Most people are familiar with dog years, whereby one human year equals seven dog years (although Wikipedia disputes this claim). I would like to make a similar claim with respect to the embedded industry, whereby one human year equals X years of embedded technology. Unfortunately, X is a variable, rather than a fixed number. But regardless, you get the point that technology moves at a swift rate.
That said, the fact that Embedded Systems Design has survived for 20 years is an astounding feat. Very few publications in our industry have withstood the same test of time. If you're a long-time reader, you're well aware of some of the changes that have taken place within the publication. The most significant change was the new name, which was done to reflect a changing landscape in our industry.
The original Embedded Systems Programming was aimed strictly at programmers, whereby Embedded Systems Design takes a more “systems” approach to embedded developments. While we've never gone away from our roots, as the columns from Jack Ganssle, Dan Saks, Jack Crenshaw, and others will attest, we've added features that give developers insight into the hardware and applications layers.
The semiconductor devices (and the associated vendors), even the analog components, play such a big part in system design. You'd be hard-pressed to find a hardware vendor that doesn't employ more software engineers than hardware engineers. We even see the distributors playing a big role today, providing much needed education for the microprocessors that keep increasing in complexity.
Because the embedded systems industry dominates the field of electronics in general, there's no reason to believe that we won't be around for another 20 years. For that reason, we decided to make this our “time machine” issue, whereby we zip you 20 years into the future, to the year 2028. Once there, you can peruse the pages of ESD and see what our experts think of the “current” technology.
We've assembled quite a cast for you. They include top executives and design managers at the microprocessor/microcontroller vendors (like Intel, Microchip, MIPS, and Texas Instruments); the operating systems houses (like Green Hills and Micrium); the tools suppliers (like Mentor Graphics and National Instruments); and the programmable logic providers (like Actel and Xilinx).
Some of the commentary will be found on these pages. Some spilled over to our sister Web site, Embedded.com. We hope you like it in the future.
P.S.–Eight of the ads in this issue were originally published in 1988. See if you can pick them out.
Richard Nass is editor in chief of Embedded Systems Design magazine and editorial director of TechInsights' Embedded Group. He can be reached at .