2010

Conference Paper: A flexible, plug-in based debugger

In this newsletter we returned to an old theme of ours, that of how to best address and make more efficient, the process of debugging embedded systems. While it may seem Clarinox is obsessed with this subject we are not alone, as shown by the ESC survey, LinkedIn discussions and papers such Cravotta, R., Shedding light on embedded debugging, 2008, " test and debug continues to consume the largest slice of the development and maintenance cycle." This makes it a concern for every company developing electronic product.

Test is a vital and accepted part of the design cycle. Debug is the natural companion of test. Whilst methodologies and processes can be optimised to minimalize the probability of bugs they will not be reduced to zero for code of any level of complexity. By this statement I mean that best practice will provide risk mitigation but not complete risk elimination. So there will for the foreseeable future be a need for tools to assist with test and debug.

With this thinking in mind Clarinox has worked to provide an enhanced debugging tool and a component of their embedded framework. Framework aimed at providing an OS agnostic middleware with the main building blocks required for wireless device and system development. The aim is to provide a package that assists to make development faster, more robust and readily portable to many platforms.

Additionally Clarinox has a long standing relationship with RMIT university. These two facts combine and Clarinox is pleased to announce the publication of a jointly prepared paper on the topic of debugging which been accepted to, and will be presented at, the annual real time and embedded system conference, Singapore November 1-2. The paper describes a flexible, plug-in based debugger. The debug system, built as a C++ interface class, is independent of the physical layer, which can be a network, a serial connection (e.g., RS232), or even a file on hard disk or flash memory. The plug-in mechanism is described and an example presented of how these are written to fit into the debugger environment. For the full discussion please click here.

Finally, thanks to Pavel Modilaynen (see below discussions), Embedded Software Engineer at ARC, Russia for the subject line quote that was used for this newsletter "Embedded Debugging, like catching a black cat in a dark room" and the many other engineers that have discussed with us what is good and bad about debugging tools for embedded systems.

Clarinox attendsTaitronics 2010

Clarinox attended Taitronics, the 36th Taipei International Electronics Show, held at TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall, Taipei, Taiwan on 11 - 14 October 2010. This was part of a Victorian Government Mission. To see the official government brochure on Clarinox expertise for wireless embedded designs and embedded Bluetooth protocol software please click here.

 

Developments in Bluetooth

The "Connectivity Technologies Industry Update - August 2010" from IMS Research contains the statement that "the development of Bluetooth high speed and Wi-Fi Direct could bring the technologies head-to-head for the first time", well perhaps the first time in the last few years. At Clarinox the memory goes back a little further as the company has been involved with Bluetooth for nearly a decade. Over this period we have seen many claims and counterclaims, adoptions and adaptions, and watched the technology grow from strength to strength to become the technology of choice for many applications.

The hardware agnostic Clarinox stack achieved music streaming to multiple units as early as 2003 in an implementation for Tata Consultancy Services. For more details click here

The Clarinox stack was a finalist in the Australian Technology Showcase Award 2007, received the AIIA Victorian Merit Award in 2009 and the EDN 2009 Best Design Software Award.

Standard Bluetooth after many years of progress is suitable for applications like:

-        Headset &/or Handsfree, Clarinox provides a slimline Class 1 or Class 2 Bluetooth 3.0 board design with integrated software for the Bluetooth A2DP, AVRCP, Handsfree and Headset profiles, read more

-        Remote control, command/diagnostics: anything from medical equipment to remotely controlled robots, to see how Clarinox Bluetooth technology was used to assist children with hearing impairments read more

-        Short range voice to facilitate real time transfer of information for fire fighters, construction workers, machine room staff  or anyone who wants audio network within a confined area such as our case study on the help such a system can provide the vision impaired, read more

-        Message access, phonebook access and other handset related functions;  Voice prompts for control of phone calls - or equipment items; File, music or even video data transfer; In cabin automotive entertainment applications

-         To discuss your application requirements contact us

In addition to this list, as IMS have discussed, Bluetooth now has high speed capability which opens up many new applications such as video streaming. However high speed is not the only change, as Bluetooth 4.0 also brings a low power version which will allow tiny, button battery based, devices to run for many years on one set of batteries.

The Clarinox embedded middleware combines several of the main building blocks required for wireless device and system development and so provides a more complete package for the product developer. Development is faster, more robust and readily portable to many platforms.

So, back to that comment from IMS, well yes, the addition of both low speed and high speed versions of the Bluetooth technology will expand the application potential for Bluetooth and hence will cause it to compete against other technologies in those spaces - will the competition be head-to-head? We think that at this time, as the internet of things ramps up, both WiFi and Bluetooth will have a place.

 

Asset Tracking

Ever wondered who can use asset tracking? What technology to use and what are the differences anyway?

At Clarinox we have been involved with tracking and location based services projects since 2002 when we developed a child tracking system based upon Bluetooth technology. Since those days many new technologies have become available and Clarinox has kept pace with the changes. Clarinox can offer a full end-to-end solution suitable for system integrators or in-house engineering to rapidly tailor to specific requirements. The newest offering from Clarinox technologies is the Yulo family of tags and readers. The range provides a reliable, value for money, active RFID solution.

To read more on Yulo click here