RTC Magazine

Page 1

The magazine of record for the embedded computing industry

April 2014


Transforming Windows for Real Time SBCs and COMs in the Internet of Things Get a Hand on Managing the World of Connected Devices Operating Systems for Multiple Roles of Multiple Cores

An RTC Group Publication

Building Blocks Designed To Last

Like the Great Pyramids at Giza, computers engineered with board-level building blocks from Trenton Systems are built for performance and longevity. Ok, it’s not likely that a rackmount computer built with Trenton’s long-life SBC’s, backplanes or embedded motherboards will be around 4,500 years from now. However, Trenton boards do extend system functionality while reducing the overall cost of computer ownership by utilizing long-life board components with built-in support for standard I/O option cards. Trenton building blocks enable the initial system investiments to pay dividends over typical computer deployment cycles of seven years or more!

Here’s a snapshot of the available Trenton board-level building blocks for your next computer system design: Trenton’s BXT7059 is a robust dual-processor single board computer featuring long-life Intel ® Xeon ® processors. The single-processor TSB7053 offers a wide range of I/O and video interface options. Our backplanes come in all shapes and sizes engineered to deliver maximum value in your unique system design. Micro The JXM7031 embedded MicroATX motherboard has a unique long-life design featuring dual Intel ® Xeon ® processors.

Our board engineering experts are available to discuss your unique military computing application requirements. Contact us to learn more at 770.287.3100 / 800.875.6031 or www.TrentonSystems.com

The Global Leader In Customer Driven Computing Solutions™ 770.287.3100 www.TrentonSystems.com


Transforming Windows for Real Time

42 6U CompactPCI Fourth Generation Intel Core Processor Blade with 40% Graphics Gain

43 Rugged, 14-Port Gigabit Managed Ethernet Switch with 2 SFP Sockets.


48 New, Intelligent System for Machine Vision.



6Editorial High Performance Embedded Computing: A Technical—and Mental—Breakthrough

Insider 8Industry Latest Developments in the Embedded Marketplace Form Factor Forum 10Small Above the Drone & Technology 42Products Newest Embedded Technology Used by Industry Leaders

TECHNOLOGY CORE Embedded Windows and Real Time


The Power and Value of a Converged Real-Time, Deterministic Platform Daron Underwood, IntervalZero



Small Form Factor SBCs and COMs

Multicore Operating Systems and Multiple OSs


Making Smart Design Choices in the Growing World of Connected, Intelligent Devices RJ McLaren, Kontron

TECHNOLOGY IN SYSTEMS Managing the Internet of Things

Processors Open Our Embedded World 34Multicore Architecture for the Internet of Things 38Platform Robert Day, LynuxWorks

Dave Kleidermacher, Green Hills Software

Multi-Industry Interoperability for the Industrial 20 Enabling Internet of Things (IIoT) Mike Gibson and Barry Haaser, LonMark International

Remote Management Has High Impact 24 Cloud-Based on System Reliability Dirk Finstel, ADLINK

ATCA Hardware Platform Management to 30 Applying IoT Backend Systems

Mark Overgaard, Pigeon Point Systems

Digital Subscriptions Available at http://rtcmagazine.com/home/subscribe.php RTC MAGAZINE APRIL 2014


APRIL 2014 Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon, johnr@rtcgroup.com


Bridge the gap between ARM and x86 with Qseven Computer-on-Modules

One carrierboard can be equipped with Freescale® ARM, Intel® Atom™ or AMD® G-Series processor-based Qseven Computer-on-Modules. conga-QMX6



EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Tom Williams, tomw@rtcgroup.com SENIOR EDITOR Clarence Peckham, clarencep@rtcgroup.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Colin McCracken and Paul Rosenfeld MANAGING EDITOR/ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Sandra Sillion, sandras@rtcgroup.com COPY EDITOR Rochelle Cohn

Art/Production ART DIRECTOR Jim Bell, jimb@rtcgroup.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Michael Farina, michaelf@rtcgroup.com

ARM Quad Core

Intel® Atom™

AMD® G-Series

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Billing Cindy Muir, cmuir@rtcgroup.com (949) 226-2021 MSC Embedded Inc. Tel. +1 650 616 4068 info@mscembedded.com www.mscembedded.com

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HOME OFFICE The RTC Group, 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673 Phone: (949) 226-2000 Fax: (949) 226-2050, www.rtcgroup.com

up to 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM up to 64 GB Flash GbE, PCIe x1, SATA-II, USB Triple independent display support

The MSC Q7-IMX6 with ARM

HDMI/DVI + LVDS up to 1920x1200

Cortex™-A9 CPU is a compatible

Dual-channel LVDS also usable

module with economic single-core CPU, strong dual-core processor or a powerful quad-core CPU with


as 2x LVDS up to 1280x720 1.1, OpenCL™ 1.1 EP

up to 1.2 GHz, and provides a very

UART, Audio, CAN, SPI, I2C

high-performance graphics.

Industrial temperature range


Editorial Office Tom Williams, Editor-in-Chief 1669 Nelson Road, No. 2, Scotts Valley, CA 95066 Phone: (831) 335-1509

OpenGL® ES 1.1/2.0, OpenVG™


Untitled-3 1

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8/14/13 2:16 PM

Published by The RTC Group Copyright 2014, 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 of their holders.


High Performance Embedded Computing: A Technical—and Mental—Breakthrough


t may come as a surprise to no one that there seems to be something in the human mentality that resists change. I only say that because we swim daily in an industry that is forever touting innovation. This is in marked contrast to most of the rest of the world, where selling new ideas and perspectives is a constant struggle. So when I notice such apparent resistance in this industry, it tends to stand out as unusual. There seems to be, at least in a few quarters, a disinclination to embrace the idea of high-performance embedded computing. That is not to say there are not advocates and promoters, but I am still struck by the occasional resistance. Nobody has the slightest doubts about “high-performance computing.” It’s when you add the word “embedded” to the phrase that some eyebrows raise. It may be concerns about the ability to get to the SWaP numbers we need to call something embedded, which is understandable. Or it may have to do with an idea that such enormous compute power simply isn’t needed at the level of an embedded system. And that makes much less sense. We can certainly think of applications that would gladly take advantage of almost any amount of computing power in an embedded system. Maybe we just do not yet have the confidence that such power will be available in an embedded form. Well, fear not. It will. In fact, it is and it will become much more apparent in the near future. We have recently discussed here some of the innovative ways that functionality is being integrated onto single dies with multicore CPUs, FPGA fabrics, highly parallel graphics processors that can also do intensive numeric operations, MCUs with massive numbers of on-chip peripherals, etc. In addition, there is a foundation working on a heterogeneous system architecture (HSA) aimed at enabling such elements as CPU, GPU and other processors to work together on a single silicon die by seamlessly moving the right tasks to the most appropriate processing elements, greatly easing the task of programming. We will soon witness an explosion of on-chip computational power that will unleash a whole new wave of application creativity. Just one example of a demo I recently saw: We are familiar with the idea of the surgical robot in which the surgeon puts his fingers into clips that are connected to a robot arm with its own set of fingers on the sterile side of the machine, which are used to handle the



Tom Williams Editor-in-Chief

surgical instruments and operate on the patient. There is such a robot under development that will be able to operate on a beating heart. The image of the beating heart is processed to render a stable image of a heart that is not in motion. This probably entails hundreds of images taken from one contraction and expansion with each beat to produce a motionless image, which is what the surgeon uses to guide the operation using the tools on his side. On the other side, the mechanical fingers actually performing the surgery are not only following the surgeon’s motion; they are also moving exactly in time with the beating of the heart so that certain operations (not, of course, open heart surgery) can be performed without having to stop the heart. I have no precise idea what kind of processing power is required to carry this out, but it must be enormous. Was the idea behind this concept conceived before or after the needed processing power was available? We may never know, but the chicken and egg principle seems to be at work. Either we are waiting for the power to implement an idea we have had for some time, or we see the available power and come up with a new idea. In fact, a great deal of the advancing compute power has come out of the gaming industry where they are used to working with things that are not real by trying to make them as real as possible. Do not underestimate this approach to real-world innovations and their realization. In addition to combining machine vision with motion in real time are such things as gesture recognition, real-time language translation, facial recognition, high-end audio processing and more that can serve as the basis for specific applications and that are enabled by high-end embedded computing power. There is an axiom that moves us beyond the previous chicken and egg question: How much power do we need? Certainly more than we currently have. What can we do with more processing power? Not quite everything we would like to do. So it is really a progressive analogy. One advance leads to the next and that engenders an expectation that leads to a new advance. It is such a progression that can overcome skepticism and resistance to advancing technology because, in the end . . . resistance is futile.

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INSIDER APRIL 2014 Wind River and HP Working Together on NFV Wind River and HP have announced that they are working together to certify Wind River networking and communications software on Network Equipment Building System (NEBS)-compliant HP ProLiant servers. Wind River networking and communications products currently in certification with HP include Wind River Linux, Wind River Open Virtualization and Carrier Grade Profile for Wind River Linux HP’s portfolio of servers includes carrier-grade NEBS-compliant servers optimized for the needs of telecom service providers and network equipment suppliers. Upon completion of certification testing, Wind River networking and communications products will join the HP certification matrix and the company will be distinguished as a preferred software vendor for the communications market. Together, Wind River and HP are accelerating network transformation by helping customers become ready to quickly address network functions virtualization (NFV) applications and lower total cost of ownership through the adoption of commercial off-the shelf (COTS) hardware. Wind River Linux delivers a commercial grade Linux platform and easy out-of-the box user experience with a rich set of capabilities based on the latest open source technologies, fully integrated development tools, worldwide support and maintenance, and expert professional services. Wind River Linux was developed from the Yocto Project development infrastructure. Compatibility with the Yocto Project allows improved cross-platform compatibility and component interoperability. Wind River Open Virtualization optimizes open source Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) technology to allow the deployment of network services on virtual machines without the performance loss associated with using traditional, IT virtualization products. Meeting carrier grade requirements, Open Virtualization delivers near-native hardware performance speeds, whereas standard KVM maximum latency is typically several thousand percent higher than native results. Built on a Yocto Project-based infrastructure and delivering carrier grade virtualization, Open Virtualization is a Type 2 hypervisor that leverages the latest open source advancements. With Wind River Linux as a base, Carrier Grade Profile for Wind River Linux gives customers a turnkey platform that allows them to meet their Carrier Grade Linux requirements. Carrier Grade Profile is formally registered for the CGL 5.0 specification with the Linux Foundation, and is the first delivery of Carrier Grade Linux functionalities on top of a Yocto Project-compatible product. This offering enables the next generation of embedded Linux designs that require secure, standards-based and reliable solutions.

Google Glass Attracting Applications in Medicine

The much-publicized wearable Google Glass device appears to be finding interest among medical device and application developers. The Google Glass includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and voice activation, and has the ability to transmit images and voice to remote devices. The ability to send its images of wound patients to the laptops, tablets and smartphones of doctors and nurses is the basis of an app from a start-up called Pristine in Los Angeles. Another start-up is working on the ability for the Glass to send data and im-



ages from the audio-visual stream directly into patients’ electronic medical records. The ability for physicians to consult with specialists from a real situation such as an accident or a medical emergency is being developed by a company called Healium in California. The consultation potential appears to have particular interest of ER personnel as well as those caring for chronic wounds like diabetic or venous ulcers, which can take a long time to heal yet need frequent monitoring. The ability of first responders to get quick medical advice via voice in response to their own views of a situation is attracting a number of

potential application developers. In other news, the Google Glass has just gotten its first game, called “Global Food Fight,” in which players use a slingshot to hurl bananas, tomatoes and pies at an opponent. The trajectory is controlled by head motion. This, no doubt, signals the start of yet another trend.

Nasmyth Group Acquires Arden Precision

Nasmyth Group, a manufacturer and supplier of precision engineering products and services, has announced that it has acquired the trade and certain assets of Arden Precision. Nasmyth

Group is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its incorporation this year and is pleased to be acquiring Arden, established in 1980, to complement its already comprehensive engineering facilities in the UK and overseas. In addition to precision machining including CNC turning, CNC Milling, 4 and 5 axis milling and 3D machining, Arden also provides CMM inspection facilities suited to a range of components destined for aerospace applications. The expertise and skills of Arden and its employees, combined with the company’s state-of-the-art facilities and its strong customer base, make it an ideal fit with the 14 specialist businesses that already make up Nasmyth Group. Nasmyth Arden, as the business will now be called, will continue to operate from its modern premises in Solihull and will be constituted as a division of Bulwell Precision Engineers Ltd, one of Nasmyth Group’s wholly owned subsidiaries that itself specializes in all aspects of the production of components and mechanical assemblies for aerospace and similar high-quality and precision requirements.

Motorola Solutions and AVX Expand Conflict-Free Acquisitions in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Motorola Solutions and AVX Corporation have announced expansion of Solutions for Hope to the Province of North Kivu, the conflict-prone area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The innovative Solutions for Hope platform allows tantalum from the DRC to be used in Motorola Solutions and AVX products without the involvement of illegal armed groups, or “conflict free.” Tantalum is a material used to manufacture certain

capacitors that enable electronic products and is derived from the mineral coltan, which is in rich supply in the DRC. Solutions for Hope was launched in July 2011 in the DRC’s Katanga province. For the first time in the region, it created a “closed-pipe” supply model that has proven effective. The model uses a defined set of suppliers covering the mines, smelters, capacitor manufacturers (AVX) and end users (Motorola Solutions). As a result, Solutions for Hope not only validates that “conflict minerals” do not enter the supply chain, but also creates economic benefits for artisanal miners and their families. Thus, it supports the policies of the United States and the European Union because it avoids imposition of a de facto, country-wide embargo on the DRC that would impoverish non-conflict areas. New legislation requires U.S. companies to disclose the use of certain minerals, including tantalum, used in their products and to describe the process used to ensure that the purchase of these minerals does not fund the illegal armed groups operating in the DRC. Solutions for Hope is consistent with the requirements of this new legislation.

Hardent Becomes an ARM Approved Training Center

Hardent, a Xilinx Authorized Training Provider (ATP), has received certification as an ARM Approved Training Center. Hardent has taken the initiative to promote and deliver the company’s full training curriculum from coast to coast as part of the ARM Approved Training Center program. Becoming an ARM ATC complements Hardent’s existing offerings that include Xilinx training, WHDL functional hardware verification courses and oth-

er industry-related classes. Hardent will offer a variety of ARM training courses including ARM Cortex – A Software Development, ARM Cortex-M Embedded Software Development, and ARM Embedded Software Optimization. Moreover, Hardent training can now assist developers in mastering both ARM’s advanced processor technology and Xilinx’s latest programmable logic technology. Specialized courses, such as the Xilinx Zynq All Programmable SoC System Architecture, will help design teams reduce time-to-market and enable the creation of cutting-edge embedded applications.

Adlink Announces Acquisition of Embedded PC Maker Penta

Adlink Technology has announced the 100% share acquisition of Penta GmbH in Germany for approximately 5.4M Euro based on the resolution of the board meeting held on March 12, 2014. Established in 1994 and located in Deggendorf and Puchheim, Germany, Penta has about 40 employees with a predominantly R&D and technical background. Penta has extensive experience and know-how in the design and manufacture of medical embedded PC systems and monitors. The company promotes its products through established sales networks in vertical markets, such as medical, industrial automation and food & beverage, which require high-quality products for critical applications. “By leveraging Penta’s solid design methodology and manufacturing capabilities, Adlink’s medical product line can be effectively improved. This will also help to enable access to adjacent markets with similar critical requirements,” said Jim Liu, CEO

of Adlink. “Furthermore, the synergy of this acquisition with respect to global sales, improved production control, market development and product comprehensiveness will be brought into full play. With the addition of Penta’s technical team, Adlink will be able to provide better support to its worldwide customers in Europe and increase its global market share in the medical market.” Helmut Müller and Walter Steinbeißer, founders and managing directors of Penta, concur that joining the Adlink group will generate several synergies, which will result in benefits for the customers. “A shared strong focus on innovation and quality, as well as flexibility and customer service, combined with the already existing global setup of Adlink makes it now possible to optimally serve customers with innovative products on a worldwide basis,” explained Müller.

and their designs, collaborate with other designers, and share their creations. Treofab also gives the consumer a proprietary user interface to personalize the designer-supplied 3D printable products. For example, after personalizing their objects with kids’ soccer team mascots or business logos and contact information, the consumer is given the ability to choose product material and manufacturer by sorting through reviews, quality, cost and speed. Treofab is a new business, in Beta mode. Their “Product Builder App” enables designers to submit their products for customization and personalization for sales to consumers on the Treofab website. Though the upload feature is currently limited to accepting STL files, a team of 10 is working to account for more file formats in the future.

