Thomas Fletcher

Thomas is a co-founder and VP of Research and Development. With 20+ years in embedded software development and a frequent presenter at leading industry events, Thomas is a technical thought leader on Embedded System Architecture and Design, Real-time Performance Analysis, Power Management, and High Availability. Thomas holds a Master of Computer Engineering from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of Victoria.

Recent Posts

12 min read

Memory Optimization Considerations for Embedded Graphics Applications and User Interfaces

By Thomas Fletcher on May 14, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Understanding and accounting for the different memory requirements of your embedded graphics application is critical. Your choice of system-level memory (heap, stack, static code), and hardware level can not only impact graphics performance, but also compromise the user experience, and thus market success of your embedded UI.

In this first of two videos on memory optimization that streamed live on the Crank YouTube channel on 6 May 2020, Thomas Fletcher, Crank Software's Co-Founder and VP R&D, talked about the different memory optimization options available for those building on MCUs and MPUs, and how to organize memory use for highest performance. You can watch the replay by clicking the video, or read the transcript pasted below.

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14 min read

How Teams Develop Embedded UIs Remotely With Storyboard

By Thomas Fletcher on May 7, 2020 2:19:33 PM

Embedded systems and UI development can be complicated. Factor in social distancing and teams being forced to continue development remotely, and the situation has become even more complex. But it doesn’t have to be! 

Thomas Fletcher, Co-Founder and VP of R&D, talks about the UI development tools our clients and own team are leveraging today to connect remotely and keep embedded projects moving forward, in this edition of Embedded UI Talks with Crank. 

Hear about our newest feature update for the Storyboard IO Connector and its support for TCP/IP, and how you can leverage it to inject events over a network, effectively decoupling the need for the UI and back-end to be physically deployed in the same location.

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14 min read

Differences Between MCUs and MPUs for Embedded Graphics

By Thomas Fletcher on Apr 30, 2020 10:56:02 AM

There are fundamental differences in developing embedded UI applications for MCUs and MPUs. But as MCU performance and functionality continue to improve, the boundaries between the two have started to become murky. 

Thomas Fletcher, Co-Founder and VP of R&D, explores the changing landscape in MCU versus MPU capabilities and what you need to consider when evaluating your next embedded project’s hardware options, in this live edition of Embedded UI Talks with Crank.

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5 min read

The challenge of realizing great UI experiences on embedded devices.

By Thomas Fletcher on Mar 17, 2020 11:01:57 AM

A rich UI prototype can be an amazing thing. It can bring an existing product back to life and give it a competitive advantage, or it can be so transformative that it creates a brand new cutting-edge category.

It's easy to capture this UI potential with rich graphics and a storyboard that walks a user through an exciting experience full of animation and life. With this potential comes the power to sell a product, however, the challenge of moving from prototype through development and to product deployment is not to be underestimated. The price that you pay for a rich UI experience is measured in terms of increased product software complexity, hardware requirements, and time.

... with the traditional model including a design team building the script of a user experience, without the commitment to be engaged throughout the rest of the application design.

Storyboard allows a different approach to the development of rich, interactive user interfaces and helps address the challenges of making those experiences a successful reality in cost-effective embedded products.

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4 min read

The challenge of code reuse - and what you can do about it when building GUIs

By Thomas Fletcher on Oct 18, 2019 10:05:15 AM

Systematically developing high-quality reusable software components and frameworks has traditionally been a tall order. Many developers successfully reuse code snippets from one program to another, which saves a certain amount of development time; however, this practice does little compared to leveraging assets like architectures, components, and frameworks.

There are a number of reasons (both technical and non-technical) why software reuse is difficult, particularly in companies with a large installed base of legacy software and developers. One of the reasons we see most frequently – and one of the easiest to correct – is the failure to separate business logic from the UI (user interface). Projects with interwoven business logic and UI code are time-consuming and tedious to convert over to new screen sizes, hardware platforms, or operating systems - a common requirement.

There are four steps you need to take if you are building products with embedded GUIs (graphical user interface) and want to take advantage of code reuse in a systematic fashion. Although it’s Storyboard-specific, the central ideas are applicable elsewhere.

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