Engineers Must Learn the Importance of Software Testing

I started working at Datalight as a file system engineer shortly after graduating from college. And when I started, software testing was somewhat foreign to me. I was a developer, and QA was a place for other people that did other things. I assumed my job was to create software that performed as users expected as long as the users did things correctly. If they did something weird, like trying to fread() from a NULL file handle, they should expect bad things to happen. In other words, I expected to follow my “common sense” in designing workable software, and I expected my users to follow the same “common sense” as they interacted with it.
News||Support||Performance | Posted In: News, Support, Performance
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Avoiding the Brick in Embedded Devices

Embedded devices today are performing more frequent updates, including monthly security updates for Android devices. One concern for any update is the potential for failure, with the worst case failure leaving the device a useless brick.
Consumer||Reliability||Events | Posted In: Consumer, Reliability, Events
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Datalight Provides Support for Android Certification

Google has seen great success with Android across a wide variety of device types and industries. Developers who build devices that run Android must pass the Android Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) in order to claim full compatibility. As application complexity and storage capacity has increased, Google has recently revised the CTS to include new requirements, such as a larger path structure and support for the fallocate() file system command.
Android | Posted In: Android
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Report from the New Space 2.0 Conference 2016

I had the opportunity to attend The New Space 2.0 conference last month in Seattle and was impressed by how much this industry is changing. The conference focused on the next generation of space flight and the dramatic changes happening today, covering a number of dynamics around the commercialization of space flight.
Events | Posted In: Events
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Datalight to Present at ESC Minneapolis

We are excited to announce that Datalight has been invited to present at the 2016 Embedded Systems Conference in Minneapolis, September 21-22. The session “Open Source and yet Secure” and “Avoiding the Brick – Seamless Updates in Embedded Devices,” will discuss best practices embedded engineers can employ to avoid challenges they face in producing long-lasting, high-quality products.
Events | Posted In: Events
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Why We Wrote the New “Optimizing Your Software Stack for IIoT Devices”

The idea for this paper came from a conversation our CEO, Roy Sherrill, had with several customers and industry folks regarding the decreasing endurance of flash memory. Some smaller lithography parts have program/erase cycles counted in the hundreds. What techniques can be used to make sure writes (and hence erases) are held to a minimum while still providing the level of performance and reliability that embedded devices require? He had some theories, but wanted proof.
News||Industrial | Posted In: News, Industrial
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Putting Developers in Control with New FreeRTOS Version 9

As a partner of FreeRTOS in designing quality open source software for IoT, Datalight is excited for the recent release of FreeRTOS version 9.0.0. FreeRTOS V9 adds several features and improvements to the real-time operating system. Most significantly, FreeRTOS now supports completely statically allocated systems, giving developers precise control over the RAM footprint and even the memory locations of specific RTOS components (such as each individual task’s stack).
RTOS||News | Posted In: RTOS, News
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Which Linux Flash File System is Best for Your Device?

Raw flash memory, that is, memory that isn’t part of a package (like SD, eMMC, SSD, and the like) requires software to manage it. On Linux, this software is the Memory Technology Device (MTD) layer, with a flash file system above that to handle wear-leveling, bad block management, and all regular file system duties. There are several options for Linux, but some of them present advantages.
Linux||News | Posted In: Linux, News
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Do You Know How Wear-Leveling Extends Flash Lifetime?

Embedded devices are used for many different purposes, in many different industries, and the expectations for lifetime range vastly between them. Small consumer products, such as wrist-mounted fitness monitors have lifetimes of only a few years as new versions will take their place shortly, whereas embedded devices in cars and energy meters may be expected to last upwards of 30 years. NAND flash wears out over time and will eventually fail. How can you extend the life of your NAND-based devices?
Endurance||Linux | Posted In: Endurance, Linux
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Myth Busting for Iot Devices - The File System

Recently, William Lamie published a mythbusting piece that examined the use of an RTOS in IoT devices on Electronic Design. His insightful comments apply to most device designs complex enough to use a microprocessor. Which, these days, is pretty much all of them. We’ve run into a lot of the same myths around one crucial component of the RTOS – the file system.
Microcontrollers||Reliability||Security | Posted In: Microcontrollers, Reliability, Security
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