3D Customization Enters the Mainstream

Until now, if you wanted a customized 3D product—think a business card holder or a toy, phone case, piece of jewelry, robot—you went to a 3D printing company, they handled the process and your product was delivered. Using a different approach, Treofab offers hands-on, 3D customization and personalization directly by the consumer. Treofab is an online marketplace for 3D goods, focused on bringing 3D printing to the mass market through personalization technology and a superior consumer experience. This marketplace brings together the consumer, 3D product designer and manufacturer of 3D printed objects. Treofab achieves this by giving the 3D product designers the ability to load customizable products and promote themselves




FORUM Colin McCracken

Above the Drone


he market is abuzz about UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), also known as drones. From military programs to law enforcement to average Joe Sixpack’s noisy neighborhood hobby of crashing tiny RC helicopters into bushes, sales of various UAVs are taking off. UAVs used for military operations provide aerial views of targets and assist ground troops in a way that might save lives. The Predator and Reaper aircrafts come to mind, and “payload” is a term that refers to the missiles or other devices that they carry during flight. Large UAVs are often built with onboard computers such as heavy VME racks, and feature high I/O bandwidth and high compute power. As the need for smaller, budget friendly craft arose, embedded computer suppliers came up with standalone (non-rackmount) rugged box computers based on smaller VME backplanes. Then PC/104 caught wind of it, with some nice design wins. Not as user-friendly due to all the cables, but lighter weight than backplane-based approaches. With the winding down of many overseas operations, many embedded engineers who supported those programs were let go. Fortunately their expertise is still valued, as they found or joined companies focused on homeland and municipal UAV deployment. Federal and local law enforcement officials see many use cases for even smaller, lighter UAVs. While citizens fear intrusions by Big Brother without warrants, the design community seeks out the new wave of ultra-low-power SoC processors. Fueling the consumer fire, hobbyist UAVs are readily available at some online e-tailers for only hundreds to thousands of dollars or Euros. Approaching this space from below are the remote control helicopters with cheap custom controllers. So large form factors and heavy rackmount chassis are clearly out of the question. Besides the cost, the weight breaks the back of the payload budget. If you can’t lift it, the ultra-light UAVs can’t either. You can’t sell a drone that has no payload left over for the payload. While custom design is an obvious path to minimize Size, Weight, and Power—and Cost (SWaP-C), the latest DIMM-PCstyle processor modules are well positioned with quad core 2 GHz processors. Coming along for the joyride are high-bandwidth PCI Express Gen 2 lanes, Gigabit Ethernet, onboard (soldered) RAM and onboard SSD flash big enough for an OS to boot, all for only 2.75” x 2.75” (7 cm x 7 cm). Some modules



even allow multiple ways to attach cameras. All that’s needed is a tiny cheap custom carrier with connectors for the I/O being used. Small form factors have never been so ready for the call of duty. In the race for online shopping supremacy, Amazon.com fired a moonshot at conventional ground-based package delivery by announcing a futuristic concept: UAV delivery from warehouse to consumer or office destination. Apparently all it takes to boost stock prices in the retail world is a press release with a mere idea and a video and maybe a roadshow for good measure. As embedded developers, we can be thankful that we’re not caught up in the tech retail world of one-upmanship. Talk about creating buzz. Besides having a hundred thousand employees, Mr. Bezos now has a hundred defense prime contractors and radio controlled helicopter manufacturers banging down the door to work for him. You can see it coming, almost Orwellian. All the retailers taking to the skies from their warehouse docks to deliver goods to the masses. Local law officials and hobbyists alike will order their drones that get delivered by drones. Maybe the bigger UAVs will be needed to deliver the lighter ones. Perhaps the heaviest one fills an order itself by flying to the last stop on its route. Though the U.S. FAA may soon throw its weight around and temper the “cloud nine” enthusiasm of spies and suppliers alike, we know the day is coming when the sky will be polluted with the flying version of the Internet of Things. Imagine a billion microcontrollers or microprocessors aloft. Of the 15 billion connected devices, many of these busy bees will be aloft or afloat; a mesh network of IP addresses remotely controllable with viewable images and free same-day delivery. Quite literally a new era of “Cloud computing” will feature pico-UAV copters buzzing around in noisy swarms, forming white fluffy cumulonimbus clouds themselves. Self-driving car technology may be needed in the air even sooner than on the ground. Picture the opening scene from “The Jetsons,” except that no pilots will be flying the lowaltitude friendly skies.



Embedded Windows and Real Time

The Power and Value of a Converged Real-Time, Deterministic Platform Implementing Windows as a real-time system presents challenges. An elegant and scalable approach is to extend Windows with a real-time scheduler as a single integrated platform. by Daron Underwood, IntervalZero


eal-time operating system (RTOS) vendors and SoC vendors are racing toward the same destination. That is the next-generation platform for embedded systems that can handle both general-purpose demands like sleek human machine interface with multi-touch support, and the determinism and performance demands fulfilled by an RTOS, FPGA or DSP. And they want to do it from a single, integrated platform. RTOS and SoC architectures vary widely depending on application requirements, and there are strengths and weaknesses for each. For instance, SoC solutions with FPGAs are prominent in systems requiring low power and smallfootprint features like smart cameras used for manufacturing inspection. On the other hand, for embedded systems that have plug-in power and an operator console requirement, the Windows PC has emerged as a formidable converged platform that supports both general-purpose operating system (GPOS) tasks and RTOS tasks from a single Windows PC. Applications demanding concurrent handling of GPOS and RTOS tasks on a Windows PC include PLC, Soft Motion, Semiconductor & PCB equipment, Inspection, Test and Measurement, Medical, Simulation, Pro Audio, Pro video and others.



We will look at why the Windows RTOS platform has become so powerful, and examine two different approaches to adding real-time functionality to a Windows PC to transform Windows into an RTOS Platform.

Cost Is Driving Convergence; Platform Creates New Innovations

Before recent innovations—real-time field buses, virtualization and 64-bit x86 SMP chips—a typical real-time architecture for many an embedded system was broken into two computing components. A Windows PC presented the front-end HMI, and a second PC or real-time computer would handle all the real-time tasks (Figure 1a). Having two computers adds cost, so in the same way FPGAs and ARM have been married into a single silicon die, the goal of the convergence for powered embedded systems is to build a platform that allows the Windows HMI and the realtime functionality on the same Windows PC. Doing so eliminates the cost of the second PC and utilizes the power of the PC that typically sat idle while the realtime work was done (Figure 1b). The cost savings go far beyond the elimination of one PC. Meaningful costs

savings are possible when real-time hardware such as DAQ or motion card or other FPGA-enabled cards are replaced by a real-time, software-only application that runs directly on the Windows PC processing core. To reiterate, success depends on executing the real-time motion algorithms directly on the Windows PC CPU/Cores rather than on a card. Examples of these solutions are commonly referred to as Soft PLC, or Soft Motion, in cases where PLC or motion control algorithms are run directly on the PC. To achieve its full potential, a Windows RTOS Platform must offer a preemptive scheduler with a large number of thread priorities and predictable thread synchronization mechanisms. It requires a system of priority inheritance with very precise clocks and timers and highly optimized inter-process communications. It must have the ability to access hardware resources with little or no software latency and the ability to do it all in software. The challenge for Windows is that it is a general-purpose operating system suitable for desktop and server applications, but not for real-time applications. GPOS Windows has too few thread priorities, an opaque and nondeterministic scheduling process, and a high degree


Traditional CNC Machine Design RTOS

Windows OS Human Machine Interface (HMI)


Processor 0

Processor 1



Processor 0

Processor 1

Duo Core System

Controller Card Servo Loop/Motion Logic & Communications

Servo Motors

Duo Core System


SMP-Enabled CNC Machine Design Windows OS

RTX64 & RTX Hard Real-Time Software

Human Machine Interface (HMI)


Servo Loop/ Motion Logic

Real-Time Ethernet

Processor 0

Processor 1

Processor 2

Processor 3 Network Interface Card

Quad Core System

Real-Time Ethernet Device

Servo Motors Real-Time Ethernet Device

FIGURE 1b Before convergence became technically possible, having a Windows HMI controlling real-time tasks required two systems (a). Now it is possible to converge the Windows and real-time functionality of a single system, reducing cost and complexity while enhancing flexibility and scalability (b).

of priority inversion, which negatively impacts determinism. In order for any Windows-based system to be considered a real-time embedded system, it must meet the challenge of all of the deterministic requirements found in an RTOS. The Siemens SIMATIC WinAC RTX F is an excellent example of a Windowsbased product that has achieved just such an astounding breakthrough. According to Siemens, its “SIMATIC WinAC RTX F permits simple implementation of safety systems on PC-based solutions, and satisfies maximum safety requirements and compliance with relevant standards: EN 954-1 up to Cat. 4, IEC 62061 up to SIL 3, and EN ISO 13849-1 up to PL e.

The fail-safe software controller is particularly suitable for automation tasks in which, in addition to standard and failsafe control functions, parallel data processing and the integration of the user’s own technological functions are to be implemented on one platform and the openness of Windows is to be exploited. Siemens was the first to deliver an allsoftware, no-special-hardware Windows RTOS Platform solution in an off-theshelf Windows PC, and proved the Windows RTOS Platform was real and viable. The major hurdle that limited the Windows PC from achieving an all-software RTOS Platform capability was its lack of real-time I/O capability that could

deliver the determinism required by industrial equipment or machine controllers. That hurdle has now been overcome. The recent evolution of deterministic protocols that run on Ethernet is creating new options for devising real-time solutions on commodity equipment. Standards like Profinet and EtherCAT for machine control, GigEVision for Vision and other real-time protocols allow the use of commodity equipment like NIC cards and CAT5 cables to further lower costs. This eliminates the DAQ card, proprietary cables and associated costs. With real-time Ethernet protocols, the real-time processing moves from an FPGA-based endpoint to the COTS Industrial PC, dramatically reducing costs for machine builders. For instance, an expensive smart camera with frame grabber and image library technology can be replaced with a less expensive camera and image processing that runs on the Windows PC in real time. The cost savings are significant because the entire solution is assembled from COTS parts.

Basic Architectural Elements of a Windows-Based RTOS Platform

Before examining the different approaches to how Windows can be transformed into an RTOS platform, it’s valuable to understand the RTOS platform’s key elements. To begin, let’s define real time. Real-time isn’t necessarily about speed, but rather about the deterministic response. The important measure is not the average response time, but the worstcase response time that you can count on in order to optimize your system. The deterministic nature of a real-time system allows the developer to understand and count on when things will happen in response to other events that do happen. A successful Windows RTOS Platform, therefore, will deliver all the capabilities found in Windows, provide determinism equal to competing standalone RTOS, and do this on native hardware. Architecturally, a successful solution for a Windows RTOS has two subsystems—the Windows subsystem and the real-time/RTOS subsystem—symbiotically sharing the resources of the sys-




App 1

App 2

App 3

App 4







Hypervisor Core


Single-Board Multicore Processor FIGURE 2 A hypervisor-based system requires a separate operating system for each core or virtual machine adding to complexity and making it more difficult to synchronize and share resources.

tem. The word symbiotically is used here specifically to demonstrate that there are two distinct systems, however, they share resources in such a way that they are uniquely aware of each other and each knows how the other is using those resources. For instance, Windows provides the hardware abstraction layer (HAL) to interface the operating system with the hardware. The real-time subsystem needs to be aware of the way Windows interacts with this hardware abstraction layer and provide its own means of interfacing with it so that both Windows and the real-time subsystem are aware of each other’s needs and exclusive resources. Once there is a stable implementation of how the two subsystems work together with the system hardware, then the real-time subsystem must provide appropriate elements. The main element is the real-time scheduler. This scheduler must provide strict thread priority just as any standalone RTOS would, as well as the ability for threads to run to completion if there is no higher priority thread waiting that could preempt it. With this, it is imperative to note that only threads compiled for real-time processing are run on the real-time scheduler. Normal Windows-based threads, including system threads, continue to be scheduled on the Windows scheduler.



The next step is the ability to program or develop against this architecture. A key component is providing a programming interface that not only allows development of real-time threads and processes, but also allows for Windows user applications to interface and interact with realtime processes. This allows the Windows developer and the real-time developer to share data and synchronization mechanisms between the two subsystems in order to present a complete product solution. This complete solution is done from a single tool chain, in this case Visual Studio. The final element is the inclusion of drivers for key components such as network interface adapters that allow common networking components to replace traditional custom I/O and motion hardware. This is extremely important today as we see a shift toward the use of generalpurpose networking interfaces as a means of machine control and data acquisition

Two Architectures for a Windows RTOS Platform

Now that the critical RTOS features have been identified, it is possible to define and examine the strengths of various approaches. The two principle architectures used for creating a Windows RTOS Platform are 1) Real-Time Virtualization, which implements co-resident Windows and RTOS, and 2) Windows with an

RTOS Extension, which directly interfaces Windows with an RTOS Scheduler. Real-Time Virtualization is an approach that is easily understood (Figure 2). The concept is not unlike server virtualization, where a hypervisor supports multiple virtual machines (VMs) and any number of guest OSs can reside in the VM. However, in this case, Windows runs in one VM and the RTOS runs in another VM. Of course, an RTOS will suffer latency and not be deterministic if it truly runs in a traditional VM, so the RTOS vendor must create a very thin layer to allow the RTOS to get in direct control of the hardware—or at least as much as possible. x86 vendors like Intel have created hardware-assisted virtualization technologies that make it easier for the cooperative coexistence of completely different systems. This is a best-of-breed approach. The strength of this approach is that it isolates applications in secure partitions thus increasing system reliability and stability. It also eases software migration and consolidation. Running the RTOS on a dedicated processor core reduces jitter if hardware virtualization is enabled. Performing virtualization tasks in hardware to minimize latency decreases hypervisor load on the processor and also reduces context switching time between VM to VM. The challenge of this approach is that it is not truly integrated and requires the addition of further design elements to broker information and for synchronization between isolated silos. The Windows RTOS Extension is designed from the ground up to maximize the use of existing Windows resources while only adding a second scheduler. As described in above, Windows provides the hardware abstraction layer (HAL) to interface the operating system with the hardware. The real-time subsystem is designed from the ground up to be aware of the way Windows interacts with this hardware abstraction layer and provide its own means of interfacing with this layer in such a way that both Windows and the real-time subsystem are aware of each other’s needs and exclusive ownership of resources (Figure 3). In sum, here is a list of some mission-


Win32 Process Linked with RTX User Mode (Ring 3)

Win32 Subsystem

Kernel Mode (Ring 0) Windows Kernel And Device Drivers

x86 Multicore

RTX Process (Real-time App) Shared Memory

Real-time Device-Drivers

RTX Subsystem

Windows HAL

IntervalZero RTX HAL

Core 0

Core 1

FIGURE 3 Windows extended with a real-time subsystem provides an architecture that takes advantage of the advancing technologies—specifically, highspeed, multicore x64—that can outperform and outscale the traditional embedded environment that relies on DSPs, FPGAs and microcontrollers or multiple cores using a hypervisor.

critical features that can serve as a yardstick to measure the value of different approaches to building a Windows RTOS Platform on 64-bit systems. The real strength of this approach is Integration, which means single integrated development and deployment. • Real-time scheduler • Native 64-bit SMP scalability and visibility • Direct memory addressing - Non-Page Pool – up to 512 Gbyte on a 64-bit system • Direct access to hardware (NIC, Serial Port…) • Single installation when one realtime core is required • Single installations when multiple cores are required • Single integrated development environment – Visual Studio - Single repository - Managed code and C++ support • Key Drivers IntervalZero RTX 64 and RTX hard real-time software are prime examples of a Windows RTOS extension. It is true that best-of-breed virtualization adds benefit. It provides a means of providing a platform that supports Windows and RTOS functionality, but dupli-

cates resources, adds some jitter and cannot match the performance or versatility of a single integrated native environment. Virtualization protects the past, but truly next-generation systems are possible only with integration on a single Windows RTOS platform. For example, GigEVision will be available due to low price, but only a single system running on multiple cores can take advantage of it. Virtualization will have too many standalone components that will need to communicate, and the communication will have too many instances (installations). Too much jitter. Too much latency. A single integrated Windows RTOS Platform is the future. It is good to know there is a native, larger memory, 64-bit Windows RTOS platform solution available today. This is becoming the true platform for embedded systems innovation.

