Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Free Webinar High Performance Digital Control on Zynq

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

If you have just sat down at your desk with a coffee, then put that aside for a minute and grab your diary.

Review your schedule for Tuesday 12th July 2016 and consider this stellar opportunity: on that day ELMG Digital Power will be hosting a FREE webinar on Digital Power using Xilinx Zynq SoC.

That’s right, from the comfort of your own desk you can join ELMG Digital Power (Members of the Xilinx Alliance Program) for their Zynq Digital Power Webinar and expand your knowledge and expertise by discovering:

* What is important in digital power, including numeric precision and latency
* How to design a compensator in the digital domain
* Why you would use a FPGA for digital power and why the Zynq SoC in particular
* Key issues in digital controllers in programmable logic, such as the serial-parallel trade-off, fixed or floating point,      choosing sample rates and what precision to use
* The building blocks for digital control and ELMG’s licensable IP cores
* IIR digital filter design (a case study) along with understanding the delta operator
* Using the ARM cores in the Zynq to your full advantage.

This webinar will be hosted and presented by Dr. Tim King, ELMG Digital Power’s Principal FPGA Engineer. Tim has considerable experience the design and implementation of varied digital control systems and IP for power electronics on FPGA platforms.

The webinar, which includes a short Q&A session, will be held on Tuesday 12th July and is available globally. Just choose a time that best suits you from these three options:

1. July 12th 2016 – commencing at 4pm in Christchurch NZ. (This will be 2pm Sydney, 1pm Tokyo, and 9:30am Delhi)

Register for Asia-Pacific


2. July 12th 2016 – commencing at 9am London (10am Berlin)

Register for Europe


3. July 12th 2016 – commencing at 1pm San Francisco (3pm Houston, 4pm New York)

Register for USA

Spaces are limited.  

See you at the webinar



Better Embedded System Software

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016
Better Embedded System Software - by Philip Koopman

Better Embedded System Software – by Philip Koopman

I was speaking with a friend about software standards for power electronic converters.  We were talking about how to get better embedded system software. He asked me to look at the book “Better Embedded Systems Design” by Philipp Koopman.  I borrowed a copy a copy from my local engineering library.  It looks good and covers all the areas that are required in software for Power Electronics.  Most of the stuff covered we have in our internal standards or design rules.  There are good section on comments and what they are able to do and what they are not able to do.  At the moment here at ELMG Digital Power our standard is to use minimal comments as we have found that they do not get maintained.

Issues Tracking is a must

The issue tracking chapter in the book is good also.  We use JIRA for issues tracking.  Having issue tracking is a really good sign that code will be OK.

In terms of quality for software we go back to the source Demming for lots of our quality thinking.  It is useful also to have the six sigma stuff around for its mathematical “control of variation” stuff.  I know that some of the young guys that join us find having to learn about Demming either distracting or irrelevant. It always useful to have a basis for quality and Demming’s approach is a great foundation.

And there are standards already

A good grounding in IEC61508 standards is useful too.  Requirements tracking and testing is required in these.  The medical devices software requirements are similar to  IEC61508.  We use the 61508 approach regularly it gives a great basis for safety critical programmable systems.  The ISO 26262 is the motor vehicle industries take on 61508 with wriggle room so they can avoid some of the really expensive requirements.  It is interesting to note that ISO26262 is a very recent standard.

Even household appliances have their own safety critical control standards in IEC60730 which is called out in the household appliances standard IEC60335.   And as household appliances run unattended they are actually really high risk.  I was once told at a functional safety course that there are 30000 washing machine fires  in the EU every year.  I cannot be certain of that number.

Other approaches to software quality include DOD 178 standards for code development and audit.

Another Book worth a looking

Another book that I like is the “Art of Designing Embedded Systems” by Jack Ganssle.  He is far more an engineer made good in embedded software development guy and so is far more – “get your scope out”.  Lots of software guys dislike Jack Ganssle because what he says is outside their competence.  He is a very useful thinker.

Better Embedded System Software – just a dream

In summary the Koopman book “Better Embedded Systems Design” is a really good overview of the things that need to be done to get “good” software.

It seems that mostly people ignore all this software quality stuff in power supplies. And yet with the increasing trend to software control in power electronics better embedded system software is probably what power supply engineers need.