Enea: Flash-based RDBMS aids smart, low-power diskless devices

Relational database management systems (RDBMSs) need not be limited to disk-based computer systems, according to recent news from Enea, a leader in advanced device software. In March 2006, Enea announced Polyhedra FlashLite, its new RDBMS designed for use with flash memory for data storage.


Embedded Control

Enea's Polyhedra FlashLite targets low-resource applications where RAM and power efficiency is crucial.

Relational database management systems (RDBMSs) need not be limited to disk-based computer systems, according to recent news from Enea , a leader in advanced device software. In March 2006, Enea announced Polyhedra FlashLite, its new RDBMS designed for use with flash memory for data storage. The SQL-based system, which the company calls "the industry's fastest and most compact," features client-server architecture, active queries, and a powerful trigger language that allows a developer to embed "business logic"—that is, application-level data integrity rules—into database code. Polyhedra FlashLite reportedly delivers 10x the performance of traditional disk-based RDBMSs, using a "cache-based design," says Enea.

Ability to embed business logic into the database is significant. It allows updating of values over time and doing integrity checks for overall "correctness" of information in the database, explains Dr. Nigel Day, product marketing manager for Polyhedra. Programmer productivity also is improved due to smaller code size needed in applications. Data management of SCADA systems is a typical industrial application.

"Today's mobile devices are experiencing explosive code growth and becoming more computer-like every day. As such, they must handle complex data and keep it safe and consistent, even if the device runs out of power at awkward times," says Dr. Day. "Flash-based RDBMSs like Polyhedra FlashLite accomplish this while enabling programmers to utilize existing coding skills."

The RDBMS is said to provide a secure high-performance data repository for embedded system applications. Featuring a small code footprint, it supports high-speed NOR and low-cost NAND flash. Without disk rotation or seek-time delays, it reads data faster. Polyhedra FlashLite occupies less than 1 MB of RAM for code as well as working space. (It also can use a disk for data storage.) Since the code is "ROMable" and cache size is controllable, designers can reduce RAM usage to as little as 200 kB, if necessary, notes Dr. Day.

Polyhedra FlashLite helps improve data integrity and resilience and protects the memory used by the database software from accidental modification. Key to this feature is a client-server architecture that separates data from applications using data. The RDBMS uses standard SQL, data manipulation and query language, supporting simple single-table queries and complex multiple-table queries. "Active queries provide a fine-grained SQL push technology that notifies applications of data changes as soon as they occur," says Day. "This eliminates the need for polling, thereby reducing processor usage."

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.