Safe computers for rail, road and air, up to SIL 4/DAL-A Modular box and panel PCs for industry & transportation Powerful system solutions on CompactPCI®/PlusIO/Serial Rugged, standard Computer-On-Modules (ESMexpress®, ESMini™) EN 50155- and e1-certified Ethernet switches and fieldbus interfaces

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www.menmicro.com RTC MAGAZINE APRIL 2014




Small Form Factor SBCs and COMs

Making Smart Design Choices in the Growing World of Connected, Intelligent Devices Small form factor design is in heavy demand, as the Internet of Things pushes intelligent systems further out to the network edge. System developers strive for reliable, connected platforms that deliver right-sized performance and help them beat competitors to market. by RJ McLaren, Kontron le







b exi


Module Form Factor COMe | SMARC

170mm x 170mm


72mm x 100mm



ITX Form Factor ▪ motherboard with fixed I/O ▪ multiple processor options ▪ expansion slot

▪ module design ▪ multiple processor options ▪ various expansion lanes ▪ requires a carrier board



rf Pe


n ma


mall form factor systems have a growing role in the connected world. Massive amounts of sensor data is being collected and shared by an exploding group of small but powerful systems, enabling a range of new applications and deployments fueled by the Internet of Things (IoT). Creative and purposeful system design is at the heart of this phenomenon, with developers balancing current performance with the need to keep systems poised for further advancements in data sharing and analytics. For designers, choosing the right design platform is the essential first step in getting to market quickly and gaining a competitive performance edge in connected, embedded arenas. Developers have a broad range of good options when it comes to choosing a platform. Sticking to what you know creates specialists, and often times the choice simply comes down to personal preference based on experience with a specific platform. But when the mission is to develop the best solution with the latest technology, the decision becomes more complex and challenging—driving developers to examine specific criteria to determine their design plan. Price, long-term performance

| ility

b ura

50mm 82mm 55mm 84mm 95mm x 95mm

95mm x 125mm

3U Eurocard Form Factors VPX, cPCI, cPCI Serial ▪ backplane based system ▪ multiple processor options ▪ many expansion options on-board (PMC, XMC, etc) ▪ switching boards ▪ standard I/O board solutions ▪ air or conduction cooled ▪ wide range of ruggedization ▪ low to high power ▪ mid-to-high complex systems

100mm x 160mm

Carrier Board & I/O

100mm x 160mm

Backplane 2–21 slots based on form factor

100mm x 160mm

Common SBC Functions: GbE | USB | Serial | Graphics | Audio | Memory | Storage

FIGURE 1 Performance, flexibility and configurability all play important roles in helping designers choose a small form factor platform.

and I/O are top among concerns that drive the decision process. Designers often avoid a platform move, citing concerns about validation testing, troubleshooting and initiating a longer than necessary cycle of product development. Legacy concerns, upgrading a system, or tying a new system into an existing solution can also override many platform options, leading designers to stay

within their comfort zone in an existing platform. If there is no overriding argument to stay with a given platform, then these factors are absent and there is much more of a blank slate in terms of design options. Developers narrow the field by considering price versus performance and I/O requirements in context—weighing these design considerations against environmental de-


mands and long-term product planning (Figure 1). The resulting design plan considers the trade-offs, challenges and benefits.

Evaluating I/O Flexibility

What kind and how much I/O does the system need? If this solution requires standard PC-like functionality such as USB, network connections and wireless access, then a motherboard solution with common I/O options may nicely balance cost and performance. Consider a motherboard in the miniITX or picoITX form factor, which is designed similarly to the motherboard of a personal computer. All components are on a single board, including the built-in processor. All I/O is defined and tied to the board in a standard manner; designers work with designated I/O choices and there are limited options for expansion, as typically an mPCIe slot may be available. These motherboards use commercial connectors and typical commercial components, industrial grade but not suited for extreme rugged deployment. All this equates to a relative reduction in performance and a less flexible solution—both of which can be perfectly acceptable depending on your design strategy. Less flexible solutions typically have more volume availability and therefore less cost. If the performance is suitable, designers can win with the price versus performance trade-off enabled by standard motherboards. Industrial control applications have successfully used this platform as the compute system inside machine control or monitoring solutions. It’s typically deployed indoors in a fixed setting such as a cabinet or stationary machine on a factory floor. These settings are somewhat protected, maintain a consistent temperature, and do not stress system cables with motion or mobility. In these applications, commercial connectors enable further value, as there is no need for the additional cost of rugged, locking connectors. Using motherboard-based designs, industrial system developers can deliver cost-effective performance in a standard box-PC system. Costs are kept down and the designer can focus on distinguishing the solution with a high-performance software application that adds unique value to the end-user.

Achieving Flexibility with 3U SBCs

How flexible does the design need to be, both for performance today and in future product generations? 3U SBCs offer a flexible alternative, which is an advantage when designs warrant multiple processors and significantly more I/O. 3U boards are based on the Eurocard mechanical standard and plug into a passive backplane. Multiple boards can be plugged into the backplane depending on the system platform, which can be CompactPCI, CompactPCI Serial, VPX and others. In contrast to motherboard solutions, 3U systems offer greater reliability for more mission-critical applications. When a motherboard fails, there is no redundancy and the system fails until a full replacement board is installed. When a 3U SBC fails, it can simply be replaced while the others in the backplane ensure continued performance. As a result, mean time to repair is much faster with a 3U SBC solution with hot-swap features. Boards are more rugged, and the system is expandable and highly customizable. Designers can mix and match boards and I/O to create a system that handles very specialized processing in a cost-effective manner, for example, connecting one high-performance processor with multiple I/O boards.

Considering Performance Upgrades

What is the performance upgrade path for the design? Standard motherboards like miniITX and picoITX don’t offer an option for processor upgrade; the board itself would need to be swapped out in order to take advantage of processor advances. 3U systems are significantly more flexible by virtue of the number of backplane slots and hot-swap functions, although a board would still need to be swapped. COM Express Computer-on-Modules (COMs) offer flexibility in terms of enabling cost-effective processor advancements, particularly in systems that require application customization. This is because a COM is considered a nearly complete computer that is mounted on a carrier board. The carrier board contains the customization, and the module can be switched out without affecting the customization. This architecture positions

FIGURE 2 Kontron’s COMe-cHL6 capitalizes on 4th generation Intel Core processor technology, enabling compact and rugged fanless Computer-on-Module options.

systems to accept a broad range of processing performance options. Performance advancements require only a shift to the latest processor module option, ensuring a long lifecycle to customized systems. COM Express offers some of the smallest form factors available for connected systems, offering sizes excellent for edge devices such as field sensors in fixed or mobile deployments. Packing high performance in small spaces, the standard’s smallest form factor is the mini, about the size of a credit card at 55 x 84 mm. With options for extremely low power consumption, COMs are well-suited to mobile, battery-powered and above all, inexpensive applications (Figure 2). These are growing challenges as broadly distributed IoT deployments continue to extend into new markets and creative new applications. COMs’ wide range power input (from 5V to 14V) makes them an ideal fit for small form factor connected applications, especially when considered in tandem with their ability to handle extreme environmental conditions and temperature ranges from -40° to +85°C. New modules in the compact form factor (95 x 95 mm) are equipped with the ULT versions of the fourth generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 and Intel Celeron processors, formerly codenamed “Haswell.” ULT stands for ultra-low TDP, which limits the power consumption tailored for fanless and fully enclosed system designs. The modules also cater to the most robust and mainteRTCRTC MAGAZINE MAGAZINE OCTOBER APRIL 2013 2014





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nance-free system designs in the high-performance class of embedded systems, and consequently help engineers to reduce the systems’ bill of materials as well as the customers’ total cost of ownership. Application areas can be found in all the performance-hungry but powerrestricted, multi-touch, multi-display systems such as HMIs in automation, medical imaging, digital signage and point of sale, as well as surveillance and security. The modules also address the fast-growing, industrial-grade tablet PC market for various industries including logistics, retail and manufacturing. Customizable I/O challenges are wellhandled by COMs-based systems as well. If the end use is more specialized, for instance in a medical environment, a special I/O interface may require conversion over a circuit that is not readily available on the motherboard solution. COM-based systems enter the picture as a contender here. The specialized part of the design’s schematic could exist on the COM’s carrier board with the COM Express module readily handling the rest of the system. COMs provide the chipset I/O to the carrier board via rugged board-to-board connectors. Associating module I/O designs onto the carrier board such as mPCI or mPCIe then allow a broad combination of I/O options that are readily available and need only be brought into the design via the application-specific customization of the carrier board. LAN, SATA, video, audio, multiple USB or PCI Express ports are all available and depend simply on the requirements of the end-use application itself. COMs also integrate video processing and display, an important advantage for graphics-heavy imaging and data processing applications often found in connected IoT systems.

Ecosystem Impact

In a given application and market, what I/O is already available and in what form factor? Broad vendor support makes the design process easier, and with each of these well-established platforms, designers have access to a robust ecosystem of resources to manage future product migration. Strategic decisions here add significant market value. When protecting your intellectual property (IP) is a concern, it makes good

design sense to build on either a COM or motherboard platform, depending on the other factors at play. Leveraging ecosystem IP quickly moves a design toward a 3U platform. For example, 3U form factor designers have ready access to a large number of specialized I/O cards developed for certain markets. Developers can quickly leverage I/O that is specialized but cost-effective as an off-the-shelf solution. A high-performance compute system using multiple processor boards with integrated radar or communication I/O illustrates this, creating a system-level box well-suited to the flexibility and reliability of a 3U platform with a vast I/O catalog available on the market. In contrast, consider an interactive solution where the I/O is essentially the touchscreen. Developing an integrated interface like this, or perhaps a panel or display, logically drives a design to COM Express. Developers would not want to lock into readymade I/O for their carrier board because of the potential for limitation on a customized carrier board intended to endure for multiple product generations. Designers have many excellent processing options across the range of small form factor platforms. Each market continues to mature and expand, and the existing ecosystem can add tremendous value in determining a design plan. Motherboards, 3U platforms and COMs each play an important role in advancing connected, embedded systems that create and support the Internet of Things. Price, performance and I/O considerations for each of these platforms are top issues for designers to examine as they begin the design process—along with the need to address rugged deployments and plan for future product generations. Motherboards may fit the need for defined performance; 3U offers maximum flexibility and reliability, and COMs enable long-term flexibility for customized designs. Strategic trade-offs in primary design considerations enable designers to get to market quickly, delivering right-sized performance for the application at hand. Kontron, Poway, CA (888) 294-4558 www.kontron.com

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Managing the Internet of Things

Enabling Multi-Industry Interoperability for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) As the IIoT evolves and spans across multiple industries, each with their own control networking protocol standards, translation markup technologies will bridge the divide to providing access to the required information. by Mike Gibson and Barry Haaser, LonMark International


he technology world is abuzz about the Internet of Things (IoT). Analysts are forecasting billions of connected smart IP devices in a wide range of applications. Whether the market is ten billion or a hundred billion is largely irrelevant. What is important is the transformation of smart devices from traditional control and device networks to IP-based networks. It is difficult to define the IoT since it means different things to different people. For our purposes, we will focus on a specific segment of the market known as the Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT. IIoT refers to industrial objects, or “things,” that automatically communicate over a network—without human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction—to share information and take action, often autonomously. As these are largely nonconsumer applications, they require a level of robustness, security and reliability not typically found in the general IoT solutions provided by consumer products. The primary problems facing IIoT solutions today are that they are limited to a particular Mac and Phy combination, tend to be application-specific, or are



based on a proprietary platform. As we’ve witnessed over the past 20 years, the most successful communication technologies are based on open standards and support multi-vendor interoperability. What is missing from the IoT and IIoT marketplace today is a common framework for enabling multi-vendor interoperability across multiple applications, supporting different communication media such as wireless, power line and wired. In order for IIoT to be truly effective and widely adopted, we must enable connectivity and interoperability between diverse products and applications. Without this interoperable framework, we risk industry going back in time and re-adopting proprietary platforms, severely limiting widespread market acceptance. Fortunately, the semiconductor industry is delivering dramatic advancements in low-cost communication transport technologies. By steering industry toward open systems technology, companies can deliver exciting new applications, while better access to data opens up new horizons in the control systems marketplace.

Hardware Outputs

VAV Device Object Type #8010 nv1

nviSpaceTemp SNVT_temp_p

nviSetPoint nv2 SNVT_temp_p

Mandatory Network Variables


nvoSpaceTemp SNVT_temp_p


nvoUnitStatus SNVT_hvac_status


nviApplicMode SNVT_hvac_mode


nvoEffectSetPt SNVT_temp_p


nviManOverride SNVT_hvac_overid


nvoFlowControlPt SNVT_flow

nviSetpointOffset nv7 SNVT_temp_p


nvoBoxFlow SNVT_flow

nviOccCmd nv8 SNVT_occupancy


nvoTerminalLoad SNVT_lev_percent


nvoEnergyHoldOff SNVT_switch

nviEmergCmd nv9 SNVT_hvac_emerg nv10

nviBoxFlow SNVT_flow


nviEnergyHoldOff SNVT_switch


nviFanSpeed SNVT_switch


nviCO2 SNVT_ppm


nviHeaterOverid SNVT_switch


nviDuctIn Temp SNVT_temp_p

Optional Network Variables

Configuration Properties nc49 - Send Heartbeat (mandatory) nc60 - Occupancy Temperature Setpoints (mandatory) nc48 - Maximum Receive Time (optional) nc52 - Minimum Send Time (optional) nc17 - Location (optional) nc46 - Duct Area (optional) nc54 - Minimum Flow (mandatory) nc51 - Maximum Flow (manditory) nc55 - Minimum Flow for Heat (optional) nc56 - Minimum Flow Standby (optional) nc57 - Nominal Flow (optional) nc66 - VAV gain (optional)

FIGURE 1 LonMark functional profile #8010 for a variable air volume controller.


LonMark 2.0 PML / TML Definitions

LonMark Advanced Transport Services ISO/IEC 14908:2012


Wireless 802.15.4

IEEE 1901.2

Ethernet wired & 802.11.xx

Next Gen wired/FT

IPv4 (Ethernet/WiFi etc...)

FT-10, PL-20 all existing channels

Future... TBD

FIGURE 2 LonMark 2.0 overview.

