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"The trick is to fix the problem you have, not the problem you want." --Bram Cohen

In this issue:

  • Getting Started with C++ for Firmware Developers
  • Further Develop Your Embedded Programming Skills this Fall
  • Modern Embedded Software Architecture: Beyond the RTOS
  • Retake Control of Your Embedded Project Schedule
  • Industry News That's Not Boring

Firmware Update is a free, monthly-ish newsletter by embedded systems expert Michael Barr. Firmware Update is a trademark and this issue is Copyright ©2019. You may forward whole issues to colleagues that design embedded systems.  No other uses are permitted.


Getting Started with C++ for Firmware Developers

C++ compilers are widely available for embedded processors, including microcontrollers.  However, the use of C++ by firmware developers lags the language's adoption rate by other types of programmers.

Have you thought about moving from C to C++?  With some definite benefits of C++, what's stopping you?

Why not watch this 1-hour video How to Get Started with C++ in Embedded Systems?

Or attend Barr Group's hands-on training Embedded Systems Programming in C++?

Further Develop Your Embedded Programming Skills this Fall

There are a number of opportunities to learn firmware development best practices in coming months:

Consult the full training calendar for prices and other details.  Beware that prices increase two weeks prior.

Alternatively, consider bringing an instructor to your office for an on-site training for your whole team.  Teams of five or more usually find this is more cost effective than attending public courses.

Register today: https://barrgroup.com/training-calendar

Modern Embedded Software Architecture: Beyond the RTOS

A Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) is the most widely used tool/paradigm for architecting embedded software.  But the central RTOS "feature" (preemptive multi-threading) is also the cause of a majority of the nastiest and most difficult-to-debug firmware bugs.

Importantly, an RTOS is not the only architectural paradigm available.  So-called "active objects" are state machines that cooperate with each other--without requiring preemption or blocking--to process a sequence of external and internal events as they arise.  If this is not a paradigm you are already familiar with, you owe it to yourself and your firmware development team to learn more.

Start herehttps://embeddedgurus.com/state-space/category/event-driven-programming/

Retake Control of Your Embedded Project Schedule

Is your embedded systems design project falling behind schedule?  Staffed with experienced embedded hardware and firmware engineers, Barr Group provides embedded systems design assistance and expert guidance to engineering teams and their managers.  

Barr Group's design team augmentation services include:

With a perpetual focus on helping teams get back on schedule and budget, our engineers regularly help companies complete the development of products including: medical devices, automotive systems, cloud-connected IoT products, industrial automation equipment, and mobile/communications gear.​

Need temporary staff augmentation?  Struggling to find specific expertise?  Need help with development tool configuration?  Want an independent design/code review?  Whatever's stressing you out...  we can help with that!

Reach out: https://barrgroup.com/contact

Industry News That's Not Boring

The current state of wearable IoT devices for healthcare.  Infographic: https://www.raconteur.net/infographics/wearable-healthcare-tech

Xilinx releases new world's largest FPGA with 35 billion transistors, breaking its own prior record by 60%.  https://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1335078

Want to make elections better (less costly and more representative, e.g.)?  Just add randomness: https://blog.simondlr.com/random-walks-across-the-aisle

Stolen fingerprint data could spell disaster for biometric security methods: https://techxplore.com/news/2019-08-stolen-fingerprints-biometric.html

Are we living in a computer simulation?  "Let's not find out." https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/10/opinion/sunday/are-we-living-in-a-computer-simulation-lets-not-find-out.html

Risks of relying on embedded systems for evidence: Denmark's courts are reviewing "over 10,000 verdicts" as a result of recently discovered bugs in handset location data provided by cell phone infrastructure!  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/20/world/europe/denmark-cellphone-data-courts.html

More news: https://twitter.com/embeddedbarr


Quick Links to Useful Stuff

How to Contact the Author

I'm always interested in hearing from embedded systems designers and happy to take a few minutes to help you find the resources to get a design done right. Send me an email anytime. And be sure to also connect with me on Twitter (@embeddedbarr) and LinkedIn (https://linkedin.com/in/embeddedbarr).