embedded award 2023: Tools nominees
Automated tools increase efficiency and reliability at all levels of the embedded value chain. There are tried and tested tools that have been used for years. However, in order to further optimise development processes, the need for new tools is always there. A look at the nominees in this category is definitely worthwhile ...
A Rust-based user interface toolkit, a design support tool and a digital power workbench
Exhibitor: SixtyFPS GmbH
There wasn’t any commercial-grade Rust-based user interface toolkits that could be used to created smartphone-like graphical user interfaces on embedded devices. Rust, as a “memory-safe” language, produces secure code and, crucially, doesn't worsen performance to achieve it. The language has been steadily gaining adherents and is now at a turning point with it being an officially recognized and accepted language in Linux.
With this, Rust could very well become the dominant programming language replacing C/C++ in the embedded systems area. The ubiquity of smartphones and the decreasing cost of TFT screens have impacted on how we interface with embedded devices. TFT screens are being increasingly used on embedded devices to provide visual feedback as well as offering a touch-based system to control the device.
With a commercial-grade Rust-based user interface toolkit, manufacturers can significantly reduce software risks and security vulnerabilities without compromising on the end-user experience.
Compared to other Rust-based user interface toolkits, Slint’s focus on embedded and desktop platforms makes it a scalable solution – being able to run on devices with a few KBs of RAM to rendering complex User Interface on desktop.
Slint leverages declarative programming style to allow users to define the user interface in a markup language which can be integrated into an existing code base written in any programming language.
StatInf provides software tools and services for the timing verification of real-time embedded systems in the avionics, space, defence, automotive and transportation industries. Statinf's innovative product, RocqStat uses patented predictive statistics along with static analysis to provide detailed timing verification for multi-tiered software on architectures ranging from single-core to complex multi-core systems.
RocqStat, the embedded systems design support tool, offered by StatInf, reduces interference between programs so that they run safely while minimizing power consumption. RocqStat takes software or hardware traces of program execution times as input. It returns to the designer: a program execution profile, the interference model between several programs, a program execution and core allocation proposal, as well as the impact on energy consumption.
StatInf's approach allows for a fine-grained, low-level understanding of how programs run on hardware, mixed with sophisticated statistical techniques. To date, most companies use deterministic approaches to ensure functional safety, as they use simpler hardware and algorithms.
While AI algorithms and multi-core processors are rapidly taking over the market, due to their non-deterministic nature, deterministic approaches are not scalable to provide business advantage to the customer. To participate in the technological leap that are these AI algorithms and these multi-core processors while ensuring operational safety, statistical approaches are essential.
STM32 Digital Power Workbench
Exhibitor: STMicroelectronics International NV
Enabling a faster design cycle and reducing risks is vital for designers developing highly complex and sophisticated digital power converters. The new online STM32 Digital Power Workbench drastically reduces time and effort to implement all the essential aspects of a digital power converter design process, solving the mentioned challenges.
It provides a step-by-step reliable design of power stage and, new in the market, of the control loop. It helps quickly assess the impact of the critical design decisions on the digital control loop stability, the power efficiency, and the power losses distribution.
In this context, automated embedded code generation is a consistent development environment, with a common and more readable embedded SW library architecture for different power topologies.
Together with the optimized selection of power components, it allows to solve the most challenging tasks to achieve the desired closed performance and power efficiency targets. It generates the customized STM32 FW code in an integrated STM32Cube environment, compatible with multiple STM32 IDEs.
Thanks to the STM32 Digital Power Workbench, analog designers will no longer feel reluctant to migrate to digital power solutions due to lack of skills on digitally controlled architectures, FW development and MCU configuration. A bridge to their skills gap is now available, easing the adoption of very efficient Digital Power topologies for a more sustainable world.
To the best of our knowledge, the STM32 Digital Power Workbench is the first online tool in the industry with such capabilities. It positions itself as a steppingstone for designers focusing on digital power converters. Here are five top benefits for designers: 1. Make digital power design easy and smooth, from user’s specification to circuit’s analysis and customization 2. Create FW libraries that are highly configurable by customers, but within predetermined constraints to avoid safety hazards3. Allow the selection of best fitting HW platform, according to user specification, and interact to fine-tune it4.
Connect eDesignSuite, STM32CubeMX, and FW library project from single entities to an integrated design workflow5. Provide a single design workspace for a more intuitive and smarter UI where customers can customize all the design aspects, achieve deeper design qualification, and get all SW/HW BOM and performance analysis.The new STM32 Digital Power Workbench supports highly demanding PFC topologies both for single-phase applications, such as the interleaved Totem-Pole PFC with ZVS digital control, and three-phase applications such as the Vienna Rectifier and the bidirectional three-level T-type converter.