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Interview with Dave Hughes CEO of HCC Embedded

HCC:

DESIGNING RELIABLE SOFTWARE FOR

EMBEDDED

SYSTEMS

Microchip’s New PIC MCUs Obsolescence Management System


Your Guide to Embedded MCUs and Development Tools. Everything you’re looking for in one place.

w w w. e m b e d d e d d e v e l o p e r. c o m


CONTENTS

4 8 16

TECH ARTICLE

ADVANTAGES OF AN EXECUTABLE OBSOLESCENCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

TECH ARTICLE

MICROCHIP’S LATEST FAMILY OF MCUS IS THE SECRET INGREDIENT IN EMBEDDED DESIGNS

COVER INTERVIEW

DAVE HUGHES, CEO OF HCC EMBEDDED

HCC:

DESIGNING RELIABLE SOFTWARE FOR

EMBEDDED SYSTEMS Interview with Dave Hughes – CEO of HCC Embedded

22

HCC has been developing embedded software components for Flash, File Systems, and Communications for over a decade. Founded by current CEO David Hughes, the company sought to provide robust support for the ever-changing embedded systems industry. With a wide variety of fail-safe file systems and verifiable software, HCC has become one of the most trusted names in the market today.

FEATURED ARTICLE We spoke with David Hughes about what it takes to develop a truly fail-safe system, the unique challenges in dealing with flash memory, and his vision for the industry over the next few years.

RELIABLESOFTWARE

can make the Internet of Things RELIABLE SOFTWARE CAN SMARTER, CHEAPER, MAKE THE INTERNET OF THINGS AND MORE SECURE SMARTER, CHEAPER AND MORE SECURE

E

mbedded software is under closer scrutiny than ever before. Twenty years ago the C language was just starting to become widely used as a serious programming language for deeply embedded applications. Historically, embedded applications have been small, standalone systems with limited data storage, sometimes connected to closed networks. As low-cost processing, flash memory, and networking have become ubiquitous, the issues of data storage and network security have become critical. Is embedded software able to adequately meet the challenges of the emerging wave of MCU-based applications using large flash devices for data storage and providing secure network access?

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Advantages of an Executable Obsolescence Management System

E

veryday countless Product Change Notifications (PCNs) and End-of-Life Notifications (EOL/ PDN) are received by companies worldwide. But have you ever thought about all the consequences of these notes? How can you appraise all of the risks involved in a false or tardy reaction in handling obsolescence?

By Stefanie Koelbl Obsolescence Management for TQ-Systems

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TECH ARTICLE

“The impacts of obsolete components are mostly pricey for the user—especially when a redesign is necessary and costs are incurred for engineering services, operating capital or test equipment.”

I

n today’s world, obsolescence is almost unpreventable because of rapid technological revolutions and evolutions, but also because of the changing market demand day-by-day.

The impacts of obsolete components are mostly pricey for the user—especially when a redesign is necessary and costs are incurred for engineering services, operating capital or test equipment.

Brownfield sites*, for example, are the direct result of the actions of the consumer sector— the products are non-durable because the end-user hungers for new, modern and making-life-easier commodities.

Often there are still some of the obsolete components available on the market but those are often sold by high-cost brokerage companies and product authenticity can´t always be confirmed.

Another cause of obsolescence is environmental policies and restrictions of special substances like RoHS, RoHS2 and REACH which confront producers with further costs.

This is compounded by globalization— resulting in counterfeits or fakes from all over the world being imported and unsuspectedly used in, for example, airplanes or pacemakers.

But how can we ensure that the industry sector´s needs will also be satisfied in the long run? The railway supply and aviation industries, for example, have a constant demand for the same, unchanged components over a period of 30 to 40 years! This means that Obsolescence Management should be a mechanism to deal with the correlation between durable systems and obsolete components.

What follows is that the costs of products containing the obsolete components will rise and often inefficiency appears. A missing or careless Obsolescence Management system doesn’t just affect direct costs, it can also impact the supplier’s or OEM’s business image, market share, and indirectly, lower turnover. As a result of the inability to continue fabricating products containing obsolete components, corporate clients are more likely to switch over to competitors with more innovative or cheaper alternatives.

* A brownfield site (or simply a brownfield) is land previously used for industrial purposes or some commercial uses. The land may be contaminated by low concentrations of hazardous waste or pollution, and has the potential to be reused once it is cleaned up.

