A new mug-shot on the editorial page–what does it mean for Embedded Systems Design magazine? I suppose first I should introduce myself. My name is Ron, and I am returning to the EE Times Group to occupy the very large shoes just vacated by Rich Nass, who has moved to other pastures. One of my new responsibilities is this page.
So what does this mean for ESD readers? Not a lot. As I’m sure you are aware, the real brains behind this publication are Bernie Cole, Susan Rambo, and our contributing editors. My job will be to support them, keep out of their way, and to fill two columns on Page 5. There will be no sudden changes in editorial direction: just the gradual evolution by which Rich, Bernie, and the team have kept ESD relevant for years.
Where is this gradual evolution taking us? I can offer some speculation, based both on what I see in the industry and on recent issues of the magazine.
First, the range of programming skills required in embedded systems design will continue to expand. Not that long ago embedded systems programming meant writing a little control code, some drivers, and a user interface, probably all in C. Today, embedded tasks may include a commercial RTOS, a communications stack or two, a security subsystem, and a virtualization layer: items that used to belong in enterprise computing.
And the range of devices to program keeps growing. The traditional MPUs and MCUs are still here. But so are DSP cores and heterogeneous multicore SoCs. In some cases today programming means generating code for FPGAs, not processors. And embedded systems designers increasingly will be drawn into hardware/ software codesigns with SoC design teams.
Requirements have changed as well. We are used to producing correct code that meets hard timing deadlines with minimal footprint. The future will bring growing responsibility for high system up-time, soft failure, intrusion prevention, and system-level energy efficiency—all requirements that raise as many verification as design issues.
So I guess the bottom line is that we at ESD will continue to serve you with more of the same: more challenges, more skills, and more change.
Ron Wilson is director of content/media for EE Times Group Events and Embedded. You may reach him at .