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Mentor Blogs

Posts tagged with 'Memory'

14 Oct, 2013

Colin Walls Stuff goes wrong – it is a fact of life. Embedded devices are typically very reliable, but not immune to failure. A common failure mode is a lock-up – the device freezes and will not respond to any user interaction. This could be caused by either a software or a hardware problem. In any case, I recently wrote about how a device can perform a self test and how software can preempt its own … Read More

Memory, reset, Self-test

2 Sep, 2013

Colin Walls Last week, I talked about self-testing possibilities for embedded software, where the goal was to detect and mitigate the effects of hardware failure. I commented that further work could be done to address the issue of software failure and this would need to wait until a future occasion. That time has come … All non-trivial software has bugs. Obviously, well designed software is likely to have … Read More

Memory, Self-test, Sourcery Analyzer

27 Aug, 2013
Embedded Software


Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls Things go wrong. Electronic components die. Systems fail. This is almost inevitable and, the more complex that systems become, the more likely it is that failure will occur. In complex systems, however, that failure might be subtle; simple systems tend to just work or not work. As an embedded system is “smart”, it seems only reasonable that this intelligence can be directed at identifying … Read More

Memory, Self-test

12 Aug, 2013
Embedded Software

Resistive RAM

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls It can be frustrating waiting for a critical technology to be ready for market. We see ever increasing power and complexity in embedded CPUs, but other vital system components seem to have stalled. Specifically, I am thinking about batteries and memory. I am still waiting for a great leap in battery performance – faster charging and larger capacity. My money is on graphene super-capacitors being … Read More

Memory, non-volatile memory, resistive RAM, RRAM

30 May, 2011

Colin Walls I recently posted some thoughts about handling non-volatile RAM - dealing with the recognition of memory that had not been initialized. I was very pleased to hear from a reader, Bert Böhne in the Netherlands, who has some experience in this matter: “In a current project we do the same. We have some non-volatile memory for settings. After each set of data we also defined one byte for a crc. When … Read More

Memory, non-volatile memory, NVRAM

16 May, 2011
Embedded Software

Memory signature

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls People often ask me questions about embedded software. Sometimes they are complex; other times they are simple. But frequently, the simplest ones are what leads to an interesting train of thought. The one that set my brain working recently was something like this: “I have some non-volatile memory in my design, which is used to retain specific parameters through power cycling. The first time the … Read More

Memory, non-volatile memory, NVRAM

8 Feb, 2010

Colin Walls The computer world is often accused of being mired in jargon and I think that is a fair criticism. In some ways it gets worse when an everyday word is “hijacked” to have a new meaning. A good example is “program”, which had several meanings before it was applied to software. Interestingly, in the UK we use the US spelling ["program"] to refer to software, but retain the English version ["programme"] … Read More


12 Oct, 2009

Colin Walls

Two weeks ago, I posted a blog about heap contiguity, where I proposed an idea for using an MMU to solve fragmentation problems, which I had previously discussed in a Web seminar. I have worked in the embedded software business for many years and have met and worked with a lot of fine people. It seems that quite a few of the read this blog, which is great. Two of them contacted me by email following

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Heap, Memory, MMU

28 Sep, 2009

Colin Walls

A while ago I did a Webinar looking at C++ for embedded applications. It was well attended and well received and there were lots of questions and comments, which is always very satisfying. I observed that a number of people were specifically interested in dynamic memory allocation in C and C++ and the challenges that are presented to embedded and real time programmers. So I developed a further Webinar

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Heap, Memory, MMU

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