Embedded for the World
February 23, 2016
As I walk through the crowded halls of Exhibition Centre Nuremberg today, it strikes me that Embedded World 2016 tells a tale of two disparate cities....
As I walk through the crowded halls of Exhibition Centre Nuremberg today, it strikes me that Embedded World 2016 tells a tale of two disparate cities. One city is in the clouds – with terrific visions of technology that one day might be. The other city is firmly rooted in the earth, building a tower up, up, up toward those clouds. We have at this show a wonderful comingling of those thinking of the far future – and those engineers who are looking to take the next step from where we are right now.
It’s these tower-builders that I want to talk about today.
When you’re advancing real products, you must make upward progress – but everything needs to be solid and proven. I see this mindset in many of those I’m speaking with at Embedded World. These engineers are less interested in far off, “gee whiz” technologies. They won’t be clogging the show floor around VR headsets and hoverboards. Instead, they are doing their best to monopolize the booth experts at OS vendors like Green Hills Software to see how feasible it is to split off their safety-critical Altia graphics code that will minimize their ISO 26262 burden. They’re bringing out spec sheets with silicon vendors like Renesas to determine if the D1x sprite engine can really save 50 percent graphics RAM on their HUD.
Investigations like these, though they might feel like minutiae, are the actual building blocks that might help the tower-builders to develop and deploy an incredible full-TFT cluster or center-stack in an entry-level vehicle in 2017 that will include improvements to safety, reliability, and usability that the average Joe would take for granted. These are the advancements that let us get better and better user interface content into cars, microwaves, and insulin pumps – without drastically increasing the prices of those items. In essence, these engineers are at work today, in these very halls, planning for our technological dreams to grow one step closer to reality.
So, as you wander the vast exhibition full of new and unbelievable technology at Embedded World this week, stop for a moment to take your head out of the clouds and really notice those engineers excitedly talking about decompressing pixels through a hardware pipeline. You just might catch a glimpse of a tower-builder at work, innovating that next project one step (or more!) closer to those clouds.
Jason Williamson is VP of marketing for Altia Incorporated. His vision and responsibilities span strategic market planning, product planning, market research, public relations, and Internet communications. He leads a team of marketing, Internet, and graphic art professionals who serve the company’s global base of customers and partners. Jason earned a BS in Electrical Engineering, a BS in Engineering Math and Computer Science, and an MS in Electrical Engineering at the University of Louisville.