A wild week at ESC - Embedded.com

A wild week at ESC

Oh, what a week it was. If you were not in San Jose last week at the Embedded Systems Conference, you missed an outstanding affair. Sunday and Monday were filled with tutorials and classes covering all your favorite subjects, from embedded programming in C, UML, and Linux to DSP techniques to user interface (UI) design.

Tuesday was when the real fun began. My day kicked off with a press conference, featuring announcements from some of the conference's exhibitors. This included Aonix, with its all-Java solution that's faster than C for hybrid programs (according to the company); Atmel's AVR32 UC3 32-bit RISC core with DSP instructions that delivers up to 1.3 Dhrystone MIPS/MHz, running from on-chip flash; CoWare's new release of its Virtual Platform product family; Freescale, who announced an SoC designed to hasten the adoption of content over optical fiber to homes and small offices; LynuxWorks' two new RTOS products; QNX's secure partitioning for multi-core systems; Spansion's MirrorBit Eclipse architecture that combines NOR and ORNAND on one die; and Xilinx's XtremeDSP low-cost DSP-based Spartan FPGA.

But the highlight of ESC was the keynote address, delivered by Former Vice-President, Al Gore. Mr. Gore's speech went from downright funny, to what you would expect from the Former Vice-President (we need to clean the environment, and so on), to a rallying cry to engineers, who have the power to shape the minds of our youth and the future of our planet.

Running from the keynote, I managed to make it to the Prius Tear Down with a couple of minutes to spare. This first (of six) segment was delivered to a standing-room-only crowd.

Later that afternoon, during the Intel Industry Address, the Orange County Choppers (OCC) unveiled a custom motorcycle, made specifically for Intel, using its latest microprocessor. This was a treat for any OCC fan. I managed to sneak backstage before the presentation and get my picture taken with the Intel motorcycle.

The day ended with the ACE awards, whose winners can be viewed on-line.

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