Welcome New Partner: Bret Woz

Bret Woz & FamilyWe’re once again excited and humbled to be welcoming a new partner to the AppliedLogix team!

Bret joins AppliedLogix with a variety of advanced embedded firmware experience. Over the course of his career he’s enjoyed participating in – and leading – high level system designs for new products, maintaining mature products, developing device drivers, debugging network stacks, spending time in the field testing product, and supporting hardware engineers throughout the product life-cycle.

Bret lives in the Rochester, NY area with his wife and two daughters. When not chasing his kids, Bret enjoys reading a good book, taking in nature and providing guidance to Boy Scouts working on their Eagle rank.

Posted in Uncategorized

Welcome New Partner: Jonathan Powers

Jonathan's daughter Iris teaches him how to dance

Jonathan’s daughter Iris teaches him how to dance

As 2016 begins, we’re excited to announce that AppliedLogix is continuing to grow and welcome new partners. With increasing demand for high-performance hardware and FPGA development, we’re pleased to have Jonathan Powers join the team.

Jonathan has helped design and verify products for applications including high-altitude telemetry, helicopter HUD systems, advanced radar systems, and scientific HD video processing – you can learn more about his professional background on our Engineering Team page.

Jonathan and his wife and children live in the Rochester, NY area. When Jonathan is not working or spending time with his family, he enjoys noodling on his guitar and going to see live music. He also enjoys running and yoga to keep his body fit, and puzzles to keep his mind fit (his favorites are Variety “cryptic crosswords”).

Posted in People

Grow with us: Software Engineer Wanted! (Rochester, NY)

It’s been quiet around the Acumen blog lately – we’ve been extremely busy with engineering work! Too busy, in fact – so we’ve started the search for some new team members. AppliedLogix is growing, and we’re looking for talented people to grow with us. Read more ›

Posted in Job Postings, People

Welcome New Parnter: Jason Faulring

AppliedLogix continues to grow our embedded software team by welcoming Jason Faulring to the group. Jason has worked on several of our projects over the past few years and has been able to jump right into the mix without missing a beat.

Jason's worked a lot of hours in small airplanes flying missions all across the country. He went out and got his pilot's license as he enjoyed being in the air that much (and - as he jokes - was a cheap insurance policy to know how to land the plane just in case something every happened to the guy sitting next to him!). He's pictured here with the Cherokee 140 he first solo'd in.

Jason’s worked many hours in small planes flying missions across the country. He earned his pilot’s license as he enjoyed being in the air that much (and – as he jokes – knowing how to land the plane was cheap insurance!). He’s pictured here with the Cherokee 140 he first solo’d in.

Jason comes to us after a long stay with the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Digital Imaging & Remote Sensing Group where he was their lead system integration engineer. His tenure there saw him building, designing and operating numerous airborne and ground-based sensing systems to solve the unique needs of the research group.

Jason is a very hands-on engineer with a vast background that covers everything from building sensor networks, to monitoring ice coverage in power plant cooling lakes, to developing a system to capture and deliver real-time airborne imagery to disaster responders, to helping develop the sensors and techniques to remotely measure the weight of a truck rolling down the road. He also has a unique perspective into the large-scale agriculture world thanks to work he’s done with his family’s business developing precision planting systems.

For more information on Jason’s technical background, please check out his entry on our engineering team page.

Jason, his wife and two dogs reside in the Finger Lakes near Rochester, NY. When he’s not coding, you can find him working on the couple’s civil-war era home that they’re renovating themselves. There’s no better solution for getting stuck on a debugging problem than beating a few real ones out of a 160 year old foundation first!

That's Jason in the co-pilot's seat departing from Aguadillia, Puerto Rico headed for Port-au-Prince Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. He spent 8 very intense days utilizing one of the airborne sensor systems he built to map the destruction and help deliver VIR/IR imagery to disaster responders. He's logged many hours in an airplane with the systems he's developed and claims there no greater thrill than debugging and recompiling your code while bouncing around at 10,000ft!

That’s Jason in the co-pilot’s seat departing from Aguadillia, Puerto Rico headed for Port-au-Prince Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. He spent 8 very intense days utilizing one of the airborne sensor systems he built to map the destruction and help deliver VIR/IR imagery to disaster responders. He’s logged many flight hours with the systems he’s developed and claims there’s no greater thrill than debugging and recompiling your code while bouncing around at 10,000ft! (Image used with permission)

Posted in Information, People

Check Out the NY-BEST Supply Chain Database

This past September, the NY Battery & Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST) consortium launched a new database of vendors, suppliers and service providers for companies working on batteries, fuel cells, ultracapacitors and other energy storage technologies. The NY-BEST Supply Chain Database is a catalog of (presently) almost 400 companies in New York’s energy storage ecosystem.

