Joule to hit 512 Gbits and beyond by 2014. This pulse of heat to change the phase back to heating induces a shift in the would make room in a memory architec- its previous state, the memory is inherently chalcogenide material from ture for a high-speed nonvolatile memory nonvolatile. Changing the phase from amorpous to polycrystalline and complementing DRAM, a high-speed, back with changes in electrical amorphous to crystalline and back again low-cost nonvolatile solid-state storage resistance that correspond to 1s is done by different temperature and dura- class memory and a smaller amount of and 0s. tion profiles applied to the heater. A short total hard disk storage—with size, power relatively hot pulse causes the material be used in place of DRAM for scratchpad and ruggedness advantages as well. to become amorphous while a somewhat memory. In any of these cases, the flexibil- The basic technical breakthrough of cooler, longer pulse causes it to become ity of PCM makes it cost-effective because CMOx is that bits are stored in terms of crystalline. In addition, a bit can be altered code that could grow beyond the boundary moving ions rather than electric charges from one to zero or zero to one without a of a flash memory (necessitating the addition (Figure 3). Two layers of metal oxide film separate erase step. A schematic represen- of another device) could move into additional are layered together—one is a conductive tation of a phase change storage element is PCM space as long as there was enough total layer and the other an insulating layer. The shown in Figure 2. It turns out that chalco- memory for both code and data. exact composition of these two materials is genide material—an alloy of Germanium, PCM is the result of efforts by ST Unity’s key intellectual property. The ma- Antimony and Tellurium—is the same as Microsystems and Intel, which in 2007 terial is treated with a certain amount of that used in rewritable CDs and DVDs. formed a flash memory company called ionized Oxygen atoms. Bits are written by Among the attractive characteristics Numonyx that will bring products to mar- applying an electric charge across the lay- of PCM are that it is byte addressable and ket. In terms of scale, there are devices ers, which causes the vacancies in the ions has a write latency of less than 1 micro- shipping in limited quantities at 90nm, to migrate in response to the charge. The second and a read latency of between 50 and a next-generation chip based on 45nm atoms themselves obviously do not move, and 100 nanoseconds, which make it at technology is expected to start sampling but the transfer of electrons causes the net least comparable to DRAM. It does not in the near future. Numonyx currently of- charge on the atoms to shift. This is shown have infinite endurance like DRAM, but fers an Early Access Program for develop- in the two parts on the left side of Figure 3. is about four to five orders of magnitude ers interested in evaluating PCM for the Once the bits have been written, they more endurable than NAND flash. Since it development of new memory systems. can be read by passing an electric current is addressed similar to DRAM, PCM can through the layers and measuring it as dispense with complex software protocols Look Ma! No Transistors! shown on the two parts on the right side of to work in the system. Another nonvolatile technology Figure 3. When the insulating layer con- In an embedded system, PCM can be that appears to be coming on strong and tains Oxygen ions, the current is less than used for storing code to execute in place as which promises to appear in product when the ions are migrated to the con- well as for an embedded file system. Depend- form by mid-2011 is conductive metal ductive oxide layer. Approximately 3,000 ing on the speed of the processor, it could also oxide (CMOx), which is being pioneered ions are currently used to store a bit. This RTC MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2009 13
  14. 14. EDITOR’S REPORT Ionic Charge Movement allows the creation of a multilevel cell that + V READ can store two bits because the field can be + V PROGRAM modulated to change the number of ions 0 2- 0 2- that migrate back and forth in response to Insulating Metal Oxide 0 2- 0 2- it, which results in a change to the amount Fast Write Speed of read current. Conductive Four layers of cells in a CMOx cross- Metal Oxide O2- 0 2- point matrix and the ability to store two 0 2- 0 2- bits per cell results in the ability to store eight bits at each point in the array or in -V ERASE “0” = Programmed State Read Current terms of feature size, a cell of 0.5F2 (Fig- + V READ ure 4). Unity is predicting that not only Insulating 0 2- 0 2- can the feature size be further reduced, Metal Oxide 0 2- 0 2- but the cell size can eventually be brought Fast Write Speed to 0.25F2. The cross-point cells are built Conductive on top of a layer of CMOS logic, which Metal Oxide 0 2- 0 2- 0 2- 0 2- handles the control, reading, addressing, error correction page management and other functions. The voltage involved is “1”= Erased State Read Current less than 5V as opposed to NAND flash, which uses about 20V. FIGURE 3 The CMOx memory is not byte ad- In CMOx technology, ionic