Military Embedded Systems


From The Editor

The proliferation of COTS acronyms - Blog

January 12, 2015
More than two decades have passed since Secretary of Defense William Perry issued the “COTS memorandum,” dictating that the military must procure commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology. Since that time in 1994 we’ve seen budget cuts, defense buildups, sequestration, three presidents and a plethora of COTS acronym spinoffs.

Evolution of 4th generation warfare - Blog

January 12, 2015
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: Our first, second, and third entries in this series covered the early evolution of warfare up through the Vietnam War, where fourth generation warfare (4GW) took hold. In this installment we discuss 4GW and how its foundational ideas of 4GW were originally written by Mao Tse Tung and his co-commander, Zhu De, in 1928.

The 31 flavors of Ethernet - Blog

January 06, 2015
ETHERNET EVERYWHERE BLOG: Our last blog covered the basic subject of why Ethernet is a good choice for military and embedded applications. Now that Why has been explained, I thought that I would spend some time talking about the What? Most people are often surprised by the different flavors, so to speak, of Ethernet that exist. I’m not sure that there are actually 31 flavors, but for this discussion, it is close enough.

Warfare Evolution Blog: Defeating 3rd generation warfare - Blog

January 02, 2015
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: We looked at the how the Blitzkrieg (3GW) defeated the Maginot Line (2GW) in Part 2 of this series. As U.S. Army Gen. George S. Patton once said, "a good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed at some indefinite time in the future." That axiom was proved true when 2GW was overwhelmed in World War II (WWII). Now, let's look at how 3GW can be defeated while continuing to support Patton's statement.

CODE QUALITY BLOG: Is 100 percent code coverage analysis essential? - Blog

November 19, 2014
CODE QUALITY BLOG: Safety-critical software standards focus very highly on how to test software effectively. They state that effective software testing requires a disciplined approach in which code coverage is used to provide feedback on the effectiveness of the testing to date. The level of testing rigor applied to a system must be driven by the impact of a system failure. The more significant the consequences, the more rigorous the testing has to be.


November 12, 2014
ETHERNET EVERYWHERE BLOG: This is a first in a series of blogs covering the latest and greatest information surrounding Ethernet. However, I thought I’d start out the first blog answering the question “Why Ethernet?" and then, I’ll proceed through a series discussing the latest innovations, standards, and applications.

SAFETY CRITICAL BLOG: Microkernels, de-centralized government and social order - Blog

October 29, 2014
SAFETY CRITICAL BLOG: In the early days, we lived in a physical world. Everything ran in supervisor mode, much like a commune. Unfortunately, with no leader, if was difficult to preserve order and contain errant and malicious code, so chaos and mischief ensued. A bad pointer was all that was needed to bring the most sophisticated equipment to its knees, witness the Mars Rover and its maddening encounter with that nettlesome rock.

CODE QUALITY BLOG: Is code coverage analysis necessary? - Blog

October 20, 2014
CODE QUALITY BLOG: When programmers discuss testing, a question that often comes up is how much is enough? Do I need to get 100 percent coverage? Let’s first address the elephant in the room: it’s impossible to fully test a piece of software. Don’t believe me? A 100-line program described by Glennford Myers in the 1976 book "Software Reliability: Principles and Practices" had as many as 1018 unique paths. In reality when you realize that contemporary software often exceeds hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lines of code and you quickly realize how impractical it is to completely test a piece of software.

Unmanaged vs. managed Ethernet switches for modern warfare applications - Blog

October 16, 2014
In today's modern warfare – where survivability and mission success is dependent on data acquisition, analysis, and instruction – a growing number of Ethernet-based devices supporting missions must be connected to the central mission computer, and often to each other. Ethernet switches are needed throughout military infrastructure as a common means of making such connections. Customers often ask us whether they need a managed or unmanaged switch. Let's go through the basic capabilities of each.


October 15, 2014
Safety Critical Blog: With our fighting forces asked to do more with less, cost containment has become an imperative for Department of Defense (DoD) program managers and defense contractors, not only for initial procurement, but long-term maintainability and upgradability. Cost containment has become especially critical for software development, which is the primary driver of enhanced avionics functionality.

Virtual training and simulation: trends and observations - Blog

August 18, 2014
The U.S. military has embraced virtual simulation as a way to train its soldiers effectively, but at a lower cost. With no relief from spending cuts in sight, the Army and other government organizations are increasingly looking to industry for cost-effective, more advanced virtual simulation solutions that immerse trainees in highly realistic environments that prepare them to meet the challenges they will face on the battlefield.

Warfare Evolution Blog: Next generation warfare part 2 - Blog

August 13, 2014
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: In our first blog we looked at the history of warfare and how it can help us determine what technological capabilities the U.S. will use to fight future wars. It is critical that we understand the previous generations of warfare before we speculate about the next generation. As Winston Churchill said "the further backward you look, the further forward you can see.”

Ada Watch: Bringing Ada onto the battlefield - Blog

July 28, 2014
The growth in smartphones and tablets is radically changing the face of military technology. As in civilian life, the power of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) handheld devices is enabling fast, frontline access to systems that previously required larger, bulkier computers. For example, ruggedized phones and tablets now have the processing power to access mission-critical command and control and communication systems, while being portable enough to fit into a pocket. In these systems the original operating system (OS) and consumer-oriented applications are replaced by customized versions that include domain-specific software using proprietary and/or confidential algorithms.

Warfare Evolution Blog: Moving toward next-generation warfare - Blog

June 24, 2014
Warfare Evolution Blog: For the moment, let's ignore sequestration, program terminations, funding reductions, and all the negative speculation concerning America's military budget. Let's look at where we are going, in the evolution of warfare. When we're done here, you will see that U.S. military budgets are just being refocused and the net effect will be some level of reduction, at least on the front-end. The reductions we observe today will become directed and focused spending in the near future, on advanced military systems with capabilities you never imagined.

BAM Blog: Authenticity versus reliability - Blog

June 11, 2014
Before & After Market (BAM) Blog. The military-aerospace market has seen a tremendous increase in the amount of companies with proposed solutions to determine the authenticity of a semiconductor component, including imaging and tagging solutions. There are I/O curve tracers. There is x-ray automation. There are companies with die image library examples of authenticity. That’s good news, right? Won’t this help eliminate counterfeit components from entering the supply chain? In some cases the answer is yes, but mostly the answer is no.