As a NY-BEST member company, AppliedLogix is listed in the database alongside many of the fastest-growing energy storage companies in New York and beyond. One of our specialty areas is electronics for fuel cells, batteries and energy storage systems, so working with NY-BEST and its members is a natural fit. Controlling and monitoring energy storage systems brings unique challenges – from safety, to managing high-voltage / high-current interfaces, to large-scale power inverters, to handling critical process parameters – we have the experience and technology portfolio to realize these control systems. Because advanced embedded electronics is what we do, we can make real progress on day one of your project.

Energy storage is big business – with ever-growing demands on our electricity grid and sources growing more diverse, an expanding array of technologies are stepping up to meet our energy demands. Thanks to NY-BEST, the companies that are supplying this ecosystem can all be found in one place…

Posted in Uncategorized

Welcome New Partner: Michael Sander

AppliedLogix is proud and honored to be a growing business – as our clients bring us new projects and refer others, we’ve carefully and sustainably added top-5% engineers to our team.

Michael Sander: Firefighter (we'll just presume this was taken at a training operation!)

Michael in Firefighter mode (we’ll just presume this was taken at a training operation!)

This month, AppliedLogix is happy to welcome Michael Sander to our software group! Michael has been part of our “extended” team for over a year, so he’s been able to hit the ground running.

Michael’s joining strengthens and extends our embedded software capabilities. Michael’s experience includes many years spent as an independent software consultant, along with senior development positions in a variety of sectors. He wrote software to make wine bottles in California, payphone calls in Poland, stock trades in Manhattan, and aircraft navigation in Zimbabwe. He proudly remembers the 68000 family machine code for NOP (it’s 47E1).

For more information on Michael’s technical background, please check out his forthcoming entry on our engineering team page – it should be live later this week.

Michael and his wife and kids live in the Rochester, NY area – and when he’s not writing, testing or running code, he can often be found volunteering with the local fire department. When it comes to engineering, we’re all about preventing the need for figurative “firefighting” – so we’re happy to leave the real thing to Michael!


Please note: Michael is not filling the available position announced in the previous post – this position remains available! If you’re interested in potentially joining our team, please let us know by filling out the form…

Posted in Information, People, Uncategorized

Selecting an Embedded RTOS – Use the Source!

The Gift of Open Source

When someone – like John Carbone – has been doing embedded software for three and a half decades, it can be good to consider what they have to say – in this case, about RTOS source code:

…developers feel that source code is important. But why is RTOS source code so important? There are several reasons why developers value having source code, and each of them is important…

John goes on to list several extremely good reasons to insist on choosing an RTOS with available source code — including stepping through during debugging, product longevity, the use of compile-time options, and qualification of SOUP in safety-critical systems.

To his list, I’d add the ability to evaluate – and run – the RTOS’s unit tests, write our own for application-critical portions of the API, and to run our own static analyzers and linting tools on the OS.

Not content with the “why” of RTOS source code, John then tackles the “what” and the “how” — specifically, the sorts of qualities we should look for when evaluating the source. Is it clean, clear, commented, consistent and correct? Certainly, evaluating these attributes is a must-do for any medical, aerospace or similar safety-critical system — but from a defect-prevention perspective, they’re good for everyone to consider.

Hats off to John Carbone for an excellent piece on RTOSes and their selection – this is one to bookmark!

[Cross-posted with permission.]

Posted in Information, Professionalism & Crafstmanship, Technical

See You at the NY-BEST Energy Storage Expo

The AppliedLogix team are engineers, first and foremost – but once in a while, we emerge from behind our desks and workbenches, trade in our calculators for suits, and go out on the town. This September 10th, we’ll do just that as we head to the NY-BEST Energy Storage Supply Chain and Manufacturing Conference & Expo in Rochester, NY. We’re excited to be a sponsor and exhibitor at the event this year. Read more ›

Posted in Information

Getting Your “Things” Online

Networked embedded devices! Lately it seems like living in a hermetically-sealed, anechoic fallout shelter (that’s under a rock for good measure) might be the only way to avoid their all-out takeover of the tech press. The term “Internet of Things” (or IoT) might be equal parts buzzword / revolution / headline fad, but there’s no denying that adding network smarts to embedded systems is a real trend that’s offering real value. Beyond just extending functions and allowing remote control, putting devices online can:

  • Provide remote diagnostics and problem notifications
  • Extend devices’ storage capacities
  • Remotely back up measurements, configurations or calibrations
  • Offload processing tasks
  • Supply time/date information and device synchronization
  • Enable analysis of long-term trends
  • Allow aggregation of data from multiple embedded devices
  • Enable adaptive control using server-side data sources
  • Provide “over the air” firmware updates

As we reported in May, IEEE saw this trend in their 2014 “Embedded Design Trends” survey – and we’ve been seeing it too as customer requests for networked devices are at an all-time high. As a result, we’ve been exploring and accumulating expertise with lots of Network and WiFi-enabled devices, modules and controllers over the last few years!