Control Networks and ISO/IEC 14908-Based Systems

Today, most industrial systems are comprised of distributed intelligent devices communicating over a control network. Control network technology provides intelligent devices with peer-to-peer communications ability. This enables direct M2M interactions without the need for centralized control or human interaction. These intelligent devices are optimized for their application domain as well as their network transport method. Control networks often support mixed media solutions. They offer a choice of transport media such as twisted pair, power line, radio and Ethernet. Network management and device configuration services are standardized to simplify the installation process, and provide a common platform for multiple manufacturers’ configuration tools. Finally, the application layer is standardized to provide interoperability between devices from multiple manufacturers. A popular control network standard providing this interoperable framework is ISO/IEC 14908-1. The 14908 suite of standards provides both a rich seven-layer network protocol optimized to the needs of control systems, and an application layer standard designed to bring interoperability to device functional behavior. The protocol is optimized for networks of devices sending small control messages (typically less than 277 bytes) reliably to tens or thousands of devices. Taking a lesson from Ethernet collision detection,

the standard supports p-Persistent CSMA with Collision Avoidance and optional Collision Detection to optimize performance in networks with “short, bursty” messages. The ISO 14908 standards suite provides multiple Mac/Phy layer standards, ISO/IEC 14908-2 for twisted pair communication, ISO/IEC 14908-3 for power line communications and ISO/IEC 14908-4 for IP communication. The application layer standard ISO/IEC 14908-5 ISO/IEC 14908-6 includes a common framework for device profile definitions, common data type definitions and standard configuration properties.

Device Interoperability Example: How Profiles Work

Device interoperability allows devices from different manufacturers to integrate and operate without any custom programming. A simple example of how 14908 provides this interoperability is revealed in the examination of the LonMark functional profile variable air volume (VAV) Controller (profile # 8010). This profile provides many fundamental features common to all VAV controllers. If we exam in detail the basic feature of determining a temperature set point for a zone under control, we can see how interoperability is accomplished. First, of the twenty standard network variables/data points and twelve standard configuration properties in the VAV controller, five of these elements play a role in determining the zone’s temperature set point (Figure 1).

In a real-world control network, information in the interoperable device header identifies this device as an Object Type #8010, a VAV Controller. The fifth network variable (nviApplicMode) in the profile or template, is an input from the network containing the Application Mode of the VAV box. The mode value is stored in a standard interoperable format called SNVT_hvac_mode and is equal to one value in a pre-defined enumerated list. There are twenty possible values including: HVAC_OFF=6, HVAC_HEAT=1 and HVAC_COOL=3. For instance, when the VAV controller is commanded to COOL, the nviApplicMode data point is set to HVAC_COOL=3. So this is the first step in determining the zone’s temperature set point. The next step is determining the occupancy mode for the zone. This can be provided locally by an internally wired occupancy sensor, or perhaps via nv8nviOccCmd, the profile’s standard source for receiving the occupancy from the network. The network source for occupancy could represent a scheduler object, an occupancy sensor shared with the lighting and security system, or any reasonable combination of sources for occupancy state. In any case, by knowing the application mode (COOL) and the occupancy state (OCCUPIED), the set point operation is completed by looking up the appropriate value from a standard configuration property defined in the VAV profile. This configuration property is “programmed” during the commissioning process to contain the end users heating and cooling set points for occupied, unoccupied and standby modes. A final interoperable feature for changing the zone set point is provided by a standard network input, nv2 (nviSetPoint) in the profile. This is a network sourced override for the set point. It can be used to override the preprogrammed temperature set points stored in the VAV configuration properties.

Profile Markup Language and Advanced Transport Services

Successful implementations of the IIoT will require an interoperability framework supporting multiple transport layers and multiple application domains. While the convergence on IPv6 is clearly moving forward, the MAC/PHY layers RTCRTC MAGAZINE MAGAZINE OCTOBER APRIL 2013 2014



FIGURE 3 Device Profiles provide plug-in interoperability.

are on a treadmill of continuous evolution. To adopt to this landscape, LonMark is updating its interoperable framework to include Advanced Transport Services (ATS), a means to support multiple standard transports; Profile Markup Language (PML), a representation standard for interoperable device profile definitions; and Translation Markup Language (TML), a markup for data encoding rules and object addressing (Figure 2). Advanced Transport Services provide a foundation for intelligent IIoT devices to support a variety of data transport options. ATS defines a set of communication services required to facilitate the 14908 application layer. ATS is a framework for implementing these services over multiple transports. To maintain compatibility with existing devices, ISO/IEC 14908 layers 1-6 remains one of the defined transports. The ATS framework allows for an unlimited number of specific implementations embracing multiple IPv6 Mac/Phy silicon such as low-power Wi-Fi, 6LoPAN, power line, 802.15.4 RF and others. For example, one technology provider already developed a method to compress and decompress a standard IPv6 header into an existing 14908 packet. Standardizing this compression/decompression method allows the design of systems using a mixture of the older FT-10/14908 devices along with any IPv6 supported device including newer Wi-Fi devices. ATS



abstracts the delivery of the bits from the context of the bits. Moving forward, industries can choose their favorite flavor of Mac/Phy to exchange interoperable data. The Profile Markup Language (PML) provides a transport and encoding neutral schema for defining interoperable application profiles common in open systems. An application profile receives data inputs, processes the data and sends data outputs. Like the VAV profile described above, a profile may receive inputs from the network, from hardware attached to the device, or from other profiles inside the device. What makes a Bluetooth headset plug-and-play with hundreds of different phones, a mouse and keyboard work on multiple computers, and with multiple operating systems? The answer is simple: common device profiles. Application developers learned long ago that having data exchange capability is essential, but what makes the interoperability really work is standard device profiles (Figure 3). Human machine interface and enterprise application developers look for a common device interface across multiple suppliers. Just as phone application developers require a standard headset profile, control system software providers need a common application interface. In the IIoT, semantics provided by application profiles will be even more important. As the levels of connectivity increase, the ability to use those connec-

tions will be determined by the careful design of those devices’ sematic interface. As such, a robust language that allows one to define profiles, query profiles, and execute operations across the sematic definitions that make up profiles is needed. Profile Markup Language will provide this capability. The Translation Markup Language (TML) is a companion standard to PML. TML contains the data encoding and protocol-specific addressing information in a well-defined schema. By incorporating the rules of encoding and transporting PML objects in a separate abstraction layer, TML provides a protocol-specific interface to the physical devices. A TML object will define how data is represented and what elements are needed to access that data. For example, while a PML profile element could define a space temperature and how it relates to the functional behavior of the VAV application, the TML element specifies how the bits represent a temperature with a range of -273.17° to 327.67°C with a resolution of 0.01°C and what protocol-specific addressing elements are needed to read and/or write the element. Today’s control networking marketplace is made up of a wide assortment of industry and region specific standards. DALI, BACnet, LonMark (ISO 14908), Fieldbus, KNX, Modbus, and others make up the current universe of intelligent networked devices. A translation markup language provides a method to define rules for accessing and translating data from one control network standard to another. Today’s LonMark resource file definitions in XML format provide a solid foundation for this development. An ISO/IEC 14908 TML schema will evolve to support a standard translation layer schema that provides a much-needed standard for gateway implementation to other industry standard control protocols. These developments should make it much easier for developers and system integrators to implement and install control systems involving multiple protocols. LonMark International San Jose, CA (408) 938-5266 www.lonmark.org

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Managing the Internet of Things

Cloud-Based Remote Management Has High Impact on System Reliability Secure, Cloud-based management agents are coming of age for the spectrum of embedded applications, enabling remote, centralized access to system data and dramatically reducing maintenance and management costs. by Dirk Finstel, ADLINK


mbedded systems run the world. Whether the arena is transportation, defense, infotainment, medicine, communications or industrial automation, optimal technology performance is essential to the mission. Systems must be stable and reliable to run critical applications, often with non-stop, low-power performance while facing environmental demands like extended temperatures and extreme shock and vibration. Outages and downtime are not an option, and this imperative is a key performance requirement of connected systems. Managing a vital level of technology stability is a significant design challenge and requires advancements in control and system management tools that can detect potential problems before they become realized. The shift to greater connectivity has immense impact on how system developers are handling this challenge. Today’s movement toward the Internet of Things (IoT), where smart devices share data in real time, has also driven embedded devices to evolve from isolated systems to connected, intelligent platforms. This offers a new era of system management and maintenance benefits that were not avail-



able for offline devices. System operators can now capitalize on Cloud access for centralized, proactive management that reduces costs by anticipating maintenance and avoiding location-based repairs. For example, rather than react to a system error after the fact, system operators can now remotely connect to view current system status, influence performance, and even predict, prevent, or troubleshoot critical system failures. Most importantly, this kind of access and value is available well beyond industries with an inherent need to monitor distributed networks, and can be readily implemented in nearly any embedded arena.

Better Decisions Reduce Costs

Knowing the condition of a system is an essential step in maintaining its reliability. With rich data at hand, operators can dispatch a service truck prior to system failure or manage the system to avoid a needless and costly service call. Eliminating errant service truck rolls is a boon to operators managing distributed networks—helping the bottom line and growing market share by keeping maintenance costs down and service up. Today,

intelligent middleware tools—essentially a layer of software enabling remote management and analytics via a simple graphical user interface (GUI)—are facilitating this type of knowledge in real time. Operators can quickly address issues such as temperature increases and fluctuations in power consumption or fan speed. For example, when a fan malfunctions, the system’s processor can overheat and become damaged. The system may go down, and repairs may be slowed by the challenges of replacing specialized components. When no replacements are available, critical systems may fail and costly downtime can extend from a few hours to a few days. Using remote management, operators can ensure that repair personnel are dispatched to a system in distress before such a failure occurs. Systems can be reconfigured remotely to ensure they stay functional in the meantime. Operators can also capitalize more fully on remote management with ongoing analysis of system data. Long-term performance trends are revealed; system failure can be predicted and prevented in advance of any alarm signs; and system lifetime can be


Application Layer

SEMA SEMA User Interface

#!/bin/bash > sema help > sema version ... > sema tempcpu

Driver Layer SMB Protocol

Hardware Layer BMC Controller

System Management


Bus (SMB)

FIGURE 1 Adlink‘s Smart Embedded Management Agent (SEMA) is a set of integrated, embedded functions, enabling Cloud-based, remote system monitoring and management. System operators can control various hardware parameters to increase the lifetime of embedded systems, and increase reliability through predictive maintenance.

increased by monitoring and controlling various hardware parameters.

Integrating Remote Management into Embedded Solutions

Connecting to remote devices can be done in different ways, but all require hardware, firmware and software components. Adlink uses a dedicated board management controller (BMC), initially designed for power sequencing tasks. The BMC has since evolved to include many new and useful features for board management and control. Measuring the supply current to get a snapshot of the system’s power consumption is only one example of these new capabilities. And compatibility with the latest Embedded Application Programming Interface specification (EAPI) reduces design efforts to port existing calls to the BMC. Providing the interface from the

hardware to the operating system is one key to their system, preventing data from of the remote management system’s most being read or copied without administraimportant functions. The BMC first col- tor permission. lects all relevant information from the Forensic information available after chipset and other sources. Utilizing the system or module failures includes miniSystem Management Bus, the application mum and maximum temperature of the layer fetches the data and presents it to the CPU and system, as well as the cause of user, displayed either in the BIOS menu the last system restart event—all of which or a user-friendly dashboard suitable for can be used to analyze system or module supervision and troubleshooting. failure. System operators can view and consider graphs illustrating various vital stats Adding Value with Device-toof the system, such as the power consump- Cloud Strategies tion or temperature of both the CPU and Extending remote management techthe board, queried every second and op- nologies to include secure Cloud access tionally written to a system log file stored makes good business sense for system locally for use by the system administra- administrators. Cloud-based remote mantor. Data is written as plain ASCII text in agement enables always-available system tab delimited columns, allowing easy im- data that can be used to increase system port into any spreadsheet type of program uptime by predicting and reacting to sysor other data processing tool. Users also tem failures or abnormalities without have access to general board information, the time and cost associated with on-site secure user access and storage areas, and maintenance of one or many distributed fan, GPIO and I²C bus controls. The BMC devices. As the Internet of Things prouses smart fan controller technology, and liferates, competition will increase. Proautomatically relates measured CPU tem- viders will need real system intelligence perature to fan speed. that enables flexibility and a deeper unThrough their embedded board con- derstanding of system behavior under a troller, local remote management agents variety of different processing loads and also provide a defined amount of storage environments. This knowledge provides for normal end user data. This memory a competitive edge, keeping costs down, area is optimized to store serial numbers, increasing system uptime and enabling keys, configuration data and other sensi- smarter deployments in a greater range of tive or board-specific information, as it creative new applications. remains independent from the BIOS and is not cleared or restored during BIOS updates. A separate secure area provides additional storage, important for critical data such as secure key codes. This area can be protected through a one-time programmable hardware fuse to provide maximum security, and offers features FIGURE 2 similar to trusted platform modules Using the remote agent’s user-friendly dashboard, limits (TPM) or SIM cards. can be defined for several types of system data. When System operators thresholds are met, operators are alerted quickly via text or email. can attach a unique RTCRTC MAGAZINE MAGAZINE OCTOBER APRIL 2013 2014


Rugged Boards & Solutions We know PCIe/104. And we do it best. At RTD, designing and manufacturing rugged, top-quality boards and system solutions is our passion. As a founder of the PC/104 Consortium back in 1992, we moved desktop computing to the embedded world. Over the years, we've provided the leadership and support that brought the latest signaling and I/O technologies to the PC/104 form factor. Most recently, we've championed the latest specifications based on stackable PCI Express: PCIe/104 and PCI/104-Express.

With our focused vision, we have developed an entire suite of compatible boards and systems that serve the defense, aerospace, maritime, ground, industrial and research arenas. But don't just think about boards and systems. Think solutions. That is what we provide: high-quality, cutting-edge, concept-to-deployment, rugged, embedded solutions. Whether you need a single board, a stack of modules, or a fully enclosed system, RTD has a solution for you. Keep in mind that as an RTD customer, you're not just

working with a selection of proven, quality electronics; you're benefitting from an entire team of dedicated engineers and manufacturing personnel driven by excellence and bolstered by a 28-year track record of success in the embedded industry. If you need proven COTS-Plus solutions, give us a call. Or leverage RTD's innovative product line to design your own embedded system that is reliable, flexible, expandable, and serviceable in the field for the long run. Contact us and let us show you what we do best.

Copyright Š 2014 RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. All trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective companies. RTD is AS9100 and ISO9001 Certified, and a GSA Contract Holder.

www.rtd.com • sales@rtd.com



01 90

0 - ISO 10


RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc.


