The Keynote Address of Day 2 of the Embedded Systems Conference (April 28, San Jose, CA) will be delivered by Texas Instruments' CEO Rich Templeton. This provides a great balance from the previous day's Keynote Address, given by Dr. Michio Kaku (Side note: Check out the Top 10 reasons to attend ESC). Where Dr. Kaku, as a theoretical physicist, will talk about what's likely possible 20 years from now, Templeton has the task of helping designers work on today's (and tomorrow's) projects. He must provide the products that solve today's problems. And more times than not, TI seems to get it right.
I sat down with Templeton recently to discuss his forthcoming Keynote Address. At ESC, he'll reinforce the fact that embedded developers really do have the power to change the world. In some cases, it's in a small but significant way. For example, the developer of the Flip video camera, which I used to record my interview with Templeton, is a perfect example of a device that makes people's jobs easier. It certainly makes my job easier.
On a larger scale, you can look to the designers of the latest Boeing airplane or a space shuttle, or piece of military equipment. But when you break them down to their bare essentials, they are all embedded systems, filled with one or more microprocessors/microcontrollers, an operating system (in most cases), and a slew of analog components.
Areas that Templeton touched, that he feels have significant growth potential, include medical and security applications, and all aspects of energy efficiency. Each of those three topics can be broken down into myriad levels. For example, energy efficiency could come in the form of new lighting techniques. Or smart appliances that know when you're in the room. Or transportation devices with two wheels, four wheels, or many wheels in the case of industrial equipment, buses, military vehicles, etc.
The bottom line is that TI is has the reach to position itself in not just the embedded processor space, but in lots of areas that the designer must reach into to get his project out the door. To see just how they accomplish that, and how it affects you as an embedded developer, you'll have to make your way to the Embedded Systems Conference.