Making processors faster, better, cheaper: Boston’s Embedded Systems Conference 2007

Solution showcased at this year’s Embedded Systems Conference in Boston (Sept. 18 – 21, 2007) shared several common themes: more powerful processors, increased efficiency, and lower power consumption.<br/>


Boston, MA —Solution showcased at this year’s

Embedded Systems Conference

in Boston (Sept. 18– 21, 2007) shared several common themes: more powerful processors, increased efficiency, and lower power consumption.

For applications where economy is more important than processing power,

Microchip Technology

unveiled a new family of 8-bit microcontrollers that combine low power consumption and high performance through 28-, 40- and 44-pin configurations. Dubbed the PIC18F family, the new microcontrollers deliver an operating voltage range of 1.8 V to 3.6 V, and features speeds of up to16 MIPS at 64 MHz clock speed and 3 V. Prices start at $1.56 each and are fully supported by Microchip’s family of development systems.

At the other end of the spectrum, powerful multi-core processors from the



advantage of these new technologies.

During a press conference sponsored by single-board computer vendor


,new chip microarchitectures and rolling out manufacturing technologies on a two-year cycle. The strategy ensures ongoing improvements in power consumption, cost and, of course, processor size. As Intel celebrates its 30th year of delivering processors for embedded applications, Jensen was also quick to point out how, despite the rapid pace of innovation and new product introduction, Intel has a strong track record of supporting the extended lifecycle needs of embedded system manufacturers. 

“Reduced power consumption” is one topic that you would expect to hear during discussions with virtually any solution provider. However, some companies take a slightly different spin on the subject. For example,

Echelon Corp

., a provider of control networks and associated technologies, described how their solutions are being used to monitor and control energy consumption across a single factory, an entire organization, or even a large municipality. Representatives from Echelon described how their LonWorks-enabled technologies are found in everything from street lights to welding equipment and how adding intelligence to these devices is opening new opportunities for greater efficiency and enhanced power conservation.

Echelon’s Networked Energy Services (NES) metering system, for example, provides an open, bi-directional infrastructure that can help utility companies evaluate and control loads on their power grids to eliminate blackouts and brownouts. Through their advanced metering system, for example, a utility can limit the amount of power available to endpoints on the grid (such as homes), thereby reducing the likelihood of a brownout or so-called “rolling blackouts” while preserving the ability for homeowners to keep refrigerators running in the summer and furnaces working in the winter.

Such technologies are sure to attract an increasing amount of attention—and investment—as industrial organizations, municipalities and individuals continue to embrace the “green” movement and seek new ways to optimize power consumption.

Read also from Control Engineering :

Plug and play: PICMG COM Express group; LXI plugfest; new 6U cPCI line

Marc Moschetto,
Control Engineering Daily News
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