Intelligent System Management

Using Cloud connectivity, three primary management scenarios cover the principal needs of system operators. These scenarios can be classified as information function, analytics and event creation, and multiple device management. Each plays a role in maximizing system availability, influencing performance by interacting with system data, and simplifying and reducing long-term maintenance. Information Function: When systems are available, operators can observe their performance. Cloud-based remote management furthers that process by FIGURE 3 enabling observation Operators can remotely control system anytime, anywhere. In parameters such as fan speed; actions are this scenario, the embedtriggered automatically based on system health ded management agent and performance, preventing system damage in continuously uploads data case of malfunction. through an encrypted Transport Layer Security Cloud connectivity takes today’s in- (TLS, the successor protocol of Secure telligent middleware a step further than Sockets Layer or SSL) connection, shown previous generations of remote manage- in the user’s information dashboard (Figment technology. By employing a Cloud ure 2). The dashboard also shows temperserver architecture and a machine-to-ma- ature and power consumption information chine (M2M) stack on top of the intelli- for different parts of the embedded sysgent middleware, embedded devices can tem. Since data can be accessed at any connect to the Cloud without additional time, operators can determine if perfordesign requirements. Pushing data to the mance is acceptable even if certain values Cloud enables operators to verify, monitor fluctuate from normal settings. Analytics and Event Creation: The and manage system performance from a single, central location—improving reli- same user-friendly dashboard allows system operators to define limits for several ability and reducing management costs. For example, the M2M stack in Ad- kinds of data. In this case, the Cloud aplink’s Smart Embedded Management plication software continuously analyzes Agent (SEMA) Cloud pushes system data the incoming data and, if user-defined to the user’s Cloud server via any kind of limits are reached, an alarm will be isTCP/IP connection, such as 3G, LAN or sued. Using a mobile device with two batwireless LAN (Figure 1). System manag- tery packs as an example, the device is ers have easy access to data and analytics running from the primary battery with a through any commercial Cloud portal, us- secondary battery as backup. The backup ing any device such as desktop PC, tablet battery becomes active if the power capacity drops below 10 percent as reported or smartphone.



by the embedded management agent monitoring power consumption. If the capacity of the primary battery pack drops below 10 percent, an alarm is generated and the remote agent switches instantly to the secondary battery pack. In parallel, the system operator is informed via SMS text message or email that the device must be charged. Operators can proactively interact— rather than simply react—with the system for better reliability, dealing with potential issues in advance as well as responding quickly to downed systems. Consider, for example, the ice freezer at a gas station: the ice is stored onsite but belongs to an offsite ice vendor and is valued at thousands of dollars. Temperature issues can quickly dissolve these assets. However, vendors are implementing M2M monitoring devices that alert managers immediately to issues and ideally prevent damage and financial loss before it happens. Multiple Device Management: Cloud-enabled embedded agents offer the additional advantage of being able to remotely control system parameters; specific user configurations will trigger certain actions to execute automatically (Figure 3). This is possible for a large number of devices, enabling a form of fleet or multiple device management. Through the M2M Stack, users can easily set up a Cloud application to control different devices, and the Cloud application observes the current health status of the connected embedded systems. Before a device fails, the Cloud application may recognize the malfunction through these remote management functions, enabling a quick reaction, such as shutting down a system before any harm comes to it. System operators have the advantage of being able to rescue systems, as well as check and correct malfunctions. Repair costs are reduced, and workloads can be redirected from one system to another, which eliminates downtime in event of equipment failure. Further, system longevity is increased when administrators can react before severe hardware damage occurs. A rising CPU temperature illustrates this concept and shows how remote device management intervenes. The BMC uploads the data to the agent, which reacts immediately by attempting to increase fan speed.


at each level of the solution: at the device, Cloud during data transmisCloud Service (Dashboard) sion and in the Cloud environment. On the Security device level, softwareSoftware / OS / BSP Level based control tools such as whitelisting M2M Stack can be used to protect locally derived and stored data. As Device Driver SEMA Library Functions previously mentioned, encrypted protocols like TSL cover the Hardware Level connection between distributed devices BMC mPCIe 3G Modem and their Cloud-based data access points. M2M Device+ SIM Card In the Cloud, hosting companies have an arsenal of software tools FIGURE 4 and encryption methApplications such as fleet management, public safety, odologies available to utility substation monitoring or any implementation protect data residing that encompasses field service or a broad distributed on virtualized servers. network, are poised to embrace advancements in Certain “classic” remote access and management via Cloud-based architecture. embedded applications have an intrinIf this is unsuccessful due to hardware sic investment in remote management failure, the system is remotely shut down services. Applications such as fleet manfor safety, and the operator is notified si- agement, public safety, utility substation multaneously. Once notified, the system monitoring, or any implementation that manager can replace the fan and quickly encompasses field service or a broad disrestart the system. tributed network, are poised to embrace advancements in remote access and manBroad Promise as M2M Service agement. However, Cloud-based manageA centralized, Cloud-based approach ment services have a much broader aplends itself well to an intelligent services plication, opening doors in the spectrum business model, where system operators of embedded arenas. Industries where subscribe to the level of monitoring and remote management would have been an management appropriate for their applica- asset, rather than a requirement, now have tion and number of devices (Figure 4). As easier access to sophisticated data that enM2M strategies unfold—for example in ables a tangible competitive edge. healthcare, smart metering, smart homes, Systems may connect broadly using POS and retail banking, factory floor 3G wireless; they may also simply reside systems and connected buildings—the in a factory’s central office, receiving data business case for intelligent services in- via wired or wireless Internet connection creases. A recent Juniper Research report from systems throughout the factory floor. forecasts that M2M service revenues will Cloud access is available in solutions that reach $20 billion globally in 2015, fueled start at quantity one, enabling all manner by manufacturers and developers simpli- of commercial goods manufacturing to fying the process of rolling out secure benefit from tapping into powerful, realM2M strategies for the end user. time system data. Medical devices, indusThe transaction and access of sensi- trial automation, office equipment, or detive data using Cloud-based M2M appli- vices that are fixed installed or moving in cations requires security considerations the field—any application that incorporates

an embedded board—is a candidate for Cloud-based remote monitoring services. These tools and services may also include the capability for remote software and OS updates, allowing users to easily update firmware and upgrade the BIOS over-theair, adding advanced features and pushing them out to devices in the field. Embedded, connected systems can generate and collect a vast amount of system performance data—and designers are now capitalizing on Cloud technology to share this data for reduced costs and improved reliability. Remote management eliminates the need for proximity to maintain and troubleshoot distributed devices; this reduces costs associated with both physical travel and system downtime. In addition, Cloud access means critical systems are available for observation from a simple, centralized location; operators can remain informed about system health and status, and use real-time system intelligence to make better, more cost-effective decisions regarding service and performance. Service is more strategic as administrators influence and interact with system performance, predicting and preventing failures in advance of critical alarms. Information gathered, shared and applied creates a better end-user experience, reduces costs and builds revenue, enables new applications and improves the overall value of technology. Automating and streamlining these benefits through remote monitoring and management is a supremely practical application of M2M technology, as any embedded market benefits from detecting potential problems before they become realized. ADLINK Technology San Jose, CA (408) 360-0200 www.adlinktech.com





Managing the Internet of Things

Applying ATCA Hardware Platform Management to IoT Backend Systems Hardware platform management is essential to the often Cloud-based network systems that enable the Internet of Things. The well-defined and designed ATCA management framework can be adopted by other form factors for ease and savings across a number of different system architectures. by Mark Overgaard, Pigeon Point Systems



System Manager

Management Architecture Elements Shelf Manager Shelf Management Controller (ShMC)

Shelf Manager (Active)

Board/Module Controller: Intelligent Platform Management Controller (IPMC), Carrier IPMC, Module Management Controller (MMC)

Shelf Manager (Backup)

Hot Swappable Mezzanine Module Other Field Replaceable Unit (FRU)


Hot Swappable Board and Optional Rear Transition Module (RTM)


Fan Tray [1...N]

Power Entry Module [1...N]



2x Redundant, Busted or Radial, IPMB-0

MMC Board




Optional RTM



Carrier IPMC

Optional Intelligent RTM




Carrier IPMC

IPMC Optional RTM


iscussions of the Internet of Things (IoT) typically focus on the “things”—that is, the millions or billions of small Internet-connected devices that constitute the “front-end” user interaction points in an IoT-oriented system. Just as crucial, however, is the backend part of IoT, where potentially massive communication throughput and computation power is needed to service the needs of those millions or billions of “things,” possibly with stringent demands on the reliable availability of those services. In their first decade, AdvancedTCA (ATCA) platforms have delivered high bandwidth, high function, high availability services around the world, and such platforms are certainly a candidate for the IoT back-end systems. For IoT systems where utility-class service availability is mandatory, serious management infrastructure is certainly required, and ATCA’s hardware platform management facility definitely qualifies as a foundation layer. However, not all designers of such systems are ready to adopt ATCA wholesale. Here we introduce another option for those designers: adopt the management

2x Redundant Radial Ethernet (or Alternate Transport)

FIGURE 1 Building blocks and corresponding management controllers for an example shelf with ATCA/AMC-based management.

framework of ATCA, but make independent choices on physical form factors and other product aspects as necessary to fit application needs. This approach al-

lows designers to leverage the successful worldwide usage of ATCA management architectures and subsystems in telecommunications and other industries, while


retaining implementation freedom in other system aspects.

Figure 1 shows the high level management architecture defined by the ATCA specification. The building blocks of the architecture include hot-swappable boards, with the potential for an optional rear transition module (RTM) connecting to each board to simplify I/O connections on the back of a shelf or chassis, plus other field replaceable units (FRUs), such as fan trays or power entry modules providing auxiliary services for a shelf. The complementary AdvancedMC specification defines hot-swappable modules that can optionally be hosted by the ATCA boards. The ATCA/AMC architecture also provides for various types of management controllers for the different types of building blocks in a shelf. As shown in Figure 1, each shelf is supervised by a shelf manager (optionally with redundant instances), with a shelf management controller (ShMC) at its core. The shelf manager monitors the operation of managed elements in the shelf and represents the entire shelf to higher layers of management. Those higher layers are represented by a logical System Manager, which also might be responsible for managing many other shelves in a multi-shelf system. Each board is monitored and managed at the low level by an intelligent platform management controller (IPMC), which also represents the board to the shelf manager over the I2C-based, dual redundant Intelligent Platform Management Bus called IPMB-0. Optionally, IPMCs can connect with the shelf manager via an Ethernet fabric in the shelf as well. Other FRUs, such as fan trays, can also have IPMCs. Finally, boards can optionally host management-enabled, hot-swappable modules, each of which is monitored by a module management controller (MMC). The MMC represents the module to a carrier IPMC, which is like an IPMC, but with additional functionality to handle management-enabled subsidiary modules.


Temperature Sensors RTM Management Interface


LAN Attach Interface

Non-Volatile Storage ÂľController External Watchdog Timer Blue LED

Payload Interface Point-to-Point E-Keying Enables


IPMB-0 Buffers

Network Controller or Switch

Bused E-Keying Enable Bused E-Keying Enable



Non-Intelligent Rear Transition Module (RTM)


What is the conceptual management architecture on which ATCA is based?

1 16

Hardware Address [7:0] Power Rail Monitor/Control

Handle Management Switch Power Power Input Monitoring

DC/DC Converters

Monitor/ Controller

SmartFusion IPMC Core

25 mm To Scale with Board

31 mm

FIGURE 2 Representative functionality for an ATCA-based IPMC, shown in the context of an ATCA board.

Each MMC communicates with its supervising carrier IPMC via a local IPMB-L (a single I2C bus) and can optionally link to an in-shelf Ethernet as well. RTMs can be intelligent (monitored and represented by MMCs) or non-intelligent, with both variants also shown in Figure 1. All of the architectural elements shown in Figure 1 and discussed above are independent of the physical form factors, such as size and the backplane (or module carrier board) interface implemented in the boards. They can even be independent to a large extent from the number of such boards in a shelf and not be limited to the number of boards allowed by ATCA. An ATCA-based management system that supports all these elements can be applied to a physical system framework that looks very different from ATCA. Note, however, that a designer of one of these systems could choose to include a

subset of board slots that are fully ATCA compliant. The billion dollar ATCA ecosystem provides numerous generally useful board offerings, such as cost-effective, high-performance, x86 CPU boards. Such boards may well be a welcome option, even if the bulk of a proprietary system is only ATCA-oriented at the management level. One benefit of such hybrid architectures is that the ATCA-compliant elements fit smoothly into them.

What functionality does an ATCAbased board level management controller provide?

Figure 2 illustrates the kind of services that an ATCA-based IPMC provides. The figure shows the outline of an ATCA board and an optionally rear transition module (RTM). An IPMC with equivalent services can be installed on essentially any reasonably sized board. RTCRTC MAGAZINE MAGAZINE OCTOBER APRIL 2013 2014



System Manager





CLI Via ssh

SRI Active

Standby HRI






Shelf Adaption Layer


Power Entry



Shelf Definition

Carrier IPMC

FIGURE 3 ATCA-based shelf manager interfaces up to higher levels of management (often outside the shelf) and down to management controllers inside the shelf.

Also in the figure is a photo of a reference IPMC implementation, represented to scale with an ATCA Front Board (8U high by 280 mm deep). As the figure shows, an IPMC can monitor and control hardware platform management attributes such as temperatures, power inputs, onboard power rails and front panel LEDs. There is also support for a handle switch (used during hot insertion/extraction of the board from a live system if that is needed). In addition, there is an interface to the “payload,” typically the main processor(s) on the board, such as a serious x86 processor. If relevant to the proprietary platform, there is support for an RTM managed by the main board. There is also support for ATCA EKeying, which enables an architecture where boards implementing different communication fabrics can automatically





CROSSConnected Hubs RMCP


learn whether the boards they connect with via the backplane are protocol compatible. Many proprietary systems do not need this facility, since they’re not intended to support the wide range of communication fabrics that ATCA does. Finally, there are provisions in ATCA IPMCs for them to connect with a network controller or switch to complement the default IPMB-0 that the shelf manager uses to communicate with the IPMCs in a shelf. There is an ecosystem of open specifications, both PICMG specifications and one from the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), which provide for management traffic with the IPMC to share the use of one or more Ethernet controllers that primarily support payload communication. Such a “LAN-attached” IPMC can support more and higher performance services over Ethernet than an IPMC that communicates solely over IPMB-0.Standardized LAN-Attached Management Controllers Yield xTCA Performance and Serviceability Gains, in the October 2012 issue of RTC, provides more background on these facilities. The example reference IPMC shown in Figure 2 is from the Pigeon Point Board Management Reference (BMR) family, and comes with schematics and firmware source code, enabling easy adaptation to the needs of either ATCA or custom boards with ATCA-based management.

What facilities does a typical ATCA-based shelf manager include?

As mentioned above, an ATCA shelf manager is responsible both for monitoring the operation of the shelf and for providing an interface to the shelf for higher level management layers (what ATCA refers to as the logical System Manager), often via dual redundant Ethernet hubs or switches. Figure 3 shows these northbound shelf manager interfaces and the southbound interfaces inside the shelf. As shown in Figure 3, a typical shelf

manager offers several northbound interface options. The Remote Management Control Protocol is part of the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI), an open specification that is widely used for management in the PC and server industries. (IPMI is the primary foundation layer for all the ATCA management controllers.)The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is also widely used for remote management and monitoring. Typically, there will be a Web interface (based on HTTP) and some sort of command line interface (CLI) as well. Finally, there can be a hardware platform interface (HPI), which is covered in the next section. In a proprietary application of ATCA-based management, the most suitable/applicable of these interfaces can be used to interface with the System Manager and/or human operators, with the others ignored, if appropriate. A shelf manager can also support redundant instances (active and standby); a software and hardware redundancy interface (SRI and HRI) can be used to keep the two instances synchronized. Leveraging such synchronization, the standby instance can take over responsibility for the shelf if the active instance goes down for any reason. Such a switchover can even be invisible to System Manager clients, with key Internet Protocol (IP) addresses transferred from the active to the standby during the switchover. HPI-Based Software Platform HPI



Plug-in 1

Plug-in 2

Arbitrary H/W Platform A

Arbitrary H/W Platform B

Client Library

Self Manager with IntegralHPI

Self Manager with IntegralHPI

ATCA-Managed HWN Platform C

ATCA-Managed HWN Platform D

FIGURE 4 A software platform (such as a System Manager) can use HPI to compatibly manage a wide range of platform types.


Some key subsystems of a shelf manager are also shown in Figure 3, such as those that handle cooling, track events and manage the FRUs in the shelf. A shelf adaptation layer allows for customization to the specifics of a given shelf and supports interfaces to the key functional blocks in the shelf, such as fans and power entry, as well as the IPMC-represented boards. The shelf adaptation layer is especially important when an ATCA-based shelf manager, such as the widely used Pigeon Point shelf manager, is integrated into a non-ATCA shelf. Using I2C for “Behind the Scenes” Management, in the June 2009 issue of RTC, covers a variety of shelf adaptation layer strategies.

Can a System Manager handle both ATCA-based and other platforms?

A company that chooses to use ATCA management in a proprietary system may have other system types that are not based on ATCA, and may even have fully compliant ATCA systems as well. A range of system types like this may need to be supported concurrently, or over time, through successive generations of a major back-end system for the IoT.

