Design News, February 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 67 of 99

Design Hardware & Software The Role of Embedded Platforms in Next-Gen Designs It's important to match the right hardware with the right software and tools. by Vineet aggarwal, National Instruments E ngineering companies today are coming up with some of the most creative, innovative ideas to meet tough challenges and improve everyday life. We're in an era of distributed intelligence, where more embedded systems are appearing in all sorts of places. And whether it's smart electrical power grids or smart coffee machines, the complexity of those systems is increasing. Design teams are doing their best to stay on top of the latest technologies and improve system capabilities with features like additional sensor measurements, sophisticated processing algorithms, high-speed control loops, and wireless communication protocols. As exciting as this may be, the hard reality is that doubling the number of features or capabilities doesn't mean engineers can double the size of their teams or double the time it takes to deliver new ideas to market. This is why embedded platforms that combine flexible hardware components and an integrated software framework are becoming more important in helping design teams build complex embedded systems faster. When high-speed interconnects, I/O circuitry, and supporting firmware have already been The world market for embedded computer boards designed, validated, and tested by a different and modules by product type team, engineers can get an instant head start Revenues  ($M) 2010 - 2016   and reduce considerable risk in the overall 5,000 design. Single board computer Standalone boards Mezzine boards Over the last decade, we've seen many 4,500 Compute on modules PC/104 advances in chip-level integration, with 4,000 microcontrollers, DSPs, and other types of system-on-chip (SoC) technology con3,500 tinuously expanding functionality through 3,000 high-performance analog-to-digital converters and digital-to-analog converters and 2,500 other peripherals. Most recently, the combi2,000 nation of processor cores and FPGA fabric has been introduced to the market, like 1,500 Intel's Atom E600C series and Xilinx's Zynq 1,000 family. While these integrated chip designs allow 500 for lower power and smaller footprints, tak0 ing advantage of all the features that can now be packed into a small silicon part requires Source: IMS Research (Now a part of IHS) complex board-level design expertise and advanced processes in manufacturing and The CAGR for COM devices is projected to be 17.5 percent between 2010 and 2016, testing. Single-board computers (SBCs) which is faster than any other segment in the embedded board market. Design News | february 2013 | www.d esign n –50–

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of DesignNews - Design News, February 2013