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New tools, solutions at ESC, EDA&T-Taiwan

Posted: 17 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Regina Gepte? TSMC? Sunplus? Wind River? Intel?

Cutting-edge technologies and solutions, including the latest embedded development and EDA tools, will take centerstage at the 6th Annual Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) and the 14th Annual EDA & Test-Taiwan (EDA&T) Conference and Exhibition to be held on August 17-18. Asia's longest-running design event will once again gather the world's leading vendors on an expanded show floor at the Taipei International Convention Center.

Fu-Chieh Hsu, VP of design and technology platforms at Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg Co. Ltd, will deliver the keynote address titled, "Improving your bottomline through advances in circuit and process modeling methodologies."

Highlights of the two-day event are the Designing TV-On-The-Go and Multicore SoCs Summits, which will discuss challenges in designing multicore SoCs as well as the latest trends and developments in mobile TV.

Presenters at the Multicore SoC Summit include: Sunplus Technology's Bor-Sung Liang, who will discuss pitfalls in multicore designs; Wind River's Vinay Panchdhari, on harnessing the power of multicore processors; and Trolltech's David Almstrom, evaluating the requirements for an embedded software platform supporting multicore SoCs.

The Designing TV-On-The-Go summit, meanwhile, will tackle the challenges and issues confronting mobile TV. Frontier Silicon's Steve Evans will present the challenges inherent in developing a mobile TV product from a silicon vendor's perspective. Paxton Cooper of MontaVista Software Inc. will talk about key mobile multimedia requirements, while Philips Semiconductors' Joey Chan will discuss key technologies for addressing power consumption and picture quality issues.

A series of vendor seminars hosted by market leaders Intel, Cadence, Renesas, Altera, Tensilica, MIPS Technologies, Agilent and Advanced Micro Devices, among others, will also highlight the latest embedded technologies, solutions, tools and design methodologies.

Design hurdles
The design of embedded control systems presents many challenges to engineers. Aside from ensuring faster time-to-market, high product quality and lower costs, today's developers are hard-pressed to deliver efficient implementations of increasingly complex embedded systems.

Embedded software development has had to contend with constraints brought about by either the software or the embedded architecture. Industry observers predict that the anticipated shift from parallel computing and SMP paradigms to heterogeneous embedded distributed systems will usher in changes in embedded software developmentspecifically new and improved development tools, runtime software and languages.

Converging markets
Design companies are aggressively pursuing the concept of platform-based SoC to aid chip designers in creating ICs for smart network equipment, data broadcasting, interactive communication and other value-added peripherals.

At this year's ESC/EDA&T, Faraday Technology Corp. will showcase its FIC8120 multimedia SoC platform, which consists of an MPEG-4/JPEG codec core combined with a high-speed CPU and several embedded hardware. When used with a DSP, it can perform coding/decoding of a variety of music formats, making it suitable for DVD players, home media centers and portable media players.

The design firm will also display its dual-application SoC platform, the world's first SoC solution that combines network video streaming and network communication protocols. Based on the FIC8120, it comprises an embedded ARM v4-based 32bit RISC CPU with a maximum clock speed of 220MHz. Its two-way audio communication software, which supports RTSP and 3GPP protocols, makes it a viable design solution for multiple-location and audio conferencing between the network surveillance host and remote workstations.

Meanwhile, MontaVista will present Mobilinux, an optimized Linux OS and development environment suitable for wireless handsets and mobile devices requiring efficient power management, hard real-time performance, fast startup and small footprint. Built on a fourth-generation MontaVista Linux platform, Mobilinux caters to both feature and smart phones and is the only proven commercial Linux platform for mobile devices.

ARM Ltd. will offer ESC/EDA&T participants its MPCore technology for high-end CE, networking and portable media applications. MPCore provides a power-efficient, scalable and high-performance processor solution for these markets, where products contain multiple software applications demanding good system-level performance. The MPCore multiprocessor can be configured to contain one to four processors delivering performance of up to 2,600 Dhrystone MIPS. It also implements adaptive shutdown technology and the ARM Intelligent Energy Manager technology to reduce power consumption by as much as 85 percent.

National Instruments will exhibit its LabVIEW software tool for designing test, measurement and control systems. Because LabVIEW combines a programming language with built-in tools for test, measurement and control, designers can create applications ranging from simple temperature monitoring to sophisticated simulation and control systems. LabVIEW-based tools, such as the LabVIEW FPGA module, DSP module and embedded development module for ADI Blackfin, promote experiential learning through an interactive, hands-on environment.

- Regina Gepte
Electronic Engineering Times-Asia

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