One way to achieve System Manager commonality, and management unification overall, across such a range is to use the HPI as the lowest layer of the System Manager application(s). HPI was developed by the Service Availability Forum (www.saforum.org) for exactly this need. Figure 4 shows the concept. There is an open source implementation of HPI called OpenHPI (www. openhpi.org). It supports a plug-in architecture that allows interfacing to arbitrary hardware platforms, while the OpenHPI server that hosts the plug-in(s) offers a common management abstraction to the HPI client(s). An ATCA-based shelf manager with a built-in HPI server can support the OpenHPI client library interface. This architecture allows amortizing the System Manager investment (which can be large in a sophisticated high availability system such as might be used in an IoT back-end) across multiple platform types across projects or through time. Pigeon Point IntegralHPI is an optional subsystem of the Pigeon Point shelf manager that supports the architecture shown in Figure 4. The architecture has been implemented by a Tier 1 Telecom Equipment Manufacturer (TEM) to share

System Manager applications across multiple generations of ATCA and pre-ATCA hardware platforms. The overall approach to ATCA-based management for proprietary systems described here is already being applied for major systems targeting Cloud-oriented computing, which is a natural operating context for IoT back-end systems. Pigeon Point Systems Oceanside, CA (760) 757-2304 www.pigeonpoint.com

TRACE 32 ® Trace-based Code Coverage Real-time No instrumentation

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18.10.2013 10:12:57



TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT Multicore Operating Systems and Multiple OSs

Multicore Processors Open Our Embedded World Migrating legacy code onto new multicore processors is not to be taken lightly. But with a new range of SMP RTOS and Virtualization solutions now available, there are options to both make the task easier, and at the same time increase the functionality and connectivity of the embedded system. by Robert Day, LynuxWorks

negative, for using multicore processors in their next generation of products. Many embedded real-time systems are very carefully designed and coded to meet the relatively stringent requirements of performance, power, memory size, timing and latency. The introduction of a new processor model can throw some of these system characteristics off, and the embedded developer is faced with the question “How does one take a legacy single core embedded system and spread it over multiple cores without causing the system to behave differently?” Before answering that question, it’s also worth looking at the use of multicore processors as an opportunity rather than a problem, and then pose the question “What additional functionality could I add to my legacy single core embedded system by using a multicore processor?” This is a particularly interesting question when the new “Internet of Things” is brought into the mix, as embedded systems now become embedded systems connected to the Internet, where additional connectivity, functionality and security are new requirements.


ulticore systems are not new to the embedded world. In fact, most embedded systems use multiple cores or chips, with many of these cores or chips being used to help performance or enhance the operation of a particular function. However, these dedicated chips are usually not on the same die as the main processor, are often a completely different architecture, and are programmed completely independently of the main processor and its operating system. These are known as heterogeneous multicore systems, and the cores can be treated and programmed somewhat autonomously from one another. More recently we have had the advent of multicore processors, where a single chip contains multiple cores of the same type, which often share resources and where the use of the cores is controlled by the processor. These “homogenous” multicore processors are now becoming the norm in 32- and 64-bit architectures, and embedded developers now have to understand the implications, both positive and



FIGURE 1 The Internet of Things is demanding extra connectivity, functionality and security for today’s embedded systems.


FIGURE 2 Different approaches to migrating legacy applications to multi-core processors.

Looking at the migration of a legacy system to multicore processor is quite a complicated topic with more than one approach. The potentially least painful migration path is to just run the legacy system on one of the processor cores, and forget about the other one(s). Apart from the obvious “waste” in not utilizing the other core(s), this strategy relies on the fact that the multicore processors are the same type and clock speed as the single core versions. This is not typically the case, as by multiplying the core count by at least 2x, the processor vendor can reduce the performance or the clock rate of the cores and still get a performance increase over the single core version. Therefore, if the application is running on just one of the cores, there will actually be a degradation in performance over the previous generation of single core processors. Now, there are certain industries where this approach is still the best option. For example, when migrating certified legacy systems (such as avionics) to new hardware platforms, the cost and risk to re-engineer and recertify the software to run across multiple cores can be prohibitive. For the rest of the embedded world, the migration of embedded systems from single core to multicore is becoming a “when” rather than an “if,” and so we should now consider some approaches to make that migration feasible. As most 32and 64-bit embedded systems are likely to be running some kind of operating system, either RTOS or GPOS, we will make the assumption here that both the legacy and new systems will use an OS. The use of an OS can actually make the migration job easier, as the OS can often do much of the

heavy lifting when it comes to managing the multiple cores on a processor. But this is where we need to clarify approaches, as it impacts how much the OS can actually help. The two main approaches to running code on a multicore system are asymmetric multi-processing (AMP) and symmetric multi-processing (SMP). AMP essentially treats the multiple cores as separate entities, and runs code (including OSs) on the individual cores. SMP has a single copy of the OS running across the multiple cores and manages how the code (in the form of tasks, processes or threads) is allocated to the different cores (Figure 2).

Asymmetrical Multi-Processing

Comparing these approaches really boils down to how much application migration work is needed to be done by the developer, and how much is left to the OS. Using an AMP approach means that the developer must take the existing legacy code and decide which functions will run on which of the cores, essentially load balancing the system manually. The complexity of the system, the structure of the legacy code and the performance tolerances that it must adhere to, will really determine how big of a job this is. Assuming that the legacy code used an OS, then the code should already be well structured, and it is really down to the interdependencies and inter-communications between the functions that will help guide which core they run on. It is still possible to communicate between functions running on different cores, but it is more complex, and often with a greater overhead. Not only does the legacy code need to be changed, but usually changes

need to be made to the legacy operating system as well. A single core OS is used to having all the hardware resources, such as memory and devices, at its disposal, and now these resources are being shared between different instantiations of the OS. Each of them will need to be modified to only access the parts of the system that are being used by the applications running on this core, so device and memory contention can be avoided. At best, this requires a new and different board support package (BSP) for each OS instantiation, but can also require changes to the operating system itself, especially if there are specific hardware dependencies in the original single core implementation. Another issue with running an AMP system is that a copy of the operating system is required for each core, which means additional memory will be required. Even though memory is considered “cheap” in today’s computer and mobile devices, this could present cost, power or size problems either for constrained embedded devices, low-power embedded devices, or if large GPOSes are being used. AMP can be a possible approach to adding new functionality to existing systems by running the new functionality on

FIGURE 3 Virtualization offers ease of migration, new capabilities and security.



TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT careful redesign is necessary, re-allocating functions with applications, and redesigning the applications themselves to exploit parallelism.


FIGURE 4 Using virtualization on multicore processors can offer multiple OSs performing different functions on a single system protected from one another.

the second core and keeping the legacy system on a single core, but obviously many of the complications discussed above still apply.

Symmetrical Multi-Processing

As multicore processors became more prevalent, so did the number of operating systems that provided SMP support. Using an SMP approach means that a single copy of the OS runs across and manages the multiple cores in the processor. If an OS was used in the original single core system, and now the same operating system is available in SMP form, and assuming the OS APIs have not changed dramatically with the SMP version, then the OS can take care of many of the migration issues faced with an AMP solution. The SMP OS will manage the allocation of memory, cores, and to a certain extent the shared devices, and will make decisions on which cores the tasks or processes will execute on. An SMP OS has the advantage of only running one instantiation, so memory footprint will not grow dramatically as in AMP, and device and memory contention is not an issue, as it’s all managed by the OS. Although this appears to be the Nirvana for legacy code migration, there are a couple of considerations that need to be



thought through. Firstly, an SMP OS is somewhat more complex than its single core sibling, and the scheduling mechanism for running across multiple cores really needs to be understood by the developer as the system is moved from single to multiple cores so that the execution characteristics of the code can be tuned accordingly. This leads to the second consideration—the ability to run code in parallel across the multiple processors. In a single core system using an OS, there is perceived parallelism from multiple tasks running concurrently, but as far as actual processor execution, the code is running sequentially, with the magic of multi-tasking carefully controlled by the OS. On a multicore system, the tasks are actually running in parallel on the multiple cores, which can lead to obvious performance increases provided the code is structured appropriately. If tasks running on different cores are competing for the same resources, or waiting for communication with tasks that are not currently running, then they will get stalled and the performance drops dramatically. It can actually be worse than the single core execution. This is really the key part in migrating from a single to multicore device, as the single core code would not have been built with true parallelism in mind, and now a

As discussed above, the migration of code from single to multiple cores is not a task that should be treated lightly, even with the help of multicore OSs, so adding an extra layer of complexity would seem like a nonsensical idea. However, bringing virtualization into the mix actually can simplify the migration process, and also add some other key capabilities that were not covered when discussing AMP and SMP approaches. The use of virtualization is still relatively new in the embedded world, despite most modern embedded multicore processors also having virtualization assistance built in. However, it is well established in the enterprise world. One of the key reasons that the enterprise has embraced virtualization is that it has allowed corporations to continue to use legacy PC applications and operating systems that are key to their business, while migrating to new, faster multicore hardware platforms. Virtualization basically presents virtual motherboards, with processors and devices expected by the legacy applications and operating systems, regardless of the actual hardware they are running on, usually without any modification required to either the OS or the applications (Figure 3). This approach can also be taken with embedded code migration, using an embedded hypervisor. The hypervisor runs directly on top of the hardware and manages the processors, memory and devices, and then presents a “virtual” view to each of the “guest” OSs that run on top of it. The guest OSs typically can be run unmodified and will be presented with a virtual version of the legacy hardware. Virtualization can take the benefits of both the AMP and SMP OS approaches above and let legacy systems run unmodified on new hardware platforms with the hypervisor controlling and managing all of the new hardware resources. The advantage of using an embedded hypervisor is that it typically has a small footprint and deterministic real-time scheduling mechanisms that provide a very low overhead. The task of code migration

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT becomes more of a configuration task than other approaches, as once the virtual motherboards are configured, the operating systems and their applications can run unmodified, and should execute in a similar manner to the original system. Where virtualization really becomes interesting is in the addition of extra capabilities to the original system. These extra capabilities can include connectivity, security, GUI or just extra features. By the nature of virtualization and multicore processors, many of these capabilities can be added without having to make dramatic (if any) changes to the legacy system. In fact, unlike the AMP and SMP approaches, a completely different operating system could be used, running on its own virtual motherboard, which offers better support for new functionality than the existing RTOS (Figure 4). Examples include GUI functions, where a well-known GUI like Microsoft Windows or Android could make the user experience easier, and also easier for the developers as the tools for building GUIs are part of these OSs. Another example is networking, where embedded devices are

now required to connect over different connection media such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular, and where modern operating systems are more likely to have support for these new connection technologies, even if it’s just a more recent version of the legacy OS. Using virtualization to run multiple different OSs on a single multicore processor really opens up the possibility of adding new functionality to legacy systems without compromising the legacy code, and being able to take advantage of modern technologies (Figure 4). The last aspect of using virtualization really applies to the new world of connected embedded devices, known as the Internet of Things, where embedded devices can be managed, controlled or communicated with over the Internet. Traditionally, most embedded devices are either not networked, or if they are it is typically on a private or proprietary network, making it easier to protect them from malicious attacks. However, when connected via the Internet, these devices are open to attacks from anyone and anywhere in the world. Using an embedded hypervisor, especially one built on a secure founda-

tion such as a separation kernel, can allow for protection of the legacy system, even though it is now connected. If the legacy system is running on its own virtual motherboard, and the network communication is on another virtual motherboard, any attacks can be largely contained within the network side of system. This means an attack like a Denial of Service (DoS) could well interrupt the network part of the system. However, with the legacy system (the real-time component) and often its data running on a separate virtual motherboard with its own processor and resources, these should continue to function while the network attack is being sorted. This security is vital in systems that are controlling our critical infrastructure, as any issues with the real-time aspect of the system could be catastrophic. LynuxWorks San Jose, CA (408) 979-3900 www.lynuxworks.com



TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT Multicore Operating Systems and Multiple OSs

Platform Architecture for the Internet of Things The Internet of Things is mostly things—things with microprocessors and operating systems. This means many millions of possible security points that need to be guarded against hackers as much or even more than the large server farms. by Dave Kleidermacher, Green Hills Software


ll things must evolve—human anatomy, national constitutions, and religions—to handle the mercurial world around us. History is replete with examples of species gone extinct due to an inability to cope with environmental transformations. In industry, companies like Kodak and BlackBerry famously failed to adapt fast enough to consumer and technology trends. At the same time, success goes to those who anticipate life’s inevitable challenges, converting foresight into business advantage. The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to be one of the digital age’s megatrends that will make or break many technology companies, depending on their ability to adapt. One of the most obvious challenges is privacy and security. If we think we have security problems with a billion human-controlled smartphones, imagine what awaits us with a trillion autonomous objects gathering untold information about our health, how we drive, how we think. As the brilliant mathemati-



cian and inventor Blaise Pascal waxed poetically 350 years ago, “Knowledge is like a sphere, the greater its volume, the larger its contact with the unknown.” The sheer breadth and diversity of IoT information generation, distribution and processing makes it hard for us to conceive all the threats and attack vectors we may face. Platform architecture for the Things in the IoT must adapt to future-proof designs against this challenge.

hardware (e.g., a board support package), and applications that sit above the operating system and use its application programming interface (API) to perform a variety of localized functions, such as interprocess communication (IPC). In contrast, the platform architecture for Things is rapidly evolving into a system that employs virtualization at both the top and bottom of these stacks (Figure 2). At the top, the existence of the Web will drive many device-resident applications to be replaced with remote applications, invoked with remote procedure calls (RPCs) instead of IPCs, using Web APIs, such as RESTful Web services, instead of OS APIs. At the bottom of the stack, the hardware is being virtualized, enabling designers to more easily swap out operating systems or to mix and match multiple operating systems in a single system, utilizing whichever product best fits each subsystem’s requirements. The inevitability of this platform architecture transformation is predicted by precisely the same transformation that transpired in the preceding digital megatrend, Cloud computing. During the first half of the 2000s decade, Cloud hypervisors (or cloudvisors) like VMware ESX server, Hyper-V and Xen matured, and Intel released its VT technology to help them operate more efficiently. By the end of that decade, every major data center in the world was virtualized. This incredibly rapid architectural change was driven by the massive resource efficiencies and in-

Internet of Things: Virtualized Architecture

The “Things” of the IoT are embedded systems. The difference between traditional embedded systems and Things is simply that Things are connected to the Internet, either directly or via a gateway. This connectivity brings with it both opportunities for increased functionality as well as increased security risk due to that remote access. The traditional embedded system platform architecture (Figure 1) is simple: embedded operating system, ported to the

FIGURE 1 Typical embedded system platform architecture.


creased fault tolerance and flexibility made possible by computer system virtualization. In the world of Things, “Thingvisors” such as the Green Hills Integrity Multivisor, have also matured over the past decade and are now bolstered by similar hardware virtualization capabilities. Recently, for example, they were added to the ARM architecture and are available today in many mobile devices, including the recently announced next generation real-time processor family, ARMv8-R. Things have very different requirements than Cloud servers. While cloudvisors must virtualize CPU processing, storage and networking resources, Thingvisors must virtualize these plus an incredibly broad range of additional hardware that includes many types of wireless interfaces, sensors, multimedia accelerators and more. In addition, Thingvisors must often handle mixed criticality workloads. For example, in automotive systems, it will not be unusual to see a single system that runs a high-level OS such as Android (e.g., for infotainment) alongside a safety-critical, real-time workload such as a rear-view camera or cluster. Thingvisors allow for lightweight workloads to execute directly on the Thingvisor itself (Figure 3), avoiding the overhead of going through two layers of interrupt handling, scheduling and communication that would otherwise be required when hosting applications on a guest operating system. In the automotive realm, a lightweight Thingvisor application can handle the fast-boot and real-time requirements associated with automotive network communication (CAN bus), as well as safety-critical operation such as a rear-view camera, cluster or an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS). At the same time it can host higher-end consumer-grade workloads in a guest operating system such as Android. The Thingvisor can also be thought of as a software root of trust upon which designers can grow an overall robust and secure system. Security-critical components, such as a trusted execution environment (TEE), cryptographic functionality and digital rights management, can

FIGURE 2 Virtualized platform architecture: top and bottom.

be hosted in isolated processes on top of the Thingvisor, isolated from the generalpurpose workloads in the system.