charge movement is induced by applying an electric dressable like DRAM and PCM, but rather field to metal oxide films that cause the vacancies in ionized Oxygen atoms to data is written and read in 4 Kbyte or 8 migrate to one level or the other depending on the polarity of the field. Data is Kbyte pages, which are compatible with the read by passing current through the materials and measuring the difference data formats of the operating systems rather in current. This technology represents the combined application of ionic and electronic effects. than the larger blocks that must be managed by NAND flash. The technology is not im- mune to wear, but Unity now states its en- The 0.5F 2 Memory Cell durance at 100k cycles. In the 64 Gbit de- vice that will be the first to appear in prod- 1 cell per 2F x 4F2 4 layers of memory uct form, sustained sequential reads are 100 Ideal SLC memory cell 4F 2 /4 bits = 1F 2 SLC Mbytes/s and sustained sequential writes in cross-point array are 60 Mbytes/s. This also demonstrates a closing of the gap between read and write speed in comparison to NAND flash. Advances in nonvolatile memory are 2F 2F certainly not done, but there are some very significant developments that are about to make their debut and will significantly in- F= feature size fluence how system developers conceive 2F 2F of their memory hierarchies. Smart Modular Technologies Newark, CA. Using MLC, each cell stores 2 bits (510) 623-1231. 4F2/8bits =0.5F2 MLC [www.smartm.com]. Numonyx Folsom, CA. 2F 2F (888) 466-6866. [ www.numonyx.com]. Unity Semiconductor FIGURE 4 Sunnyvale, CA. In the CMOx memory cell pioneered by Unity Semiconductor, four layers of (408) 737-7200. memory are stacked in a crosspoint array with each cell able to store two bits. [www.unitysemi.com]. 14 SEPTEMBER 2009 RTC MAGAZINE
  15. 15. TECHNOLOGY IN CONTEXT New Mobile Platforms Android Moves Beyond Mobile Originally a niche platform for mobile handsets, Android is moving into a host of embedded applications building on Linux, Java and the desires of users to frequently bring new applications into existing embedded devices. ploration by Bill Weinberg, Linux Pundit.com your goal k directly I age, the source. n the fall of 2008, Google and its Smartphone Shipments 500 ology, Open Handset Alliance (OHA) part- through 2013 450 d products ners introduced Android into the mo- (millions of units) Sources: ABI, Canalys, HTC, 400 bile marketplace. After several years of InStat, iSuppli engaging in very stealthy development, 350 All Smartphones and of fomenting rumors and specula- 300 tion, Google opted not to build its own handsets. Instead, the Mountain View- 250 based search and software behemoth 200 nies providing solutions release an open source plat- elected to now 150 ion into products, technologies and companies. Whetherand goal is to research the latest form and to partner with HTC your other hardware manufacturers (OEMs) to ation Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put you 100 build and deploy Android-based hand- you require for whatever type of technology, Linux Smartphones 50 and products you are searching for. sets and other device types. Even before Android Phones 0 launching the platform, OHA seeded 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 the market with source code and tools, and instigated early development with a FIGURE 1 programming contest and the promise Projected smartphone shipments comparing Linux and Android-based models of a marketplace to rival the Apple iP- against total shipments. hone App Store. In the year since Android’s release, projections for the platform (Figure 1). netbooks and webpads based on Android End of Article Google and OHA have delivered on and The results are that in 2008, HTC shipped to target the emerging Mobile Internet exceeded their original commitments and between 800,000 and 1,000,000 Android Device market handsets, and in 2009, that company and eight additional OEMs announced dozens Moving Beyond Mobile Get Connected of new Android-based phones. In addi- Perhaps more interesting than An- with companies mentioned in this article. www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected tion, Freescale Semiconductor and mul- droid joining in the global smartphone tiple OEMs have announced plans to ship fray is the prospect of the platform ex- 16 SEPTEMBER 2009 RTC MAGAZINE Get Connected with companies mentioned in this article. www.rtcmagazine.com/getconnected