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“If Obsolescence Management strategies are followed for each product, the result will be an overview and control over the product lifecycle costs, result in maximum component safety.” Shown at right, the ARM9-based TQ module TQMa28 To prevent these risks of obsolescence the following three strategies should be established: Proactive Obsolescence Management Premature analysis of the bill of material (BOM) to get the information about the actual lifecycle status and estimate the risk of components becoming obsolete. Strategic Obsolescence Management Long term strategy to avoid the use of endangered components. Reactive Obsolescence Management Instruction to deal with obsolescent components after receipt of EOL notice. The combination of these three Obsolescence Management strategies will mainly lead to longevity of systems, but will also offer other advantages. Important points are the early determining of endangered components and the maximization of the current horizon to find efficient alternatives. Also, the reduction of the use of pricey broker commodities and the avoidance of redesigns and requalifications are essential for a working Obsolescence Management system.

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If Obsolescence Management strategies are followed for each product, the result will be an overview and control over the product lifecycle costs, result in maximum component safety. All these aspects are included in the Obsolescence Management Plan made by TQ-Systems, an E²MS service provider and supplier of embedded modules and systems near Munich in Germany. As an example of a health check with regard to obsolescence, the ARM9-based TQ module TQMa28 has to be available for a minimum lifespan of 15 years. After analyzing the original components it was proven that none of them would fulfill TQ´s demand of a durable product as evidenced in the following table: Processor ARM9TM

3 years

Plug

10 years

Flash memory

1 year (NAND uprated)

Main memory SDRAM

1 year (DDR2)

Logic element

8 years

Operating system

1-15 years


TECH ARTICLE Using guidelines to analyzing components It is very important when analyzing components to not just refer to information from databases, but also from the manufacturer and supplier—this will give you a valid and accurate report of the expected lifespan. By using this combined forecasting method, the original components could be replaced with long-lasting ones: like the ARM9TM Freescale processor i.MX28 or the flash memory EMMC-Blackbox of Micron/Toshiba/ Sandisk (which can substitute each other). The same can also be said for the logic element of Texas Instruments/Maxim/ Linear-Technology who all offer special obsolescence programs for their clients. Long-life programs such as the ones offered by Micron are preferred: these programs provide further security, and for this reason TQ always uses Micron´s main memory MT47H64M16HR-25EIT:H. in its application.

Products and Proactive Obsolescence Management TQ modules offer guaranteed availability for a fixed period of time with minimal price increases, and are therefore optimized against obsolescence issues compared to the original modules where the selling price rises constantly. High interest in SMD components and the low costs of DRAMs are another plus for the competitiveness of the module. TQ-Systems modules, including the current TQMa28 are validated by proactive Obsolescence Management.

TQ offers Obsolescence Management services to its corporate clients but also to external businesses. Their spectrum extends to analysis of bills of materials and products, monitoring endangered components, redesigns, audits and workshops about obsolescence issues and long-term storage in nitrogen. TQ System excels at offering flexible terms, on-time delivery, high quality standards and a history of offering superior client-specific solutions. As a member of the Component Obsolescence Group, TQ can offer their clients up-to-date information about the latest progression in obsolescence management and relating issues which enables a high ROI on their mature products. One of the leading solution providers of innovative technologies for 20 years, TQ-Systems GmbH has their corporate headquarters in Seefeld, Germany, and employs over 1,200 staff and has production facilities in Germany, Switzerland and China.

A global leader in electronic technology TQ-USA is the brand for a module product line represented in North America by Convergence Promotions LLC for TQ-Systems GmbH. From their sales distribution and technical support net- work in North America, Convergence Promotions can guarantee customers quick response times with sales and technical support.

For More Information: In North America: www.ConvergencePromotions.com/TQ-USA In EMEA: www.TQ-Systems.de

“TQ modules offer guaranteed availability for a fixed period of time with minimal price increases, and are therefore optimized against obsolescence issues compared to the original modules where the selling price rises constantly.”

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MICROCHIP’S

Latest Family of MCUs

is the Secret Ingredient in

Embedded Designs

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FEATURED ARTICLE

E

mbedded designers are currently facing the challenge of delivering feature-rich products with fewer and fewer resources, which is why Microchip is committed to delivering total solutions aimed at streamlining the development process. At the recent EE Live! and Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, EEWeb met with Greg Robinson, marketing director of Microchip’s MCU8 Division, as he announced their latest family of 8-bit PICŽ microcontrollers. The PIC16(L)F170X and PIC16(L) F171X family combines Intelligent Analog with Core Independent Peripherals, offering embedded systems developers the secret ingredients needed to start cooking up an expansive menu of sophisticated designs.