Data Protection for the IoT

One of the fallacies in Cloud security is that solutions providers can focus their investment on fortifying the data center— with subterranean bunkers, armed guards, multi-factor access controls, and a multitude of hardware security appliances protecting the network—and essentially ignore the security of the remote endpoints that may connect into the data centers. This is dangerous thinking in the Cloud era, and is downright folly in the IoT era. Attackers always search for the weakest link, and if Things remain weakly protected, then they will be targeted first. Once a Thing is commandeered, attackers can use the Thing to gain access to the crown jewels in the data centers. Another aspect of the fallacy is that there is not much information worth protecting out on the edge. Again, this is a questionable attitude in the Cloud era, but incredibly wrong in the IoT era. Things generate a treasure trove of valuable and private information— about our health, our social activities and our location just to name a few examples. As the IoT grows to tens of billions and ultimately trillions of connected objects, the aggregate value generated by Things presents an incredibly valuable target.

By way of example, in the recent cyber attack against Target Corporation, malware was inserted into the retailer’s Things—the point of sale (PoS) terminals—rather than infiltrating the corporate or payment processing servers. The attackers purloined more than 100 million credit card numbers and personal records. Also recently, security researchers identified a botnet made from smart home appliances, including refrigerators. These Thing-based attacks are the tip of the iceberg; we can expect such attacks to grow at least as fast as the number of Things themselves. Another simple error often made in Cloud computing is thinking that an HTTPS-connection between access device and the Cloud is enough to protect information traversing the web. As the IoT grows in complexity, it is not practical for developers to know how data will flow across the net and whether the various systems along the way will be worthy of our trust. For example, when you connect your browser to Facebook, the use of SSL may protect information in transit to Facebook’s DMZ (note, however, that the lack of strong mutual authentication in most web transactions makes even this assumption questionable), but what happens to the data once it enters the Facebook cloud? The data may be sent to advertisers, databases and third-party web services (Figure 4). It will not be practical for Thing developers to be assured of the quality of the

FIGURE 3 Thingvisor platform architecture.




FIGURE 4 HTTPS is not the answer to IoT data protection.

security controls implemented by all these actors. Therefore, we must adopt a zerotrust strategy, wherein we assume the Cloud is inherently insecure. If our system generates valuable data on the edge, then we must take measures to protect that data, regardless of where it may flow across the Web. For example, a wearable health care device may encrypt information generated locally with a key that is controlled by the device owner and shared out-of-band only with healthcare providers that have a need-to-know.

Preventing the Target Breach with Secure Platform Architecture

The platform architecture principles described above give developers a powerful toolbox with which to build secure IoT systems. To demonstrate, let’s take a look at the Target breach and how it could have been easily prevented. While not all details are currently available regarding how malware was installed into the PoS terminals, we do know that the malware was able to gain full privilege and memory scrape RAM to gather personal information as it was entered into the terminals by shoppers. An evolved PoS architecture would use a de-privileged operating system and a lightweight security-critical application, called the tokenizer, to handle the processing of personal information. The tokenizer executes directly on the Thingvisor and manages the physical USB device used for card swipe. The tokenizer uses a secure connection to a back-end Web service for mapping personal records to tokenized records and then issues a virtual



USB swipe, passing the token to the pointof-sale operating environment. While the main PoS OS may be infiltrated with malware, the malware has no personal information to steal. The mapping of tokenized data occurs in the back-end. The Thingvisor may also include a virtual security appliance, such as unified threat management (UTM) system, that sits between the physical network and a de-privileged virtual network interface exposed to the PoS OS. Such an approach gives Things the ability to incorporate server-class network security capabilities without the size, weight, power and cost associated with traditional data center network security hardware.

Hardware Root of Trust

It is also important to note that Things require a hardware root of trust, below even the Thingvisor software root of trust. A hardware root of trust, in its

simplest embodiment, is a tamper-resistant key storage used, at a minimum, for secure boot of the Thingvisor and associated security-critical components like the tokenizer in the preceding example. The boot sequence must utilize the key to signature check these components before launching them. Subsequently, the hardware root of trust can also be used for remote attestation and for higher assurance protection of keys used for both data-in-transit and data-at-rest protection. If an attacker attempts to overwrite the firmware flash memory with malicious code, the secure boot will detect this and can take corrective action. Once securely launched, the Thingvisor can recursively apply measurement checks to other components, including the guest operating system kernels, if desirable. The overall Thingvisor-based pointof-sale architecture is shown in Figure 5 with Windows Embedded as the main PoS OS. This has already been developed and demonstrated at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show. The IoT will enable incredible functionalities and efficiencies that promise to drive new business opportunities for solution providers. But with great power comes great responsibility, and the security and privacy challenges of the IoT demand that developers commit early and often to future-proofing their systems for security. This strategy starts with a platform architecture that utilizes hardware and software roots of trust and proven security principles, such as least privilege, to harden Things and defeat common attack vectors. Green Hills Software Santa Barbara, CA (805) 965-6044 www.ghs.com

FIGURE 5 Thingvisor architecture prevents Target breach.


TECHNOLOGY 6U CompactPCI Fourth Generation Intel Core Processor Blade with 40% Graphics Gain

A 6U CompactPCI processor blade with enhanced graphics, computing performance, power efficiency, system manageability and data security is made possible by the advanced quad-core 22nm 4th generation Intel Core processor. The cPCI-6530 from Adlink Technology is an intelligent platform for mission-critical defense, aviation, railway and other transportation applications. The Adlink cPCI-6530, a robust blade designed for the MIL-STD-810G standard, provides an optimal balance of CPU/graphics performance, I/O and TDP, and features two PMC/XMC sites for expansion capability. It is also equipped with an onboard mSATA slot or optional 2.5” SSD/CFast slot for onboard storage requirements and provides sys-

tem scalability and flexibility. Designed for rugged and high-reliability applications, the module supports an operating temperature range of -40° to +85°C with forced-air cooling. The cPCI-6530 also employs Intel's configurable thermal design power (cTDP) for flexible TDP management of temperaturecritical applications. With enhanced floating-point arithmetic supported by Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (Intel AVX 2.0), the cPCI-6530 is suitable for intensive arithmetic-focused and image-processing applications such as radar, sonar and video transcoding systems in avionics, military and data analysis. The cPCI-6530 supports PICMG 2.9 IPMI system management and Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT 9.0) to enable remote configuration, restart and shutdown with improved KVM redirection. In addition, it offers a higher standard of security control with

Extreme Rackmount Recorders Provide up to 30 TB storage

A new line of extreme environment recorders is designed to provide a combination of high performance and large storage capacity in a military-specified rackmount chassis. Designed for field operation, the Talon RTX Rackmount series from Pentek provides up to 30 Tbytes of solid state drive (SSD) storage with aggregate recording rates up to 5 Gbytes/s. A major innovation for the RTX Rackmount systems is the QuickPac canister that allows operators to quickly remove and replace storage drives in the field. Each QuickPac canister holds eight SSDs, providing up to 7.68 Tbytes of storage space. Up to four QuickPac canisters can be installed in a Talon RTX Rackmount chassis, providing over 30 Tbytes of total storage. Secured by four thumbscrews, full QuickPac canisters can easily be swapped out in the field with very little down time. QuickPac canisters



Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instruction (Intel AES-NI) and an optional Atmel Trusted Platform Module (TPM). ADLINK Technology, San Jose, CA (408) 360-0200. www.adlinktech.com

can be transported to the lab, via Pentek transport cases, for offload or analysis, using one of Pentek’s Talon offload or playback systems. The Talon RTX Rackmount Recorders include a 600 watt, 85 to 264V, 47 to 400 Hz AC power supply. The power supply has an inline EMI filter to protect against conducted emissions and is isolated from the other electronics in the system via an isolated chassis compartment. The 400 Hz rating allows every RTX Rackmount Recorder to operate in aircraft and other environments where smaller, 400 Hz generators are used. For applications that require DC power, 24V and 28 VDC power supplies are available to replace the AC power supply. All Talon RTX Rackmount Recorders are built on a Windows 7 Professional workstation with an Intel Core I7 processor and provide both a GUI (graphical user interface) and API (Application Programmer’s Interface) to control the system. Systems are fully supported with Pentek’s SystemFlow software for system control and turn-key operation. The software provides a GUI with point-and-click configuration management and can store custom configurations for single-click setup. The software also includes a virtual oscilloscope and signal analyzer to monitor signals before, during and after data collection. Pentek, Upper Saddle River, NJ (201) 818-5900. www.pentek.com


Rugged, 14-Port Gigabit Managed Ethernet Switch with 2 SFP Sockets

A rugged, managed Layer 2+ Ethernet switch module offers twelve 10/100/1000 Mbit/s copper twisted pair ports and two small form factor pluggable (SFP) sockets in a compact COM Express form factor. The new standalone Epsilon-12G2 switch from Diamond Systems does not require any host computer interface. A 480 MHz MIPS processor embedded directly into the switch manages all switch functions. The processor is accessed via an in-band Web interface over one of the Ethernet ports or via an out-of-band commandline interface over an RS-232 serial port. The integrated Web interface provides an intuitive GUI for configuring and managing all switch functionality. Onboard memory holds dual application images, boot code, MAC addresses and other parameters, and can also be used for program execution. Designed for use in rugged applications including industrial, on-vehicle and military environments, Epsilon-12G2 operates over an extended temperature range of -40° to +85°C. All I/O connectors are latching, providing enhanced reliability over the RJ-45 con-

nectors used in commercial Ethernet switches. A 50% thicker PCB provides better protection against vibration in vehicle environments. The +5 to +40V wide range DC/DC power supply is compatible with all common vehicle and industrial power sources. The switch’s dual SFP socket interfaces to 1G fiber Ethernet networks. One port can operate at an enhanced 2.5G to support efficient stacking of two switches together for a combined total of 26 ports. Epsilon-12G2 comes with all the required firmware preconfigured, enabling immediate operation without any development effort. Diamond Systems, Mountain View, CA (650) 810-2500. www.diamondsystems.com .

DC Coupled Dual Channel A/D-D/A Card for Wide Spectrum Applications

A new DC Coupled analog-to-digital / digital-to-analog card is based on the FPGA Mezzanine Card standard (FMC – VITA 57.1) for multi-channel data acquisition and high-speed signal processing and recording. The FMC151 from 4DSP is a wideband transceiver solution that provides two channels of 14-bit A/D at 250 Msps and two channels of 16-bit D/A at 800 Msps. The design is based on TI’s ADS62P49 ADC and TI’s DAC3283 DAC. The analog signal inputs are DC coupled connecting to MMCX/SSMC coax connectors on the front panel and the input. The input and output have digitally controlled offset correction. The FMC151 allows flexible control on clock source, analog input gain and offset correction through serial communication buses. Furthermore, the card is equipped with power supply and temperature monitoring and offers several power-down modes to switch off unused functions, reducing system level power and heat. The FMC151 is well suited for Software Defined Radio (SDR), battery or other low power source applications. The FMC151 is ideal for applications where power demand impacts operational range and time. The FMC VITA 57.1 standard offers the combination of low latency and high bandwidth with a high level of ruggedization at an acceptable price point and a non-proprietary interface. The result is a wide and growing adoption of FPGA mezzanine cards across various industries. 4DSP, Austin, TX (512) 994-5706. www.4dsp.com




A TQMa53 module with a Freescale i.MX53 can save you design time and money

Embedded Development Platform Simplifies 32- and 8-Bit Development

TQ embedded modules: ■

Are the smallest in the industry, without compromising quality and reliability

Bring out all the processor signals to the Tyco connectors

Can reduce development time by as much as 12 months

The TQMa53 module comes with a Freescale i.MX53 (ARM® Cortex™-A8), and supports Linux and QNX operating systems. The full-function STKa53-AA Starter Kit is an easy and inexpensive way platform to test and evaluate the TQMa53 module.

Technology in Quality

ConvergencePromotions.com/TQ-USA TQ-USA is the brand for a module product line represented in N. America by Convergence Promotions, LLC



TQMa53 V2 1-3 Page Ad.indd 1

2/3/14 3:57 PM

Silicon Labs has introduced a new version of its Simplicity Studio development ecosystem that provides unified support for the company’s energy-friendly 32-bit EFM32 Gecko microcontrollers (MCUs) and 8-bit MCUs. This new software release inherits the best features of the original Simplicity Studio by supporting more than 240 ARM-based EFM32 MCUs shipping today while extending development support to Silicon Labs’ 8051-based MCU products. The new Simplicity Studio platform also integrates an Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) that supports both 32-bit and 8-bit embedded designs. Simplicity Studio enables Silicon Labs’ MCU customers to develop on both 8- and 32-bit MCUs, without having to learn new software tools. This unified approach saves time and resources for customers needing both 8- and 32-bit MCUs, and reduces the learning curve for new projects. Using Simplicity Studio, developers can explore Silicon Labs’ entire MCU portfolio, product options and embedded design solutions. The platform helps developers select the right MCU for their applications, provides integrated links to purchase MCU products and development kits, and offers extensive training materials. Graphical hardware configuration tools automatically configure the MCU, freeing the developer from the time-consuming task of perusing technical documentation. Embedded developers can use the integrated Simplicity IDE to develop and debug their firmware. The IDE supports Eclipse plug-ins, uses the Eclipse Debugger for C/C++, and supports Keil and Gnu Compiler Collection (GCC) build tools. Silicon Labs also provides 8-bit MCU developers with Keil PK51 build tools at no charge. For customers who prefer the Keil µVision or IAR Embedded Workbench IDE, Simplicity Studio delivers seamless third-party tools support, allowing developers to launch their preferred IDE from inside Simplicity Studio. Additional Simplicity Studio development tools help designers ease development by configuring MCU pin-out and peripheral placement and by generating C-code. The configuration tools also automatically resolve pin-out conflicts, saving the developer considerable time and effort. To help optimize 32-bit applications for energy efficiency, Simplicity Studio includes real-time energy profiling and analysis tools for estimating power consumption and balancing performance and energy efficiency. The energyAware Battery Calculator helps developers estimate current consumption and battery life. Developers can select EFM32 MCU Energy Modes and battery configuration and estimate power consumption before writing any code. The energyAware Profiler analyzes current consumption in real time, quickly identifying areas of code that should be optimized if current draw is deemed to be too high. Simplicity Studio supports seamless, Web-based updates, greatly simplifying the process of adding extra support and features with new platform releases. As Simplicity Studio updates become available, developers can update software tools without having to reinstall the studio. Developers can download the Simplicity Studio development platform including the Simplicity IDE and development tools at no charge by visiting www.silabs.com/simplicity-studio. Silicon Labs, Austin, TX (512) 416-8500. www.silabs.com


Flight-Qualified Intel Core i7-Based System Offers Configuration Options

A flight-qualified Intel Core i7-based multiprocessor system features SWaP and performance advantages along with the convenience and security of two hardware-encrypted removable SSD modules. TheXPand4208 from Extreme Engineering Solutions includes two Intel Core i7-based 3U VPX modules, an XPm2120 VITA 62 3U VPX power supply and two XPort6193 removable SSDs that allow for quick, toolless insertion and extraction. The system utilizes an XChange3013 3U VPX Gigabit Ethernet switch mated with the XPedite5205 Cisco IOS-based router XMC to provide its backplane fabric and secure networking capabilities. This system also simplifies future upgrades and additional configurations with two 3U VPX expansion slots for additional I/O or processing capabilities and an open architecture based on the use of 3U OpenVPX (VITA 65)-compatible modules. The SWaP-optimized XPand4200 Series systems utilize a compact, lightweight and extremely rugged forced-air heat exchanger design to maximize high-temperature performance in demanding environmental conditions, while minimizing size and weight. They also integrate a dynamic fan controller, allowing them to run nearly silent in controlled environments. Another example of a pre-configured, application-ready XPand4200 Series product is the XPand4206. With three XPedite7477 Intel Core i7based 3U VPX processing modules, the XPand4206 system provides an industry-leading combination of processing performance and SWaP. The XPand4206 utilizes the 3U VPX XChange3018 to provide a highthroughput internal 10 Gigabit Ethernet fabric. The system also provides a plethora of external I/O, including three 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports, twelve Gigabit Ethernet ports, twelve CAN bus channels, sixteen serial ports and six USB ports. The XPand4206 and XPand4208 can be configured to support Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT). AMT allows developers and installers to remotely access diagnostic information and perform system maintenance on each processor module via a single, secure network connection. This drastically simplifies developing, installing and upgrading multiprocessor platforms by eliminating the need for separate user-accessible serial ports or keyboard, video and mouse ports from individual processor modules. Extreme Engineering Solutions, Middleton, WI (608) 833-1155. xes-inc.com

Software-Designed Controller Is Part of Advanced and Open Embedded System Design Platform

National Instruments has announced the complete redesign of its new cRIO-9068 softwaredesigned controller, which still maintains full NI LabView and I/O compatibility with the CompactRIO platform. The controller integrates state-of-the-art technologies including the Xilinx Zynq-7020 All Programmable system on a chip (SoC), which combines a dual-core ARM CortexA9 processor and Xilinx 7 Series FPGA fabric. Based on the LabView reconfigurable I/O (RIO) architecture, the new CompactRIO controller helps meet any demanding embedded control and monitoring task without wasting development time and cost. Engineers and scientists worldwide use the CompactRIO platform to build systems that can suppress fires on cargo airplanes, generate electricity through the flight of tethered kites and precisely stack 20 tons of wet concrete.

