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while still linking the design and programming efforts with clear integration points. With this capability designers can immediately adjust the UI elements as soon as user feedback is received or as requirements change, and at the same time developers are working on the code. Real-world examples of integrated UI development QNX Software Systems created a Bentley Continental GT concept car for the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, featuring the first ever 17-inch, curved, 1080p DLP center console display. With only eight weeks for UI development, they choose to use Storyboard Suite because of its fast and accurate prototyping, ability to use both Adobe Photoshop for design and Eclipse for embedded programming, and high end performance that keeps up with cutting edge display technology. The digital dashboard in the final creation shows off numerous capabilities such as OpenGL ES 2.0 rich animations and custom shaders, as well as multi-modal input such as multi-touch, pre-touch, voice, and hard controls. Breaking inefficient habits and making new ones Staying successful and relevant in the fast-paced world of consumer electronics can be tough, so take advantage of all the latest advancements not only in product technology but also product development tools and processes. Make the investment of switching to this new programming paradigm by using a single, consolidated support software platform to deliver the highest quality UI product at a fraction of the time and effort. Single-chip solution combines instrument cluster graphics with hardware security Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe expands its line-up for automotive instrument clusters. MB9EF226 - nick-named Titan - is the newest member of Fujitsu’s FCR4 family, which is based on the ARM Cortex-R4 core. The MCU provides intelligent support for up to six traditional gauges plus the 2D graphics engine IRIS, enabling it to drive a colour display in the same cluster. By including a Secure Hardware Extension (SHE) module, it also offers customers first-class security, since the module is completely implemented in hardware. The MCU will enable innovative driver information systems with an enhanced function set, capable of running more sophisticated software solutions and supporting the AUTOSAR specification. Titan has also been optimized to perform well in terms of key industry benchmarks such as safety, security and power consumption. Developed at Fujitsu’s MCU Competence Centre in Langen near Frankfurt, the MCU is designed to operate as a single-chip solution for hybrid instrument clusters featuring graphics and gauges. With a core operating frequency at up to 128 MHz, Titan offers more than 200 DMIPS of processing power, plus 2 MB of flash memory and 208 KB of RAM. The MediaLB interface supports applications such as the transfer of graphics data from another electronic control unit, for instance satellite navigation, to Titan. Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe www.fujitsu.com that the graphic designer can make design adjustments early in the development cycle, rather than waiting until the majority of the back-end code has been completed. Improvement #3: create a true prototype that becomes the end product Empowering the designer to actively participate throughout development is vital to creating a successful embedded product. However, more often than not, the UX designer creates an interactive prototype of the embedded GUI functionality on a desktop computer, which does not behave the same as the intended target. Since this prototype does not run on or may not even contain real data about the embedded device, the original design file is thrown away and re-implemented by the programmers. Rather than creating partial prototypes over and over again, using the prototype-as-product approach can save significant time. The ability to run true UI simulations on embedded targets would let developers test the application on various hardware platforms, force resource constraints on the GUI design, and allow more in-depth UX testing along the way. Plus, the embedded programmers can begin writing the back-end code immediately, and design flaws can be corrected early in the process rather than in the testing phase. Working from a real prototype that runs as well on the desktop as an embedded target can condense development time from months to weeks. Developing on one common software environment In order to make parallel workflows, good communication, and true prototyping possible, one approach would be to use a single, integrated software platform – from prototype to deployment. Ideally, this technology should natively and seamlessly integrate with multiple toolsets that are optimized for each team’s needs, rather than forcing the designers and programmers to work with unfamiliar or limited toolsets such as a generic graphical widgets library. Additionally, this UI development support software should allow the GUI to function separately from the back-end code, Control and status panels with thin-film backlighting A manufacturer of bespoke control and status panels, Stadium IGT designs panels ranging from simple illuminated displays to more complex ideograms to graphically indicate system status, with integrated capacitive switches and slider controls, joysticks, tracker balls and displays. Panels can be water and vandal resistant and can be operated through front panel thicknesses of up to 13mm thick glass. System designers will appreciate the very low profile and even illumination of these panels thanks to Stadium IGT’s patented “Thin-Film” LED backlighting technology which also offers colour changing LEDs, “secret until lit” signs and high impact product branding options. Operation from a 12V supply removes any high voltage requirement that alternative video monitor based systems may require and allows the use of an N+1 redundant power source for safety critical installations. Stadium IGT www.stadium-igt.com www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe May 2013 41


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