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“What makes these products unique is the integration we have done from an analog perspective...”

Introducing the PIC16(L)F170X/171X 8-bit MCU family Embedded developers are increasingly faced with the demand to include more functionality in evershrinking devices. These pressures, combined with the need to lower costs and complexity by utilizing fewer MCUs, is driving the engineering community to rethink incumbent technologies. Microchip’s PIC16(L) F170X/171X 8-bit MCU family addresses those needs. These MCUs are cost-effective solutions enriched with Intelligent Analog, a set of Core Independent Peripherals, and eXtreme Low Power (XLP) technology with 35nA Sleep Current and 30µA/MHz Active Current, which helps extend battery life and reduce standby current consumption. Combined with a software configuration tool called the MPLAB® Code Configurator, Microchip’s latest family of MCUs takes 8-bit PIC MCU performance to a new level.

“The PIC16(L)F170X/171X 8-bit MCU line of PIC16 MCUs with Periphera mapping feature that gives designe designate the pin-out of many per

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FEATURED ARTICLE “What makes these products unique is the integration we have done from an analog perspective,” Robinson said. “We put two operational amplifiers on chip, some high speed comparators, a 5- and 8-bit DAC. We put on a new module for Zero Cross Detection as well, and a lot of analog detection coupled with what we call our Core Independent Peripherals on the digital side.”

Make the Most of Your Pins with Peripheral Pin Select In most microcontrollers, the functional inputs and outputs of a peripheral are typically multiplexed on fixed pins and often conflict with each other. This creates a situation where, by selecting one peripheral, you lose the ability to use another. The PIC16(L)F170X/171X 8-bit MCU family is the first line of PIC16 MCUs with Peripheral Pin Select, a pin mapping feature that gives designers the flexibility to designate the pinout of many peripheral functions. This multiplexing makes it possible for designers to make the most of the pins on a device. As Robinson explained, “The peripheral pin select module enables engineers to reconfigure digital signals

to different pins. As a part comes up in a default mode, if the user has a EUSART and a PWM, and they are both assigned to that same pin, the module allows them to re-map those pins to different pins. This is very important as we put more and more peripherals, and more and more functionality, into smaller pin counts.” With the flexibility to change pin mappings, Peripheral Pin Select addresses the issue of how to access the peripheral needed with as few pins as possible; it also allows for easy board work-arounds. For example, if a PCB error occurs where the signal was not routed to the intended pin, the problem can be solved in firmware without scrapping or re-doing the PCB. Additionally, Peripheral Pin Select resolves the issue of signal degradation that can result when components are placed in close proximity on the board. “If a designer is designing an application that has an analog input that may be sitting next to a PWM output or a communication output where it can degrade the analog signal, they can simply move that digital signal to the other side of the chip and hold the integrity of the analog input,” Robinson added.

U family is the first al Pin Select, a pin ers the flexibility to ripheral functions.”

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Eliminate Code and CPU Supervision

“Together, these ‘self-sustaining’ peripherals streamline the implementation of complex control systems and provide designers the flexibility to innovate.”

The PIC16(L)F170X/171X 8-bit MCU family features a set of Core Independent Peripherals that can handle tasks with no code or CPU supervision. Together, these “self-sustaining” peripherals streamline the implementation of complex control systems and provide designers the flexibility to innovate. The Configurable Logic Cell (CLC) allows for programmable combinational and sequential logic, and also enables the on-chip interconnection of peripherals and I/O; thereby reducing external components, saving code space and adding functionality. The Complementary Output Generator(COG) is a powerful waveform generator used to generate complementary waveforms with fine control of key parameters, such as phase, dead-band, blanking, emergency shutdown states and error-recovery strategies. The Numerically Controlled Oscillator (NCO) is a programmable linear frequency generator that both enhances performance and simplifies the design of applications such as lighting control, radio-tuning circuitry, and fluorescent ballasts.

