Abelon Systems News Stories and Articles

Check back regularly for updates on any new projects, interesting work and trends we feel will be interesting to share.

Technical articles from Abelon staff

Embedded Firmware Refactoring, Optimisation and Migration

Even if you aren’t planning to develop a brand new product, there are a number of options to help improve your current embedded product line.

Legacy products are often based on older hardware platforms which often become obsolete or end-of-life by the silicon vendor. Customers are also always looking for better features and improved performance but either don’t want to invest in new hardware or need to retain the current field population of devices.

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SIGFOX – A new technology for IoT comms?

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  SIGFOX – A new technology for IoT comms?

It’s quite likely you’ve never heard of SIGFOX, or if you have it has been sketchy at best on details. So what is it, and why should you care?

SIGFOX has been designed from the ground up as a low throughput data transmission technology, including a back-end managed data service, and is specifically intended to avoid many of the drawbacks of many current wireless technologies.

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Software Revision Control Using Git

Any company involved in software development will use a revision control tool.  Many of these tools, such as CVS and Subversion, work by storing file differences in a central repository.  Over recent years however there has been a growing realisation of the limitations of these tools when compared to Git which, rather than file differences, stores repository snapshots and also provides distributed operation.  A number of Abelon’s customers are recent Git adopters, so why are they and other companies making this transition?  What practical benefits does Git offer over these older tools?

With Git every user maintains a complete copy of the repository including all history which allows for flexible offline working.  When changes are committed a snapshot of the repository is taken along with information about that commit.  This provides a high degree of flexibility perhaps most notably when it comes to branching.  Using tools such as CVS, branching and subsequent branch maintenance has a high overhead, by contrast Git makes branching relatively easy.

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Alternative Project Management Strategies

Here is an interesting link to a presentation with some comparisons of different approaches to project management.

Here at Abelon we use various management strategies tailored to the needs of individual projects, but we like Agile because it keeps projects on time and never compromises on quality.

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Smart Meters and the Internet of Things

Smart Meters and the Internet of Things
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Embedded systems as a specific market and technology emerged shortly after the invention of the microprocessor and microcontroller and before the emergence of the PC. Historically the market has matured rapidly to the present day, the common factor being a general increase in the available processing power and corresponding decrease in the physical size of the system required to carry out a specific task. Performance has increased dramatically since those early days and the development of pervasive mobile networks has contributed to the growth of the market by facilitating the use of "Machine-to-Machine" (M2M) wireless communications to allow remote monitoring and management.

M2M systems use network resources to communicate with remote application infrastructure for the purposes of monitoring and control, either of the device itself, or the surrounding environment. Recent sensor developments have meant that low power systems are capable of continuously monitoring their environment while permitting battery life of up to ten years or even more. This M2M market has now expanded to fuel a new family of embedded systems where smart (intelligent) devices are connected together to interact with each other and their environment. This has become known as the Internet of Things (IoT) and is one of the most talked about trends of recent years.

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