Embedded WiFi

Embedded WiFi Module

With all the buzz surrounding that “Internet of Things” phenomenon, silicon and module vendors have kicked their WiFi offerings into high gear. There are more ways to get an embedded system onto a WiFi network than ever before, and the solutions are getting smaller, faster, more sensitive and more power-efficient.

We’re definitely excited to see Texas Instruments’ newest WiFi offering – the SimpleLink “WiFi on a Chip”. It’s the first solution we’ve seen that wraps up a full WiFi client and access point, a complete network stack (including secure protocols like SSL/TLS with hardware crypto) and a speedy Cortex M4 microcontroller in a single part. While production parts aren’t available yet, we have the CC3200 development system in-hand to get ahead of the curve when TI ships them later this year!

Of course, there’s a whole spectrum of embedded WiFi options – from the benchmark “Electric Imp” and the ambitious Spark.io, to industrial-grade modules from Digi, Lantronix, Bluegiga, Microchip, Murata and othres – many of which we’ve worked with hands-on and integrated into products.

Embedded Ethernet

Ethernet CablesAhh, old faithful. Ethernet has been quietly and reliably delivering cute cat videos important spreadsheets to our desktop PCs for decades, not to mention carrying plenty of industrial automation traffic. Over the last decade, though, it’s been steadily invading smaller spaces as an ever-increasing array of microcontrollers offer on-chip MACs, PHYs and even TCP/IP stacks. Absent WiFi’s higher RF testing and certification costs, Ethernet can be a good, reliable option for stationary embedded systems – and with no SSIDs or network passwords to enter (which presents a challenge on a device with no user interface!) it’s simpler for end-users.

From medical devices to flight simulators, engine controllers to optics systems, AppliedLogix has Ethernet-enabled a variety of embedded devices, designed application-level protocols for peer-to-peer interaction, and integrated with existing server-side APIs. We’ve worked with Ethernet-enabled microcontrollers from Texas Instruments, ST Microelectronics and more.

Is Now the Time?

Giving embedded devices a network presence certainly isn’t a new concept – lots of “non-PC” hardware has been networked for a long time! But the types of devices that can be networked, the ways they can communicate, and the breadth of protocols and services they can leverage are growing at an unprecedented pace. Entire infrastructure platforms are springing up, dedicated entirely to providing a ready-made back-end for embedded devices to talk to. And, thanks to the IoT trend, the BOM cost of adding WiFi or Ethernet connectivity to embedded devices is lower than ever.

If you have a new or existing device that could benefit from network or Internet connectivity, please contact us – The AppliedLogix team would love to discuss it and help you get it online, and we’ve got the experience to do it right.

Posted in How We Work, Information, Technical

Meeting an EE Legend

Between the general scarcity of “rockstar” EEs, and the infrequency of those big names visiting smaller cities, the opportunity to see Mike Engelhardt present in person was not one for us to pass up! Mike is the creator of the superlative LTspice simulation software, and last week part of the AppliedLogix team got the opportunity to attend his stop in Rochester on the LTspice World Circuit.

Since AppliedLogix is one of only three Linear Tech Design Partners, our team tends to spend a lot of quality time with LTspice! While we’ve amassed a lot of experience with it, there’s always room to learn, and Mr. Engelhardt did not disappoint. Far more than just offering tips and tricks to make us more efficient LTspice users, he presented a great deal about the numerical methods under the simulator’s hood, and how to use that knowledge for faster, more-accurate simulations.

We’re grateful to Arrow and Linear Tech for including Rochester on Mike’s “world tour” – there’s a lot of great engineering happening here, and readers of this blog certainly know how important it is to us that we’re constantly, actively learning and staying engaged with our profession. Opportunities to do that – and to learn from people like Mike Engelhardt, who are true masters of their craft – mean a lot to us!

(Pictured above, left to right: Jeff Toccaceli, Dave Rea, Mike Engelhardt and Dave Reed – I just wish Mike had put on his trademark Stetson hat for the photo!)

Posted in Professionalism & Crafstmanship, Technical