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  17. 17. TEChNOlOgY IN CONTExT Applications not optimized for after-market applica- and applications themselves (Figure 2). Desktop, Dialer, SMS/MMS, IM, Browser, Camera, tion deployment. In fact, most legacy But while the familiar “boxes” fall in Alarm, Calculator, Contct Manager, Voice Dial, E-mail, Calendar, Media Player, Clock, etc. embedded software ecosystems provide the right places, the contents of those no unified channels for mass market boxes can depart from established ex- Application Framework Managers for Activites, Windowing, Notification, software distribution; those few that pectations. One example is the Linux Packaging, Telephony Resources, LBS and XMPP. do (e.g., iPhone or PalmOS) are closed, kernel. Android SDKs build on aggres- Content Providers, View System rigidly controlled and target a narrow sively forward-looking Linux kernel Enabling Middleware range of devices. versions. For example, the Android Surface Manager, Media, OpenGL(ES), Libc, Android Run-Time Dalvik Virtual Machine By contrast, Android is an open 1.5 SDK integrates the Linux kernel SQLite, Free Type, Class Libraries source (Apache licensed) application-cen- 2.6.27, but with a fairly extensive An- LibWebCore, SGL, SSL tric embedded OS, boasting an enterprise- droid-specific patch set. And although Linux Kernel class kernel (Linux), middleware for broad Android builds on Linux, it leaves be- Drivers for Display, Camera, Bluetooth, Flash Memory, interoperability and application support hind many familiar elements. Notable Binder(IPC), USB, Keyboard, WiFi, Audio, Power Management (Java, CODECs, UI), with a ready-to-use is the Android Bionic run-time, which distribution channel, readily retargeted is based not on GNU glibc but on a FIGURE 2 for multiple CPU architectures and device BSD-derived C library. Android architecture components. types. Another example is the JVM. For both technical and business reasons, What is Android? Google/OHA chose to eschew licensing panding beyond mobile, to encompass The Android Web site touts the plat- a Coffee Cup JVM from Sun and instead embedded applications from consumer form as a “complete set of software for implemented a new (and improved) Java- electronics to automotive to instrumen- mobile devices: an operating system, compatible VM, which runs Java applica- tation to control. We focus here on de- middleware and key mobile applica- tions that have been converted into a com- signs and applications for Android in tions” along with a software development pact Dalvik executable (.dex). Developers these and other ubiquitous embedded kit (SDK). Android was built from the comfortable with both enterprise Java domains. ground up to enable developers to cre- profiles (J2SE) and also mobile/embedded Why all the fuss about a mobile ate compelling mobile applications that profiles will be mostly comfortable target- phone platform? Android is just one of take full advantage of all a handset has ing Dalvik using both new and repurposed half a dozen smartphone OSs, and enters to offer. Java source code—not byte code. a broader embedded marketplace team- Simply put, Android is a Mobile ing with over one hundred OSs, includ- Phone OS built on top of Linux and the CPU Support ing real-time executives and application code of other OSs. It is a “tall” stack that Android began its existence and still platforms. To understand the appeal of emphasizes application development and primarily targets ARM-based mobile Android to device OEMs, it’s easiest deployment on a par with system-level SoCs, most notably the Qualcomm chip- to examine the shortcomings of these functionality, and even includes a set of sets in the HTC G1 “Dream” phone. An- (legacy) embedded platforms. Most core applications. Like many mobile soft- droid also supports the x86/Intel Archi- real-time operating systems (RTOSs) ware stacks (and unlike most Linux-based tecture (originally for prototyping). focus on system-level functionality but platforms), Android offers Java APIs and In pursuit of addressing the wide va- lack rich middleware supporting mul- frameworks to application developers via riety of intelligent devices with Android, timedia, graphics and other modern Dalvik, Google’s Java Virtual Machine Silicon Valley-based Embedded Alley in- application-enablers. While existing (JVM) work-alike. troduced an Android development system embedded Linux implementations offer While the emphasis here is on An- with support for RMI/MIPS processors in broader APIs, middleware and graph- droid moving beyond mobile, it is useful May 2009. “The opportunities presented ics frameworks, they still fall short in to compare/contrast Android in Table 1 by Android span the gamut of intelligent handling high-level application support. with other (mobile) applications platforms. devices types and markets,” noted Mat- Even though Microsoft Windows CE, Pardon me if I’ve left out your favorite thew Locke, Embedded Alley COO, who Windows Mobile and other incarnations Linux-based platform. LiMo, Ubuntu is now Director of Linux Technology at of Redmond’s embedded code base do Mobile, Debian Embedded, Mobilinux, Mentor Graphics. “To meet the growing offer rich APIs and a tall stack, they are ALP, Azingo Linux, OpenMoko and oth- demand for Android enablement, Embed- proprietary/closed (shared source pro- ers share the majority of their component ded Alley created our Development Sys- grams notwithstanding) and expensive software and frameworks with Mobilin tem.” to deploy. and Maemo. Shortly thereafter, MIPS Technolo- Both legacy RTOS and Linux-based At first blush, Android presents gies announced availability of Android platforms can support field upgrades a typical four-layer stack: OS/kernel, on MIPS architecture and launched an and post-load (re)deployment, but are middleware, application framework initiative to drive Android beyond mobile 18 SEPTEMBER 2009 RTC MAGAZINE

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