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FEATURED ARTICLE Kickstarting Your Next Design For those hungry to innovate, Microchip has done the work up front to get developers started on a wide variety of applications. The flexibility and efficiency of the PIC16(L)F170X/171X 8-bit MCU make it well suited for a broad range of advanced applications, including environmental quality sensors, portable medical equipment (such as glucose meters, portable ECGs, pulse oximeters, blood pressure meters), industrial equipment (such as gas sensors, handheld multimeters, lab instrumentation, e-meters, sensor arrays), power conversion, efficient motor control, lighting, power measurement and monitoring, energy harvesting equipment, and solar inverters. The PIC16(L)F170X/171X family is supported by Microchip’s standard suite of cutting edge development tools, including the PICkitTM 3, MPLAB ICD3, PICkit 3 Low Pin Count Demo Board, PICDEMTM Lab Development Kit, and PICDEM Plus. The MPLAB Code Configurator is a free tool that generates seamless, easy-tounderstand C code that is inserted into your project. Additionally, Microchip provides developers several online resource centers for working with the Core Independent Peripherals and Intelligent Analog integrated on these 8-bit MCUs. Design centers to assist with the creation of Intelligent Lighting and Home Appliance applications are also available.

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Join Today

eeweb.com/register 14


EMBEDDED WORKBENCH Intel Atom Processor Development Kit The Intel® Atom™ processor N270Δ and Mobile Intel® 945GSE Express chipset development kit provides robust performanceper-watt, power-efficient graphics and rich I/O capabilities for cost-effective embedded solutions. The chipset features an integrated 32-bit 3D graphics engine based on Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950 (Intel® GMA 950) architecture, a 533 MHz front-side bus (FSB), single-channel 400/533 MHz DDR2 system memory (SODIMM and/or memory down), Intel® Matrix Storage Technology and Intel® High Definition Audio1 interface. The chipset delivers outstanding system performance and flexibility through high-bandwidth interfaces such as PCI Express,* PCI, Serial ATA, and Hi-Speed USB 2.0 connectivity. This platform offers an excellent solution for embedded market segments such as digital signage, interactive clients (kiosks, point-of-sale terminals), thin clients, digital security, residential gateways, print imaging, and commercial and industrial control. It is part of Intel’s comprehensive validation process, enabling fast deployment of next-generation platforms to help developers maximize competitive advantage while minimizing development risks.

Infineon XMC4500 Basic Kit This evaluation board lets you get up-and-running quickly with Iinfineon´s CortexM4 XMC4000 microcontroller. This evaluation board offers many features that ease your learning curve and speed up your program development. The CPU_45A-V2 board houses the XMC4500 Microcontroller and three satellite connectors (HMI, COM, ACT) for application expansion. The board along with satellite cards (e.g. HMI_OLED-V1, COM_ETH-V1, AUT_ISOV1 boards) demonstrates the capabilities of XMC4500. The main use for this board is to demonstrate the generic features of XMC4500 device including the toolchain. The focus is safe operation under evaluation conditions. The board is not cost optimized and is not reference design.

REva Starter Kit for STM8S MCUs The REva starter kits are Raisonance’s complete, cost-effective solutions for starting application development and evaluating STM8x, ST7LITEx, ST7Fox, ST7232x, ST7234x, ST7236x and ST7263B microcontrollers. Kits contain all the hardware and software required to develop applications for microcontrollers, including the REva evaluation board, target STM8 and ST7 microcontrollers, embedded RLink for in-circuit debugging and incircuit programming and the raisonance integrated development environment (Ride7) with application builder.

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HCC:

DESIGNING RELIABLE SOFTWARE FOR

EMBEDDED SYSTEMS Interview with Dave Hughes – CEO of HCC Embedded

HCC has been developing embedded software components for Flash, File Systems, and Communications for over a decade. Founded by current CEO David Hughes, the company sought to provide robust support for the ever-changing embedded systems industry. With a wide variety of fail-safe file systems and verifiable software, HCC has become one of the most trusted names in the market today. We spoke with David Hughes about what it takes to develop a truly fail-safe system, the unique challenges in dealing with flash memory, and his vision for the industry over the next few years.

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COVER INTERVIEW

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How did you get started in the embedded industry? I’ve had a long history working in the embedded industry since I graduated University in 1985, developing various types of software for deeply embedded systems, initially all in assembler and then progressing to C as the core language. Back in 2000, I finally decided to start my own company based on my experiences in the industry. Our initial aim at HCC was to provide flash management software for embedded systems, an area that lacked robust support and which was, and still is, changing very rapidly.

“Where high quality and high reliability is required in embedded software, we believe it can only be achieved by heavy investment in that software. That’s the focus of our current milestones.” Could you elaborate on what fail-safety is?

