Best-of-show products at 'electronicaUSA/ESC'

Innovative, high-tech products were in the hunt for Best-of-Show Awards at "electronicaUSA with Embedded Systems Conference 2004.


Innovative, high-tech products were in the hunt for Best-of-Show Awards at "electronicaUSA with Embedded Systems Conference 2004." Thirty-five show exhibitors submitted their technologies, which also required the presence of an end-user product on the exhibit floor. From these, a six-person panel of technology editors and industry experts narrowed the field to 14 finalists. The panel evaluated the finalists via in-booth demonstrations to arrive at Best-of-Show winners in six product categories, plus an overall winning product. Read more about these products and companies:

Overall best-of-show, and more

Wind River's VxWorks real-time operating system is a key element in NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover program (image courtesy of NASA).

After winning the Military/Aerospace product category, Wind River Systems walked away with the "overall Best-of-Show Award" for its VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS). The device software reportedly is the brain behind NASA ’s "Spirit" and "Opportunity" robotic vehicles, part of NASA’s ongoing Mars Exploration Rover program. Among complex tasks that the RTOS enables for the rovers are trajectory, descent/ground operations control, data collection, and communication relay from Mars to Earth.

Wind River also scored in the Communications category with its VXWorks RTOS and communications protocols being demonstrated in the Weather Channel’s Intellistar real-time relay system that can select content based on relevance to a particular viewing area.

Autonomous vehicle Texas Instruments ’ 1-GHz digital signal processors (DSPs) won in the Automotive/Transportation category. Two TI DSPs provide vital intelligence to the Digital Auto Drive (DAD) organization’s Real Time Imaging stereo-vision system that processes more than 35 billion pixels per second. Integrated into a Toyota Tundra truck, the vision system lets the vehicle look ahead 700 to 800 feet for direction and obstacle-avoidance decisions. DAD’s unmanned self-navigating vehicle was one of 15 participating in a recent competition sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Wireless, wearable computer

In the Industrial category, Applied Data Systems (ADS) won for its embedded system design that runs image usage in a wireless, wearable computer from Microvision Corp. Automotive service technicians use Microvision’s Nomad Expert Technician System to superimpose text and diagrams from electronic service manuals to simplify their jobs. ADS’ design allows pulling Web pages and PDF images from the manual pages with a back-end server via an on-body keypad, storing and transmitting the information through a graphics accelerator to a head-up display.

Fast, in-circuit FPGA debugger

Agilent Technologies won in the Instrumentation category for its B4655A logic-analyzer-based dynamic probe, said to find problems in a few seconds that otherwise require days, weeks, or longer to simulate. B4655A works with an on-chip virtual probing technology, enabling logic analyzers to measure up to 64 internal FPGA (field-programmable gate array) signals for each debug pin, compared to alternative analyzers that measure just one FPGA signal per debug pin.

Exchange files

Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc . took the honors in the Consumer Electronics category. Its TX4926 64-bit microprocessor provides extra computing power and cost-effective expansion for HomePod wireless network stereo from Macsense Connectivity Inc. HomePod lets users send MP3 music files stored on various computers to any other playback device within a home.

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering,

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