Q: What sort of features are typically offered with not-free packages (like IAR) that are not typically available from chip mfr freebies, like what's offered by Atmel? Or is it a situation where they all pretty much do the same thing, but more or less user-friendly?
A: The commercial (paid for) software tools will include support, updates, optimization of code, compliance with MISRA C, advanced debug and profiling operations. They are a complete development, debugging, and testing package as opposed to a nice IDE and C compiler. You also get runtime libraries, source code of some libraries, debugging hardware, and support for a wide variety of target MCUs.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.