Using Real-World Methodologies to Calculate SSD Usable Life

With more embedded systems using SSDs in critical applications, designers are now asking the question, “How long will this SSD last in my application?” To help answer this pressing question, it is important to review the recent changes in NAND flash technology.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Life cycle analysis

Middleware Offers Integration Framework for Dynamic UAV Applications

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) like the MQ-1 Predator have excelled in the theaters of war in which they have been deployed. However, the ability of those controlling the UAV to conceive of new missions for the Predator and other deployed UAVs in the field has led to the U.S. Air Force recognition that the fundamental architectural approach to development of complete Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs), including ground stations and other elements, has to put integration capability front and center as a key design issue.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Systems engineering, Military aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Interaction Methods for Virtual Reality Applications

The potential of Virtual Reality (VR) technology has not been fully realized because the user interfaces are not designed to effectively support the user. One of the most critical interface aspects is the possibility to interact with the system within the virtual environment. The initial idea of optimizing the user interaction was to transfer the interaction that occurs in the real world as accurately as possible into the VR environment. In this case the user, theoretically, would have no problems interchanging between the two worlds.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace


For 25 years, the VME architecture defined COTS systems that met the demand for increases in computing and connectivity. Successive generations of new processors provided more and more compute cycles, while VME bandwidth evolved in a similar fashion from 40 Mbytes/s on the original VMEbus to 80 Mbytes/s, then 160 Mbytes/s and finally 320 Mbytes/s on 2eSST.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Data exchange, Technical reference

Secure Software Flashing

More and more devices in our modern world come with a multitude and variety of embedded systems. An obvious example of this trend is today’s vehicles, which have dozens of electronic control units (ECUs) that control everything from the air conditioning and electric windows to the engine and brake system. Several ECUs allow downloading of updated program and data code via a boot loader. Such software might be a control unit firmware update for fixing bugs, for improving features, or for downloading data such as additional multimedia files. The first case is also called a software download or simply flashing (since flash memory is updated). The download might be performed directly over a diagnostic channel or another available communication channel such as Bluetooth and GSM.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Cyber security, Electronic control units, Embedded software, Vehicle networking, Maintenance, Repair and Service Operations

Cloud Computing: What Are the Networking Implications?

The growth of data centers and the concept of infrastructure as a service is leading to significant focus on cloud computing architectures. Pundits have proclaimed cloud computing as the ultimate merger of information technology with communication. The promise of cloud computing is immense — it aims to create a virtual world of applications, giving the user an unparalleled computational power using a simple front-end and a decently fast broadband connection.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Cloud computing, Communication protocols

The Physics of Failure: Predicting Reliability in Electronic Components

A lot has been written about Moore's Law and the potential limitations of semiconductor design and manufacturing in the future. Can we really continue to double the number of transistors on a given-sized die every eighteen months? For the last 30 years, Moore's Law has held, but, we may be seeing the real limitations to future semiconductor development and to Moore's Law — severely shortened operational lifetimes of advanced chips. That, in turn, creates massive reliability problems for critical embedded systems in the future.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Production, Semiconductors, Reliability