ESC reaches 15 years of innovation

Though it seems like only yesterday the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) was just learning how to walk, so to speak, the conference has now reached its 15th year. This latest "teenage" edition of ESC, featuring more than 300 exhibitors and a conference with 146 technical sessions presented by 90 industry experts, expects to draw more than 11,000 attendees to San Francisco's Moscone Conventio...


Though it seems like only yesterday the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) was just learning how to walk, so to speak, the conference has now reached its 15thyear.

This latest 'teenage' edition of ESC, featuring more than 300 exhibitors and a conference with 146 technical sessions presented by 90 industry experts, expects to draw more than 11,000 attendees to San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center, April 22-26. The show floor will be open from noon to 7 p.m. on April 23-24 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 25.

This year's conference program will include an in-depth system-on-chip (SoC) track and a consumer electronics track, which organizers say will allow design engineers, technical managers, and developers to learn leading-edge techniques that address programming and real-time design challenges. Other conference topics will include: security, WIFI, audio and video, Linux, and real-time design. These sessions will help engineers gain the 'embedded' skills necessary to make embedded system designs better, faster, and more reliable.

ESC's additional new features include: a Best of Show award for embedded technology in an end-user application displayed by an exhibitor; the System on Chip Spotlight, an integrated offering of SoC design classes, exhibits, and a reception for the design community; and a Consumer Electronics Spotlight, featuring audio and video products in a consumer electronics class track, panel, and highlighted exhibits.

Innovations at ESC

As usual, hundreds of useful solutions will highlight ESC in San Francisco. Here are some of the most significant:

  • National Instruments ' (Austin, TX) new Compact FieldPoint product line of 20 I/O modules and three intelligent controllers delivers a small, rugged, intelligent platform that extends the reach of its LabView software to harsh industrial environments, such as embedded-machine control, industrial data acquisition, data logging, and in-vehicle applications. With the robust design of Compact FieldPoint, engineers and scientists, once challenged by extreme industrial environments, can perform advanced measurement and control by integrating this intelligent distributed platform on a factory floor, in an industrial machine or at remote locations.

  • Green Hills Software 's (Santa Barbara, CA) 'Multi' integrated development environment for embedded Linux systems provides an advanced environment for debugging Linux applications, the Linux kernel, and Linux device drivers. Multi works out of the box with existing GNU development tool chains, including those used for native Intel/Pentium, embedded MIPS, and embedded PowerPC environments. Multi gives Linux kernel developers accustomed to debugging code with primitive print statements and command-line debuggers-a full-featured, commercial solution that greatly simplifies the debug process.

  • OSE Systems , a subsidiary of Enea Data (Stockholm, Sweden), will exhibit its OSE Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) 4.5 and development environment. The newest generation RTOS from OCE Systems is based on a message-passing model that provides fast, asynchronous interprocess communications ideal for fault-tolerant or high reliability, real-time applications, such as telecommunications infrastructure, wireless, automotive, and industrial automation.

  • GateFlow IP Core Libraries, from Pentek Inc. (Upper Saddle River, NJ), are able to leverage Xilinx's Virtex field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) for reportedly outstanding performance and reduced development time. Gate Flow IP also includes FFT engines and wideband, digital-down converters; alternatives to ASICs and DSPs; 10x FFT speed improvement that handles >500 MHz real-time data streams; wideband receivers that deliver increased speed, resolution, and accuracy; and a design for signal intelligence and radar applications.

  • OEM2500 Coyote single-board computer from Z World (Davis, CA) provides OEM designers with a low-cost embedded control for high-volume applications, as well as multiple options for built-to-suit custom orders to lower OEM product costs. Two standard models are available, one with Ethernet and one without. It can be customized to user specifications for orders of 500 units or more. OEM 2500 Coyote features the Rabbit 3000 microprocessor at 29.4 MHz; 256 K Flash and 128 K SRAM; five serial ports; 16 rugged I/O points (plus one A/D input and two D/A outputs); four LEDs; and 10 timers.

For more information, or to view a conference program schedule with details of classes and tutorials, or to register for Embedded Systems Conference San Francisco, visit .

Jim Montague, news editor

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