Embedded Systems show ends run in San Jose

The Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) held its last visit here on Sept. 25-28 with exhibits packed into every available nook and cranny. Next year, ESC's West Coast incarnation will move to San Francisco's Mosconi Center on March 5-8, 2001. As usual, this eclectic mix of technologies showed off many hardware and software products bringing power to ever-smaller pac...


The Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) held its last visit here on Sept. 25-28 with exhibits packed into every available nook and cranny. Next year, ESC's West Coast incarnation will move to San Francisco's Mosconi Center on March 5-8, 2001. As usual, this eclectic mix of technologies showed off many hardware and software products bringing power to ever-smaller packages. This year's theme was intelligent, networked devices. Products from DSP chips to sophisticated software tools were displayed to help designers develop their products.

Interestingly, political arguments about Windows versus Linux were replaced by talk of "Look how this [Windows/Linux] product will bring great benefits to you." There was still some talk of Java, but this interesting programming language/environment has failed to build the critical mass that many thought it would.

In product news, QNX Software (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is allowing users to download its platform for evaluation, prototyping, or personal use at no charge. This program is designed to expand the community of RTOS developers using this OS.

Real-Time Innovations (Sunnyvale, Calif.) announced a family of tools named WaveWorks. These will include RTI's NDDS publish-subscribe Ethernet middleware. The first tool is WaveSurf, an application debugging tool that gives developers a view of all NDDS objects sending and receiving objects, enabling system performance optimization. Applied Data Systems (Columbia, Md.) unveiled Bitsy, a 3 x 4-in. embedded StrongARM 32-bit SA-1110 platform. The company's Graphics Master RISC system includes a USB master, four-port USB hub, downstream power switch, and slave/bus master. It has also ported Linux 2.4 to its platform.

Espial (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is expanding offerings to include servers. Its third generation rapid application development environment, Architect, uses Java layout managers to enhance developers' time and energy. The company also announced TotalIA, a Linux- and Java-based reference platform that includes completely integrated hardware and a software stack. Texas Instruments (Houston, Tex.) is making it easier to program DSPs with a program that includes specialized plug-in tools from third parties enhancing and extending TI's Code Composer Studio. In addition, The MathWorks (Natick, Mass.) announced compatibility making Matlab and Simulink easier to use in the DSP environment. It has also enhanced its model-based development and simulating programs.

Motorola (Austin, Tex.) extended its Smart Networks Platform with introduction of its fourth-generation PowerPC microprocessor, the MPC7410 with AltiVec technology. This low power chip supports full symmetric multiprocessing capabilities. The company further unveiled a family of security processors designed to offload processing of security protocols. BSquare (Bellevue, Wash.) showed Smart Build Product Design Packages that provide a foundation of hardware design and software to enable OEMs to build and begin manufacturing Windows CE-based devices. Its WinRT-USB enables development of USB hardware control solutions and Remote Device Administrator for remote management of intelligent devices over the Internet. A further offering brings real time performance to Windows NT, NT Embedded, CE with TCX—Time Critical eXtension for Windows. It supports real time interrupts on any driver and has a flexible priority scheme for nested kernel interrupts.

RadiSys (Hillsboro, Ore.) introduced a thin, 1U rack mount server designed to be a flexible building block for OEMs to implement data networking applications one common server platform. As Internet development moves from "eyeballs" to services, smart handheld devices will begin to predominate. Hewlett-Packard (Palo Alto, Calif.) continues to enhance its Chai Java-based platform. Linux has been added as a reference platform, as well as support for Integrated Development environments—Jbuilder from Inprise/Borland and Oracle's Jdeveloper. In addition, Chai FreezeDry technology enhances memory use by enabling Java applications to be consolidated and run in a concentrated form.

I-Logix (Andover, Mass.) enhanced its Rhapsody development platform for pervasive computing device development, which generates C, C++, or Java code from a visual model. Tools enable team collaboration on larger projects and support is included for XMI, which is XML for real-time. Cad-UL (Scottsdale, Ariz.) announced code developer support for Intel's new Xscale microarchitecture as well as Motorola's ColdFire processor. In a move to further bolster Linux's presence in the real-time and embedded market, Hard Hat Linux developer MontaVista Software (Sunnyvale, Calif.) announced its partners program that provides support, expertise sharing, and Linux certification. PEP Modular Computers (Pittsburgh, Pa.), now a part of Kontron Embedded Computers (Eching/Munich, Germany), showed a 6U CompactPCI CPU with Intel Mobile Pentium III that delivers high performance with reduced power consumption and an extended temperature operating range.

Green Hills Software (Santa Barbara, Calif.) announced version 3.0 of Integrity, its real-time operating system featuring enhanced multiprocessor debugging support, new simulation environment, and built-in support for many Internet and telecom protocols. Analog Devices (Norwood, Mass.) showed off VisualDSP++ for programming its DSPs. It includes a C++ compiler and new plotting tools. VersaLogic (Eugene, Ore.) now supports AMD K6 processors on its PC/104plus, STD 32, and EBX single board computers.

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