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Embedded Systems

Gunn systems has extensive experience in developing embedded control systems.

We have a broad base of experience, from simple single-threaded systems to complex multi-threaded systems. We can take your product from specification to prototype to manufacturing quickly and efficiently.

Gunn Systems has the unique advantage of "bridging the gap" between hardware and software. We have staff with experience in both hardware design and software applications. This experience allows us to develop embedded systems firmware/software that has the best possible trade-offs between hardware and software control. We can also recommend the best fit for off-the-shelf hardware or custom-designed hardware.

Gunn Systems also has experience with embedded Linux solutions. Linux is an excellent option for complex embedded system designs that need multiple threads and processes. Gunn Systems has been developing embedded Linux solutions for far longer than most embedded systems developers.

For simpler systems that do not require the extensive services and power of an operating system, Gunn Systems offers a simple, executive-based system for small processor type systems.

Our expertise in embedded systems includes:

  • Languages such as C, C++ and Assembly.
  • Real time operating systems and executives.
  • Embedded Linux solutions.
  • Utilizing in-house development platforms and emulators.
  • Debugging and testing, including hardware simulation.
  • Network and serial communications.
  • Interface to communications equipment.
  • Interface to computer applications via custom programming services.

Please see our Firmware Development section for information on our software services for custom embedded systems.

Embedded Platforms

Although Gunn Systems has a variety of experience in many types of embedded platforms, we find that the platforms below meet most customer needs:

Freescale Semiconductor 68HC11 Platforms
The Freescale 68HC11 processor offers excellent performance for small and low budget embedded systems applications. Gunn Systems has used several 68HC11-type embedded systems (see Links below) to meet stringent project budget and time requirements. We find this processor offers more capability than PIC based designs for comparable costs. We often recommend the Axiom CMM11E1 (pictured above) with the Gunn Systems Expansion Module because of its price and performance.
Gunn Systems GSI-2 Platform
The Gunn Systems' GSI-2 is an open-source embedded control board, a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) with built-in sensors and an X10 interface. See the GSI-2 section for more information on GSI-2 hardware and software capabilities and options.
Embedded PC Platform
The Embedded PC platform (PC-104, or single board ISA/PCI computers) is an excellent platform choice when performance is a must. Leveraging the PC industry's cost-to-performance benefits, this platform offers the most bang for the buck. With this platform, we can offer embedded Linux for situations where an operating system with networking and other facilities are required. For simpler embedded system design, we use the TICS real-time operating system for low cost and simple needs. A variety of hardware is available for implementing an embedded system using off-the-shelf PC hardware.

Examples of Solutions Provided

Gunn Systems has engaged on many Embedded Systems projects. Some of these include:

Tank Monitoring System Firmware and Hardware for monitor and control system for storage tanks. Written using 68HC11 C and Assembly. Developed from specification into low-volume manufacturing.
Sign Control Firmware & Hardware Firmware for controlling large overhead variable message signs on highways. This was a complex design that used a real time operating system on an embedded PC platform. Written using C for an embedded PC application (80286). Uses the TICS real-time operating system. Hardware was off-the-shelf PC hardware integrated with Gunn Systems Developed custom hardware.
Enclosure Management Controller Firmware Firmware for controlling disk drive enclosures. The firmware was written using the 6502 instruction set using C and assembly for an embedded system on a chip. This project was done for a product sold by a major semiconductor supplier! Firmware was hand-optimized for speed and memory requirements. This firmware had SCSI and I2C interfaces.
Specialized Inkjet Printer Hardware & Firmware Developed a working prototype of an Inkjet printing device for painting fingernails. Gunn Systems worked closely with the startup company and hit the required target budgets and time schedules to build working prototypes for market analysis. We assisted in-house staff with the software and technical issues faced by the introduction of a new product by a startup company.

The system involved design and development of an embedded system using the 68HC08 microprocessor to drive a proprietary printing platform. Gunn Systems developed the Hardware, PC Board, and Firmware programming to control the printer.

Embedded Programming Links

Some important links for Hardware Design:

General Embedded Systems Links:

  • EE Times - EE Times magazine provides news from the world of Embedded Systems.

Embedded PC Links:

68HC11 Embedded Systems Links:

If you have an Embedded Systems related link you wish to add to our site, please contact us. We will be glad to review it and add it if we feel it is relevant to our visitors.

Contact Gunn Systems for a free quote on your Embedded Programming needs!