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protocols

These blog posts relate to specific network protocols (wired and wireless) of interest to embedded system designers.

Top 5 Causes of Nasty Embedded Software Bugs

Finding and killing latent bugs in embedded software is a difficult business. Heroic efforts and expensive tools are often required to trace backward from an observed crash, hang, or other unplanned run-time behavior to the root cause. In the worst case scenario, the root cause damages the code or data in such a subtle way that the system still appears to work fine -or mostly fine- for some time before the malfunction.

Introduction to the SAE J1939 Protocol

SAE J1939 is the standard communications network for sharing control and diagnostic information between electronic control units (ECUs) which reside on heavy duty and commercial vehicles. Examples of such vehicles are school busses, cement mixers, military vehicles, and semi-tractors. Due to its popularity and success, it has been adopted by the agricultural (ISO 11783) and marine industries (NMEA2000).

Software Reliability and the Internet of Things

As Internet connectivity advances, the transportation, automotive, medical device, smart grid and other industry sectors have become more dependent on embedded software. But is embedded software up to the required level of reliability?

Portable Fixed-Width Integers in C

For embedded software developers, the most significant improvements to the C programming language made in the ISO C99 standard update are in the new <stdint.h> header file. Learn the typedef names for the new fixed width integer data types, to make hardware interfacing in C easier. And there are other benefits as well

Computer programmers don't always care how wide an integer is when held by the processor. For example, when we write:

Introduction to Controller Area Network (CAN)

Controller Area Network (CAN) is the most widely-used automotive bus architecture. Here are some reasons why.

At peak, some automobiles contained up to three miles of cabling. To reduce the cost and weight of wiring and still allow ECUs to become more intelligent, new methods had to be found to reduce the amount of wiring. The CAN bus has since found application in other industries as well.

Serial Communication Protocols: CAN vs. SPI

Distributed systems require protocols for communication between microcontrollers. Controller Area Networks (CAN) and Serial Peripheral Interfaces (SPI) are two of the most common such protocols.

How Endianness Works: Big-Endian vs. Little Endian

Which is the most convenient end on your system? The choices are big endian and little endian.

Some human languages are read and written from left to right; others from right to left. A similar issue arises in the field of computers, involving the representation of numbers.

How Network Processors Work

Major semiconductor manufacturers are starting to sell a new type of integrated circuit, the network processor. Network processors are programmable chips like general purpose microprocessors, but are optimized for the packet processing required in network devices. But what are they good for and how do they work?

How to Implement Internet Protocol (IP) in C

The Internet Protocol (IP) is the glue that holds an internet together. Here's a compact implementation of the IP layer for embedded C programmers.

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)

The address resolution protocol provides a necessary bridge between physical and logical addresses on a TCP/IP network.

Every system on a TCP/IP network has two addresses, one physical and one logical. The address resolution protocol (ARP) provides a necessary bridge between these two addresses.

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