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Embedded Java for Diagnostics

(Sidebar to "Someone's Watching From Afar" from the November issue of Automation World)

Using Java with its “Java virtual machine,” or JVM, technology that allows the same code to run on multiple hardware devices and operating systems sounded good to Kai Werther, director of diagnostic service tools, and Vincent Spallek, senior software engineer, at Vetronix, member of the ETAS Group, located in Santa Barbara, Calif.

They are developing a new line of automobile test and diagnostic equipment for the automotive service market. Using a set of tools called PERC Ultra from Aonix, a San Diego-based embedded software and tools provider, that turns Java into a hard, real-time embedded platform, they are able to develop their diagnostic test software in Java, then target to whatever device is required.

Modern cars have a standard service connector, typically centered around the steering column, where technicians can plug in their diagnostic equipment. This equipment can range from a personal computer using a vehicle communication interface to any one of a number of handheld terminals.

“Java gives us the ability to deploy the same diagnostic software on the PC as well as within the diagnostic communication devices so the technician is also free to use wireless, Internet-capable handheld UI devices like cell phones,” says Wether. “This software can also be integrated to show the technician specific information about replacement parts or even disassembly instructions.”

Spallek adds, “Using the PERC Ultra JVM also guarantees deterministic timing behavior, which is crucial when communicating with a vehicle.”

To see the main story this sidebar was taken from - "Someone’s Watching from Afar" - please visit 

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