In the last 14 years, what are the most significant milestones you have achieved? Of course, survival is the first milestone for any company, and those that can survive the first few years of their development have achieved something significant. However in recent years we have grown quickly and we continue to expand as we develop new products and markets. Our first major achievement was to provide truly fail-safe file systems that provide reliable flash storage by design. In recent years we are proud to have developed embedded software with verifiable quality and specialized software such as our Smart-meter File System that address fundamental needs in that industry. In general embedded systems are becoming more complex, microcontrollers are more complex, and flash has become more complex. Where high quality and high reliability is required in embedded software, we believe it can only be achieved by heavy investment in that software. That’s the focus of our current milestones.

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Fail safety is a complex concept, but in its simplest form, it describes a system that has deterministic behavior even if it is reset or stopped inadvertently. For example if power is lost unexpectedly the system may still be in the process of committing a write to a disk. For a classic FAT file system to complete any operation it must write to three or more areas of the disk to complete a consistent operation. It’s physically impossible to perform these operations simultaneously, so precautions are required to make the system consistent when it recovers, regardless of which point it was stopped. But you can’t deal with fail safety quite as simply as this—it is important to take a system-wide approach to any fail safety concept. For instance, there is no point in having a fail-safe flash management system if the file system above is not equally designed to be fail-safe. A system claiming fail-safety can never achieve that without specifying


COVER INTERVIEW

precisely what it requires at all levels from the physical to the application layer.

flash is also changing though perhaps not at such a fast pace.

Equally, the application developer has to understand what they want from a file system such that they can guarantee it will be consistent and manageable. In our view it cannot be called a fail-safe system if the rules for each layer, including power management are not completely defined and mutually consistent.

A programmer typically just wants to reference an object by name (e.g. a stream of bytes) and manipulate it, but flash is not organized in such a friendly way. With its page/block/erase architecture, write limitations and need for wear management, logic must be provided to handle this - and this logic is complex if you want to handle it in a fail-safe, deterministic way.

What are some of the unique challenges in dealing with flash memory and why is it becoming more complex on the system side?

So we provide complex software that performs the mapping between the user requirement and the flash, combined with the ever changing physical specifications for the media that this is being recorded on. Additionally different products have very different requirements and constraints (e.g. 24 bit error correction is not something to be undertaken lightly). A system level approach is required if the full possibilities of flash storage are to be realized in a reliable way. Consequently HCC have a range of file systems and flash translation layers, combined with decades of experience to bring to flash based solutions in deeply embedded systems.

Looking back to when HCC was founded, 32MB NAND was probably the largest flash device available. The level of error correction required was 1-bit per 512 bytes to guarantee 100K erase/write cycles. Today NAND is available at sizes up to 64GB, requiring maybe 24 bit error correction or more to guarantee 3000 erase/ write cycles. Flash is a technology area where even Moore’s law struggles to keep up. NOR

“A system claiming fail-safety can never achieve that without specifying precisely what it requires at all levels from the physical to the application layer.”

HCC also develops highly specialized systems such as Smart Meters and Verifiable SSL Network Security? The availability of low cost RTOS and driver software has changed the software market. Not only are most of these RTOSes very similar, but they are generally provided with basic communications and file system functionality. HCC develops all software using our Advanced Embedded Framework (AEF), which means it is all completely independent of compiler, RTOS,

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MCU, development board, endianess etc. It can be used on any target with any RTOS allowing us to invest heavily in quality and efficiency since it is completely re-useable. This is important since it is possible in a system like a smart-meter to develop software which has verifiable quality and deals with industry specific problems such as guaranteed flash life, fail-safety, quality and low power. An important differentiator is a product life time simulator – where the behavior of the system over its intended life can be modelled and checked for flash usage and wear. None of these issues can be dealt with as effectively using general-purpose, off-the-shelf software. The ability to invest in quality of software is one of our core values. This is also true of secure networking, a key feature in many metering systems. Recently the impact of having no strong process or verifiable quality has resulted in major security issues such as the well-publicized Heartbleed’s SSL problems. HCC’s SSL/TLS implementation is developed using a rigorous process and source code control and this means we can have much higher confidence in the security of the solution. What do foresee happening in the industry over the course of the next 10 years? The market is changing very swiftly although we don’t fundamentally consider the ‘Internet of Things’ a new idea, there are just new opportunities thanks to low cost, high capacity bandwidth. MCUs are becoming cheaper and, at the same time, more complex. Increasing

