Embedded GUI Design and Development Tool

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    4 min read

    Winning Worldwide: Crank Software Named Most Innovative at Embedded World 2020.

    By Marisha Sesto on Feb 25, 2020 4:02:14 PM

    Updated on March 5, 2020.

    The Crank team hopped on a plane and left the cold Canadian winter behind heading to our biggest industry event of the year in Nuremberg, Germany. Packed with maple syrup, Tim Hortons coffee, toques, and coffee crisps; the crew was armed to take on Embedded World 2020 to talk the latest in embedded UIs (Hall 4, Booth 459). As day one came to a close, we were thrilled to be honoured and presented first place in the Embedded Award software category for Most Innovative.

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    4 min read

    Showing off next-gen embedded UIs at Embedded World 2020.

    By Marisha Sesto on Feb 5, 2020 10:36:32 AM


    The biggest embedded event of the year. 

    The team at Crank is busy preparing for our biggest event of the year, Embedded World. From the latest trends to the best designs, we’re excited to talk all things embedded UIs. We’ll be showcasing next-gen embedded UIs powered by Storyboard at our booth (Hall 4, Booth 459). If you’re attending, come say hi and chat with our experts about: 

    • How to reduce your BOM with Storyboard Lite
    • How to save battery power with Hybrid Rendering  
    • Our upcoming Storyboard release
    • The newest boards from our partners
    • Who’s using Crank Software and Storyboard to get to market faster
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    5 min read

    How to create brilliant embedded UIs without sacrificing battery life.

    By Jason Clarke on Dec 12, 2019 10:12:52 AM

    Battery life is one of the most important features of a mobile device. When your mobile device’s time between charges is four days versus four hours, the gain in device usability (and user appreciation) is immense. If, on the other hand, your device has no power left after a few hours of use, your phone doesn’t work and, let’s face it, a non-working phone provides quite the lousy user experience. The same goes for battery-charged products.

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    5 min read

    Why you should include Hybrid Rendering in your next IoT or wearables project

    By Brian Edmond on Aug 7, 2019 12:07:14 PM



    If you haven’t heard the term hybrid rendering before, that’s because it’s pretty new. Broadly speaking, hybrid rendering generates graphics by using multiple distinct paths through silicon. One example is creating CGI movie frames using both a GPU and a CPU however, we at Crank use the term for something that is much more useful for embedded developers and designers: rendering a user interface with multiple graphics accelerators.

    If this feat seems intriguing or even confusing – read on.

    In the embedded domain, hybrid rendering means creating a user interface with both a 3D GPU and a secondary graphics processor within the same application. The secondary graphics processor must be able to accelerate 2D graphics (this is typically a composition core but other options are possible). The application dynamically switches between accelerators at run-time, depending on what graphics need to be displayed.

    An example of silicon with the right magic is the NXP 7ULP which has both an Open GL ES GPU as well as a 2D GPU accelerator/compositor. The 2D GPU is very powerful and can accelerate alpha blending, scaling, rotation/mirroring, overlays, lines, rectangles, color space conversion, and more, with much less power consumption than its 3D GPU equivalents.

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    3 min read

    How to build your next smartwatch UIs - without killing your battery.

    By Alecia O'Brien on Jul 25, 2019 11:08:37 AM

    NXP's i.MX 7ULP and Crank Storyboard UIs – a winning combination for 3D graphics processing on small battery-operated devices.

    When I went looking for a forgotten smart watch charger while camping this past weekend, I cursed at the manufacturers who hadn't met my power needs. Yes, my girls were all over my watch playing with the graphics, but the fact my battery died hours before the sun went down was beyond frustrating.

    For this reason, giving consumers a brilliant, touch screen experience that doesn't have a battery-sucking trade off is the goal of engineers globally.

    Consider this: the present battery technology road map has a 2x capacity improvement every decade, while the power demand will probably increase at the rate of 2x every 18 months or so. This stat reinforces the need to continually innovate power solutions for small battery-operated devices. 

    Our partner NXP went to work on this several years ago and appear to have solved this challenge with the launch of the i.MX 7ULP - the lowest power consuming GPU enabled microprocessor on the market. It runs a rich OS, but operates at MCU level low-power all while having both a 2D and 3D GPU on board, which means future smart devices like the smart watch I want for Christmas is going to have an incredibly long battery life, while having ALL the features and fancy 3D and 2D graphics I didn't even know were possible.

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