The new cRIO-9068 controller features four times faster performance than previous generations, powered by a 667 MHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA. A new Linux-based, real-time OS provides greater flexibility for both LabView Real-Time and C/C++ application developers. These developers can have a consistent LabView programming experience that ensures both new and existing designs take full advantage of updated technology with minimal effort. And the system offers an extended operating temperature range of -40° to 70°C. “Because so many customers have invested in CompactRIO, we took this redesign extremely seriously,” said David Fuller, vice president of applications and embedded software at National Instruments. “Our R&D teams re-examined every part of the controller’s design and made sweeping improvements while maintaining complete backward code compatibility.” The cRIO-9068 controller, programmed with LabView system design software, enables engineers and scientists to use a single, graphical development environment to take advantage of improved hardware performance. LabView 2013 support for the NI Linux Real-Time OS gives developers access to a rich set of community-sourced libraries and applications to augment their control and monitoring systems. LabView 2013 also offers expanded connectivity options including improved Web service creation and secure, industry-standard WebDAV browser-based file management. National Instruments, Austin, TX (512) 683-0100 www.ni.com

FIND the products featured in this section and more at




A TQMa335x module with a TI AM335x can save you design time and money

RTC PRODUCT GALLERY PC/104 and Stackable Modules Quantum PCI/104-Express Single Board Computers

• Quantum SBCs feature interchangeable QSeven COMs, a highly integrated I/O baseboard, and a conduction cooled heatspreader. • They offer a 1GHz AMD Fusion G-T40E CPU, 1GHz AMD G-Series eKabini GX-210HA SOC, or 1GHz ARM A9 i.MX6 single/quad cores. • Quantum has a wide range of on-board I/O and excels in rugged applications. Phone: (650) 810-2500

TQ embedded modules: ■

Are the smallest in the industry, without compromising quality and reliability

Bring out all the processor signals to the Tyco connectors

Can reduce development time by as much as 12 months

The TQMa335x Module comes with a TI AM335x (ARM® Cortex™-A8), and supports Linux and QNX operating systems.

Email: sales@diamondsystems.com Web: www.diamondsystems.com/products/quantum

PCIe/104 High-Speed Data Acquisition

• DM35218HR • 1.5 MHz 18-bit DAQ • Stackable PCI Express (PCIe/104) • Independent or simultaneous sampling • 4 Analog I/O channels (option with 8 available) • Programmable ranges and gains • 32 Single-ended 3VTTL digital I/O • Multi-board synchronization • -40 to +85°C operating temperature • AS9100 & ISO 9001 Certified Phone: (814) 234-8087

Email: sales@rtd.com Web: www.rtd.com

ANDROID-232: New USB serial interface board—the ANDROID-232

The full-function STKa3359-AA Starter Kit is an easy and inexpensive way to test and evaluate the TQMa335x module.

• RS-232 Serial Adapter for Android Devices • Supports UART interface with RX, TX, RTS and CTS • ±15kV ESD protection on USB data lines and all RS232 signals • Supports USB charging for Android devices • Type A USB connector features industrial strength high retention design • Industrial operating temperature (-40°C to +85°C) standard • Hard line wired connection eliminates security concerns associated with Wi-Fi and other radio Phone: (858) 550-9559 FAX: (858) 550-7322

Email: contactus@accesio.com Web: www.accesio.com


• Rugged, industrialized, four-port USB hub •E xtended temperature operation (-40°C to +85°C) • S upports bus powered and self-powered modes • Th ree power input connectors (power jack, screw terminals, or 3.5” drive Berg power connector) •U SB/104 form-factor for OEM embedded applications • O EM version (board only) features PC/104 module size and mounting compatibility • I ncludes micro-fit embedded USB header connectors

Technology in Quality

ConvergencePromotions.com/TQ-USA TQ-USA is the brand for a module product line represented in N. America by Convergence Promotions, LLC



TQMa335x 1-3 Page Ad.indd 1

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Phone: (858) 550-9559 FAX: (858) 550-7322

Email: contactus@accesio.com Web: www.accesio.com


UltraScale Multi-Processing Architecture Aims for All Programmable Multi-Processing SoCs

Xilinx has introduced the UltraScale Multi-Processing System on Chip (MPSoC) architecture for Next Generation Zynq UltraScale MPSoCs. Building on the industry success of the Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoCs, the new UltraScale MPSoC architecture extends Xilinx’s ASIC-class UltraScale FPGA and 3D IC architecture to enable heterogeneous multi-processing with “the right engines for the right tasks.” Xilinx debuted the All Programmable SoC with the introduction of Zynq-7000, and with UltraScale MPSoC, Xilinx is inventing the first All Programmable MPSoC.

This new All Programmable MPSoC architecture provides processor scalability from 32 to 64 bits with support for virtualization, the combination of soft and hard engines for real-time control and graphics/video processing, waveform and packet processing, next generation coherent interconnect and memory, advanced power management, and technology enhancements that deliver multi-level security, safety and reliability. The UltraScale MPSoC architecture enables breakthroughs in system performance and integration at lower system power by combining heterogeneous multi-processing with extremely fast FinFETs, leveraging TSMC’s 16nm FinFET process. These new architectural elements are coupled with the Vivado Design Suite and abstract design environments to greatly simplify programming and increase productivity. This includes C, C++ and OpenCL-based design abstractions, third-party system level abstractions from Mathworks and National Instruments, and IP-based design abstractions and automation. These environments enable easy software migration from the de facto standard 28nm Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoCs. The new MPSoC architecture will be supported by the expanding ecosystem of SW, Middleware, OS support, Debuggers, IP tools, boards and design services for Zynq devices. Xilinx San Jose, CA (408) 559-7778 www.xilinx.com



The latest small form-factor (VITA 74) solution from CES features a TI DaVinci™ video processor providing multiple HD/SD streams of H.264, VC1, MPEG-4 Video, JPEG/MJPEG compression / decompression and multiple I/Os in a small rugged ru conduction-cooled format.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, CES - Creative Electronic Systems SA has been designing and manufacturing complex high-performance avionic, defense and communication boards, subsystems and complete systems for thirty years (such as ground and flight test computers, ground station subsystems, radar subsystems, mission computers, DAL A certified computers, video platforms, as well as test and support equipment). CES is involved in the most advanced aerospace and defense programs throughout Europe and the US, and delivers innovative solutions worldwide.

For more information: www.ces.ch RTCRTC MAGAZINE MAGAZINE OCTOBER APRIL 2013 2014



New, Intelligent System for Machine Vision

Two new PoE and USB3 camera controllers for vision inspection comprise a dedicated solution aiming at automated optical inspection (AOI), including packaging inspection, label inspection, wafer inspection, alignment inspection and other applications that rely heavily on machine vision. These self-contained PoE and USB3 controllers, the AIIS-1240 and the AIIS-1440 from Advantech, feature performance computing with Power over Ethernet (PoE)/USB3.0, a rich I/O interface, plus extended product longevity, all in a compact form factor. These PoE boxes use the latest third generation Intel Core processors to deliver improved computing power and graphics performance. AIIS-1240 utilizes a single RJ45 cable that carries both data and electrical power. Compliant with IEEE 802.3af, it can provide a maximum of 15.4 watts of power to each powered device at up to a distance of 100 meters, whereas USB2.0 can only provide up to 2.5 watts, with a maximum cable length of 5 meters. Also, the Intel i210 LAN controller in the AIIS-1240 features IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP). PTP allows for synchronizing clocks distributed on a network. In a vision inspection application, this permits synchronizing frames from two or more PoE cameras. Also, the AIIS-1240 is compatible with the GigE Vision cameras that are already widely adopted in industrial vision applications. AIIS-1440 is equipped with a dedicated USB3 controller on each vision channel to make sure the significant bandwidth and a single USB cable can carry both data and electrical power. Compliant with USB 3.0



SuperSpeed, it is capable of transferring data at up to 5 Gbit/s, whereas USB 2.0 can only provide up to 480 Mbit/s. This higher bandwidth supports a camera with 4,608 x 3,288 pixel resolution at 10 frames per second. The AIIS-1440 is also compatible with USB3 vision cameras. AIIS-1240 and AIIS-1440 offer rich I/O interfaces, including four PoE, or four USB3 vision channels, respectively. Plus, these products also feature 40-bit digital I/O, four USB3.0, four USB2.0 and six serial ports. Four USB3.0 ports provide a high-performance data transfer rate up to 5 Gbit/s. The two serial ports on the front panel can be configured as RS-232, RS-422 or RS-485 via BIOS setting. These interfaces can support a number of various peripheral devices. Advantech, Irvine, CA. (949) 420-2500 www.advantech.com

expansion enclosures

Choose from a variety of options: ExpressCard, PCIe, or Thunderbolt connectivity package

1, 2, 3, 5, or 8 slots

Full-length (13.25”), mid-length (9.5” ), or short card (7.5” )

Half-height or full-height cards

36W, 180W, 400W, 550W or 1100W power supply

Flexible and Versatile: Supports any combination of Flash drives, video, lm editing, GPU’s, and other PCIe I/O cards. The CUBE, The mCUBE, and The nanoCUBE are trademarks of One Stop Systems, Inc. Maxexpansion.com and the Maxexpansion.com logo are trademarks of One Stop Systems, Inc. Thunderbolt and the Thunderbolt logo are trademarks of the Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.





Instrumentation Solutions for Digital Receiver/Recording, Spectrum Analysis and Software Defined Radio

Gen 2 with a sustained transfer rate up-to 3200 Mbyte/s and it supports synchronous downsampling on multiple modules. There are eight independent 16-bit DDC channels offering a DDC bandwidth of 50 MHz to approximately 200 KHz. An independent tuner ranges from DC to 125 MHz with a resolution of 0.0582 Hz at a 250 MHz sampling rate. In addition, One wide-band/narrow-band

spectrum analyzer (32768 Points FFT) per forms threshold limited spectrum monitoring up-to 512 bins. Innovative Integration, Simi Valley, CA (805) 578-4260. www.innovative-dsp.com

A new Digital Receiver Instrumentation Series from Innovative Integration offers turnkey solutions that provide integrated digital down-conversion (DDC), FFT, spectrum monitoring, and digital beam-forming functions. The solutions consist of three parts: An FPGA-based analog digitizer module, a PCbased host controller plus an optional firmware development kit to allow customization. The digitizer module is provided with software examples and a C++ API, plus precompiled firmware bit image and a comprehensive manual. The module may be installed onto an XMC-PCIe adapter to allow use within a conventional PC. Alternately, it can be used within Innovative's Andale Data Recorders to capture extremely long time sequences. Or, the module may be installed within an Innovative ePC or VPXI-ePC embedded computer to create a miniature, self-contained instrument. Regardless, the application software may be used to capture and analyze the data immediately – a turnkey solution. First in the series is 90401 Digital Receiver with eight independent DDC Channels and One 32K FFT, a great solution for digital receiver/recording, spectrum analysis, surveillance, or software defined radio. A development kit is available to support creation of advanced custom firmware. Features include analog bandwidth of 5 to approximately400 MHz, eight 14-bit ADCs sampling up-to 250 MHz and a synchronous VITA 49 timestamp using external PPS signal or internal 1 second timer along with an embedded power meter for ADCs (dBFS). The instrument has 32-bit digital-IO and PCI Express

FIND the products featured in this section and more at

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Advertiser Index GET CONNECTED WITH INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS SOURCE AND PURCHASABLE SOLUTIONS NOW Intelligent Systems Source is a new resource that gives you the power to compare, review and even purchase embedded computing products intelligently. To help you research SBCs, SOMs, COMs, Systems, or I/O boards, the Intelligent Systems Source website provides products, articles, and whitepapers from industry leading manufacturers---and it's even connected to the top 5 distributors. Go to Intelligent Systems Source now so you can start to locate, compare, and purchase the correct product for your needs.


Company Page Website Acces I/O.......................................................................................................................... 49.............................................................................................................www.accesio.com Advanced Micro Devices, Inc............................................................................................. 52................................................................................................ www.amd.com/embedded Artilia................................................................................................................................ 37................................................................................................................www.artilia.com Commell........................................................................................................................... 43.......................................................................................................www.commell.com.tw Congatec, Inc..................................................................................................................... 4.............................................................................................................. www.congatec.us Creative Electronic Systems............................................................................................... 47......................................................................................................................www.ces.ch Dolphin Interconnect Solutions........................................................................................... 51......................................................................................................... www.dolphinics.com Grey Matter Consulting and Sales...................................................................................... 41................................................................................................... www.greymatter-cs.com Lauterbach........................................................................................................................ 33........................................................................................................ www.lauterbach.com MEN Micro........................................................................................................................ 15........................................................................................ www.menmicro.com/cpci-serial MSC Embedded, Inc........................................................................................................... 4...................................................................................................www.mscembedded.com One Stop Systems, Inc.................................................................................................... 5, 48..............................................................................................www.onestopsystems.com Pentek, Inc......................................................................................................................... 7...............................................................................................................www.pentek.com Portwell............................................................................................................................ 11............................................................................................................ www.portwell.com Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference.................................................................. 50................................................................................................................ www.rtecc.com RTD............................................................................................................................... 26-27.................................................................................................................www.rtd.com Sensoray........................................................................................................................... 18...........................................................................................................www.sensoray.com Sensors Expo & Conference............................................................................................... 23..................................................................................................... www.sensorsexpo.com Trenton Systems................................................................................................................. 2.................................................................................................. www.trentonsystems.com TQ Systems GmbH.........................................................................................................44, 46................................................................... www.convergencepromotions.com/TQ-USA WinSystems...................................................................................................................... 19....................................................................................................... wwwwinsystems.com Product Showcase............................................................................................................. 46........................................................................................................................................

RTC (Issn#1092-1524) magazine is published monthly at 905 Calle Amanecer, Ste. 250, San Clemente, CA 92673. Periodical postage paid at San Clemente and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to RTC, 905 Calle Amanecer, Ste. 250, San Clemente, CA 92673.

The Event for Embedded & High-Tech Technology 2014 Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conferences Dallas, TX March 18

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Rosemont, IL - Sensors Expo Pavilion June 24-26

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Register today at www.rtecc.com



High-Performance Computing Conference

High-Performance Computing Conference

High-Performance Computing Conference

High-Performance Computing Conference

June 25-26 Rosemont, IL HPCConference.com

Remote Device to Device Transfers

Fast Data Transfers Need to access FPGA, GPU, or CPU resources between systems? Dolphin’s PCI Express Network provides a low latency, high throughput method to transfer data. Use peer to peer communication over PCI Express to access devices and share data with the lowest latency.

Learn how PCI Express™ improves your application’s performance