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flash memory density and lower cost of processing power will drive the requirement for more rigorous software development. Software and security will become much more valuable to the perceived quality and value of a company’s brand. Increasingly, generalpurpose software has little value and software that is both verifiable and specialized must be developed to minimize system cost and optimize performance. How will software impact the cost of ‘Internet of Things’ devices? One of the reasons smart-metering systems are so important to HCC is because it is an application that really captures the value we add to the Internet of Things. We designed our file system specifically for that application scenario because our customers not only have requirements for the reliability of the application and the data, but they also have very low power requirements. In some countries, smart-meter power consumption must be minimized so that power companies don’t have to build new power stations just to measure electricity consumption. They must also be connected to the Internet and demonstrably secure. By building high quality dedicated software applications, we are able to reduce the cost to manufacture, enhance security and significantly reduce power consumption. If you step back and consider that application, it really encompasses all the things that HCC is trying to achieve – software now makes a crucial difference.


Embedded Flash Made Easy HCC File Systems & FTL provide truly fail-safe solutions to integrate MCUs with NAND or NOR flash devices. • • • •

Dynamic & Static Wear-levelling ECC & Read Disturb Bad Block Management Supports any RTOS, Compiler or MCU

Available with an extensive range of media drivers for external flash devices. For further information or a free 30 day evaluation, contact HCC at

Phone: +1 212 734 1345 • E-mail: info@hcc-embedded.com Web: www.hcc-embedded.com

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RELIABLESOFTWARE can make the Internet of Things

SMARTER, CHEAPER,

AND MORE SECURE E

mbedded software is under closer scrutiny than ever before. Twenty years ago the C language was just starting to become widely used as a serious programming language for deeply embedded applications. Historically, embedded applications have been small, standalone systems with limited data storage, sometimes connected to closed networks. As low-cost processing, flash memory, and networking have become ubiquitous, the issues of data storage and network security have become critical. Is embedded software able to adequately meet the challenges of the emerging wave of MCU-based applications using large flash devices for data storage and providing secure network access?

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FEATURED ARTICLE

23


One interesting aspect of the emergence of the new generation of low-cost 32-bit processors is the complexity of developing a base application layer and peripheral drivers. Many developers use third party software to fulfill this function. In these cases externally developed software is one of the main factors that define a product’s quality and a company’s reputation. This raises important questions for all application developers using third party storage and communications software: • Can the file system and its driver software guarantee the integrity of data stored in flash memory? • Is the system designed to always recover from unexpected events such as power loss? • Will the quality of the security and networking software affect the ability of the system to guarantee secure communications?

“Recent high profile security issues, such as those with SSL, are examples of coding errors that could have been avoided by using a formal design methodology.”

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Faced with these fundamental questions, it is notable that so much free, open source, and commercial software is incorporated into embedded applications without evidence they have been developed in a way that guarantees these basic requirements. Recent high profile security issues, such as those with SSL, are examples of coding errors that could have been avoided by using a formal design methodology. A simple ‘code then test’ approach is insufficient to guarantee the design goal of secure communications. For this some full life-cycle model for managing software is required – this should include requirements specification, design, test and traceability. To address the problems of ‘freestyle’ coding used in many commercial and open source TLS/SSL products, HCC has designed both a network stack and a TLS/SSL security implementation that provides design evidence


FEATURED ARTICLE

“HCC has a number of failsafe file systems that can guarantee correct fail-safe performance.”

for developers. For example, the TLS/SSL module can be provided with a full static analysis report as well as a UML-based design model. The system requirements have been developed to ensure a correct implementation and test, based on the principle that the process and the life cycle model are as important to secure communications as the code itself. It is fundamental to assess the possible risk and cost of software failure for any application. HCC has always taken a system level approach to design for fail-safety and guaranteed data integrity. HCC has a number of fail-safe file systems that can guarantee correct fail-safe performance. This only works if the system designer follows the rules to ensure that there are adequate services provided for each layer in the design, from application layer through to hardware design.

A smart-meter is a good example of a system with a low tolerance for flash-based data storage failures. Some smart meters are required to maintain data and file system integrity for 15 years or more. HCC has created a dedicated fail-safe file system for metering, complete with a full static analysis report, and has created high level design requirements to ensure the system can be correctly implemented and tested. A complete system simulation is also provided to model the lifetime use of the system. It can be used with eTaskSync, a small scheduler created with 100% statement and object coverage testing, full MC-DC analysis, and full MISRA C:2004 compliance to build a system with a high degree of verifiable integrity. Thanks to very public embedded software issues with products from Toyota, Apple, OpenSSL and others, it is clear that embedded software development methods must evolve quickly to maintain confidence in the devices that will make the ‘Internet of Things’ successful.

