The Embedded System Conference

The Embedded System Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley in San José is always a fun event, and I enjoy going to the Expo, two or three days each year.

And I was not disappointed in this year’s show, 26 – 29 April 2010!  I met quite a few people there, and we discussed future trends, revisited last year prognosis with today’s achievements. 

Smart phones with their ever emerging new product lines, sporting exciting features and capabilities — and you still can place a simple telephone call!   Wonders never cease… 😉 

Then 3D technology, Internet enabled TVs, fully digitally equipped recording equipment, computerized and completely automated studios, and what not. 

Robot technologies finding their ways in modern appliances and cars.  Smart grid is the next hot thing. 

Hardware with software kits are available for literally just a few dollars to build your own embedded systems.  Micro-chips are becoming smaller and smaller, more powerful and less expensive; the possibilities are endless!

Without going into the details of the all the various Hot Topics and solutions displayed— see eetimes.comembedded.com, hackaday.com, etc., etc. — I just want to add a few of my favorite highlights:

  • Display of the original German (WW-II era) ENIGMA, a sophisticated coding machine, fully functional, and not under glass.  Thank you, cryptography.com!
  • The „SpeedCuber“ — built from a LEGO Mindstorms Robot kit and the program logic and camera of the Motorola Droid, communicating via Blue Tooth — that solved the Rubik’s Cube in just a few minutes.  Demos at the ARM pavilion, arm.com.
  • Badges now sporting RFID; quite a common trend now.
  • EE Times coordinated the treasure hunts: you’d follow in TWITTER @esc_blast, and the tweets (forwarded as SMS to your mobile phone) included instructions what to do and where and how, with the first person to win the prize.

Well, I won a few prices (only a handful folks seem to use TWITTER?); one of my favorites as broadcast by EE Times:

„esc_blast: Jurgen Menge scores LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Kit @EET Scavenger Hunt.  Thx NI–Robots Rock!  More goodies Thurs @ #esc_events http://ow.ly/i/1ibX

Next year we will see more solutions in the nano and DNA-like technology, further miniaturizing system and computer components.  The (customized) chip will be in the size of a fingernail and more powerful than a PC eight years ago. 

Blue Tooth and  RFID gaining momentum.  Fiber-Channel and fiber-optics are becoming essential for high-speed data communication.  Wireless USB, USB 3.0, SATA 6 then SATA 12, SAS 6 are available now or are in the process to be finalized, respectively.

Smart phones and touch screen systems will provide applications currently not thought off.  BTW, as to smart phones: Yes, you’d still be able to place and receive telephone calls!

The technological avalanche has only begun…

I plan to visit the next ESC in San José as well: 2 – 5 May 2010.  CU!

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© May 2010 Jürgen Menge, San José

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