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OVERVIEW OF HCC’S EMBEDDED SOFTWARE COMPONENTS:

SSL/TLS SOFTWARE WITH VERIFIABLE QUALITY HCC’s TLS/SSL is a highly optimized software module designed to provide secure network communications for embedded devices. The software is developed using a rigorous adherence to MISRA C:2004 and is available with a full MISRA compliance report as well as a full UML description. The importance of using a strong development process and source code control has been emphasized by a number of high-profile security problems caused by source code errors. Network security requires a high degree of quality and traditional methods of ‘freestyle coding’ and test do not provide sufficient guarantees of correctness.    Key Features  •  SSL3.0, TLS1.0/1.1/1.2  • Full certificate management • All mandatory cipher suites supported including AES, DES, DSS, EDH, MD5, RSA, SHA

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PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT

"All algorithms are implemented as a individual libraries and, where possible, use crypto hardware support provided on specific microcontrollers."

Low Footprint, High Performance HCC’s SSL/TLS implementation can be used as Client or Host and is designed especially for microcontrollers, ensuring a low memory footprint, typically around 20kB ROM / 8kB RAM. Typically it uses a standard sockets interface and will bring ease of integration to many embedded applications. HTTP or FTP Server support is provided for HTTPS and FTPS implementations or connection to any other secure client or server application.    All algorithms are implemented as individual libraries and, where possible,

use crypto hardware support provided on specific microcontrollers.   Specification and Design The software is fully specified using IBM DOORS. For protocol elements the requirements are mapped directly to their section in the relevant RFCs to create traceability. The UML software design has been derived directly from this specification and consists of Collaboration diagrams, Object Model Diagrams, Sequence Diagrams and Activity diagrams drilling all the way down to the C code level.

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eTaskSync SMALL, LOW-COST

VERIFIABLE SCHEDULER eTaskSync is a no compromise, verifiable scheduler used for running tasks in an embedded system. It can be used as a standalone scheduler or as a way to synchronize and integrate middleware with existing legacy software. eTaskSync is designed to provide a subset of the typical functions of a standard kernel; tasks, events and mutexes. This approach not only makes it very small and efficient, but also makes verification and certification much easier. eTaskSync is a source code product, delivered with detailed MISRA compliance reports, MC/ DC and 100% object and statement code coverage tests. eTaskSync is low cost and can be used in any general purpose embedded design, but it is especially suitable for those that require a high level of integrity and verification such as industrial, medical and transportation applications. Key Features • Fully compliant with MISRA-C:2004 • 100% MC/DC coverage

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• 100% statement coverage tests • 100% object coverage tests • Suitable for use in products requiring high availability or certification • Small footprint <2kB code; 100bytes RAM • Priority-based, cooperative task scheduling • Mutexes • Events • Free kernel aware debug plug-ins for popular toolchains MISRA Compliance HCC eTaskSync is fully compliant with MISRA-C:2004. First introduced by the automotive industry, MISRA has become a best-practice coding standard widely used in the medical, industrial, telecom and aerospace industries. HCC has developed its own rigorous coding standard to create a concise, strongly typed subset of the C language for use in embedded systems. The result is clean, clear and robust code without ambiguities.


PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT

t0

T1 P0 T2 P1 T3 P2

t1

t2

t3

t4

t5

t6

RUN READY WAIT RUN READY WAIT RUN READY WAIT

Software Verification eTaskSync includes a test suite that performs a range of tests to verify the design and correct operation of the software on the target system. It is provided free of charge with eTaskSync and provides the following coverage; • 100% Statement Coverage – every line of source code is executed at least once. • 100% Object Coverage – every assembler instruction in the object created by compiling eTaskSync is executed at least once.

• 100% MC/DC Modified Condition/ Decision Coverage – each decision tries every possible outcome; each condition in a decision takes on every possible outcome; each entry and exit point is invoked and each condition in a decision is shown to independently affect the outcome of the decision. Free Download A full source code based version of the software, documentation and tests can be downloaded free of charge for evaluation from the Download Center on HCC’s website.

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TRULY FAIL-SAFE

FILE SYSTEMS HCC has invested a great deal of research, test and development effort over more than a decade to design truly fail-safe file systems for NAND/NOR/SSD flash that will always recover from unexpected system events such as power loss or reset. Most standard file systems are not fail-safe and therefore risk corruption and errors. For product designers who value the data stored in their embedded devices or in an embedded application where a corrupt file system could be catastrophic, HCC have a solution. Journal based file systems generally guarantee only the integrity of the metadata and are not always deterministic. A transaction based file system provides integrity for both file data and metadata, though the commit points are normally system wide. HCC employs a hybrid approach for its fail-safe

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"HCC employs a hybrid approach for its fail-safe file systems and all implementations are transactionbased on a file-byfile basis."


PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT

file systems and all implementations are transaction based on a file-by-file basis. This has the advantage that a single file operation can be executed without reference to the state of other files or operations, meaning each application using the file system can operate safely and independently. Any file system claiming fail-safety must define what is required of the low-level media driver to guarantee fail-safety. With all HCC fail-safe file systems, the requirements of the low-level driver are clearly defined. This enables designers to create systems that will

survive unexpected reset or power failure. It is important to note that in most systems involving flash storage, careful management of the power to the target media is critical. HCCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experienced team can offer insight into the design of reliable file system solutions. HCC now provide 6 different file systems and 2 different Flash Translation Layers to deal with the complex array of different media types and application requirements. An application note which explains the role of each and provides design tips for developers can be downloaded from HCCs website.

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SMART METER

FILE SYSTEM Modern smart-meters must meet significant technical challenges in order to lower manufacturing cost, power consumption and achieve high reliability. HCC has developed an advanced Smart-meter File System (SMFSTM), custom designed for the needs of smartenergy and smart-meter applications. This can result in lower cost of manufacturing, shorter development time, reduced field maintenance and longer guaranteed life of operation. Key Features • Fail-safe data storage, system will always recover. • Persistent data storage: preserved for 15 years or more. • Minimum number of flash operations to preserve both the flash and the battery. • Deterministic behavior in the event of unexpected reset. • 16 and 32-bit MCU support

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Instead of using a traditional file based system HCC has taken the radical approach of defining a system built around the needs of smart-meters. Metering applications usually have well defined record structures and HCC has used its’ extensive flash experience to take advantage of this characteristic. By taking a data focused, and not a filefocused approach, it is possible to reduce the required number of write/erase cycles by an order of magnitude. Traditional file systems do not have built-in cyclic buffer logic for storing records and this can add complexity, significantly increasing the number of times flash must be accessed. SMFS uses a structured database to reduce complexity of the application which can improve the performance in almost every way; speed, power consumption, and flash life.


PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT

“SMFS uses a structured database to reduce complexity of the application which can improve the performance in almost every way; speed, power consumption, and flash life.

Reduced Power Consumption Order of magnitude reduction in required number of write/erase cycles required can dramatically reduce the system power consumption in some systems. High Quality Development The software is developed using high quality development methodology and is rigorously compliant with MISRA C:2004. Small Footprint The ‘Smart-meter File SystemTM” (SMFS) requires less than 15kB program memory and 1.5kB of RAM on 32-bit MCUs. Reduced Development Time The simplicity of SMFS means that engineers can easily configure and implement a system which will be fail-safe, provides wear-leveling and has ECC error correction and encryption options, significantly shortening time to market.

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PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT Overview of the

LAPIS Development Board The LAPIS development board from Lapis Semiconductor features two of their latest low-power MCUs, the ML610Q111 and Q112. These MCUs are based on Lapisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; proven U8 RISC CPU, an 8-bit core executing one instruction per clock cycle, yielding performance on par or better than typical 16-bit cores executing one instruction for every three clock cycles. The board allows engineers an easy starting point on their circuit designs.

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Included Hardware Raspberry Pi Integration

ML610Q112 Micro ML610Q111 Micro

I/O Pins from Q112 Micro

I/O Pins from Q111 Micro Prototyping Area

USB Port for GUI

Debug Port

Reset

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PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT

Specifications In addition to communication protocols, ADCs, memory, and other common MCU features, the Q111 and Q112 integrate the logic power supply regulator, low- and high-speed oscillators that can be used in place of an external oscillator, and 6 channels of 16-bit PWM. One of the target applications for these MCUs is LED lighting control, so having multiple PWM channels integrated enables control of both brightness and color while reducing the design footprint. The board itself has the Q111 and Q112 MCUs. For development, there is a breadboard-style prototyping area and each MCU has a Raspberry Pi compatible header so you can use Raspberry Pi expansion boards with this dev board. There is also a header for Lapisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; debuggers and a micro USB port for connecting to the PC app for testing and development.

Watch Video To watch a video overview and demonstration of the LAPIS Development Board, click the image below:

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Embedded Developer: HCC