ESC Silicon Valley: A semester-worth of embedded education in 4 days -

ESC Silicon Valley: A semester-worth of embedded education in 4 days


Whether you're a newbie embedded systems designer or a seasonedprofessional, be sure to attend ESCSilicon Valley in San Jose, April 26-29. The show willfeatureclasses, speakers, and panels looking at new technologies,opportunities, and problems that will be coming at you in the nearfuture, as well as classes reviewing the basics of embedded systemsdesign in the light of evolving technologies.

You can't afford to miss this conference if you need to be inspired,or if your idea of fun is a good argument or just an idea-ladendiscussion.

Food for thought – and action
Important elements in all learning eenvironments, including the ESC,are teachers whose experiences provide useful guidelines on whatstudents need to know to succeed and teachers who inspire theirlisteners with their visions of the future.

For visionary inspiration at ESC Silicon Valley, you can go andlisten to conference keynote speaker Dr.Michio Kaku . Atheoretical physicist and author of popular science books such asHyperspace, Visions, Parallel Worlds, Beyond Einstein, Einstein'sCosmos and Physics of the Impossible, his goal in life is to helpcomplete Einstein's dreams of a “theory of everything,” a singleequation that will unify all the fundamental laws of physics.

For practical guidelines on how technologists and technologycompanies can survive hard economic times, there is ESC keynoter RichardTempleton , president and CEO of Texas Instruments, who willhave alot of real-world experience to communicate. Operationally, he guidedTI during the worst downturn in semiconductor history, whilemaintaining the company's strategic investments in R&D and advancedmanufacturing.

Learning by doing – and by kicking the tires
Classes, blackboards, books and lectures are respected, traditionalways to learn embedded systems design and ESC Silicon Valley has all ofthese. But nothing tops real-world hands-on experience. ESC SiliconValley offers several ways of getting this kind of experience.

First, there is an expanded BuildYour Own Embedded System (BYOES) program with two tracks,onebased on the use of a development kit for the Intel Atom and one basedon a Freescale development kit and a set of classes to attendassociated with each kit.

The Intel track is basedon a development board featuring Intel'sDual Core D510 Atom Processor, which features HyperThreading (HT)technology and supports four execution threads. In addition, the boardwill be running Microsoft's Windows Embedded Standard 2011 (codenamedQuebec). A host of Microsoft development tools are also included. Byattending the series of BYOES classes over the course of two days (ESC-105,125, 165,205, 225 and 265 ),you tailor your kit to meet thespecific needs of your application. And all the hardware and softwareis yours to keep!

In the second (unrelated) BYOES track, those of you who participatewill receive Freescale's Tower System ,a modular, reconfigurabledevelopment platform that is yours to keep at the end of theconference. The Tower System employs a simple concept–you snaptogether the components that are right for your end application.Modules include MCU/MCU, memory, sensors, USB, Ethernet, WiFi, and soon. The classes within this track (ESC-305,325, 365,405, 425 and465 )will help you customize the tower and write the code needed tomake the modules operate efficiently.

TI's eZ430. Texas Instruments will also be offering hands-onexperience in two classes: a teardownof TI's eZ430 Chronos Wireless Watch Development Tools and aChronos Workshop. In each class,thefirst 125 attendees will receive one of the integrated, wearablewireless development systems for the CC430 microcontroller in a sportswatch format.

All conference attendees will be entered into a drawing to win oneof five MSO2024 digital oscilloscopes. Offering up to 200-MHz bandwidthand 1 GS/s sample rate on four analog and 20 digital channels, theMSO2024 scope provides advanced debug features, including the abilityto trigger and decode on I2C, SPI, CAN, LIN, and RS-232 buses.

A chance to debate and discuss
Because an important part of any educational experience is the chanceto debate and discuss with your peers what you have learned, we areproviding a number of opportunities for this vital activity, including:

SFT-6:A no holds-barred debate on standalone CPUs vs.processor-in-FPGA development.” In this lively debate, Clive”Max”Maxfield will explain why the embedded-in-FPGA approach is likely theway to go, while Jim Turley will patiently explain why Max is off hisrocker. Max, currently working for TechBites, is a well-knownengineer/consultant/writer/speaker in the programmable-logic space. Jimis an outspoken analyst at Silicon Insider covering microprocessortechnology.

SFT-8:Are Open Standards and Common Design Methodologies Enough to Putan FPGA in YOUR future?” Platform approaches by many vendorsarehelping to bring hardware programmability into the forefront ofembedded design, combining the high-speed parallel processingperformance possible in FPGAs with traditional processor based systems.In this panel moderated by Richard Nass, Director of Content/Media, EETimes Group, panelists representing ARM, Wind River, MontaVistaSoftware, Code Sorcery, and Xilinx will discuss use models,applications, as well as what's new and what's coming from the industryfor overcoming design challenges and opening new opportunities forembedded systems.

SFT-12:The State of Embedded”, a wide-ranging informalpanel discussion that will include Jack Ganssle, Dan Saks, NiallCooling, principal and director of Freehas Ltd., and no doubt many ofthe developers who will be in the audience.

Learning and relearning from the pros
The best teachers of any subject are usually the professionals withlong-term experience who have the ability to communicate what they havelearned with insight and a healthy dose of humor. At ESC these prosteach in over 24 carefully tailored design tracks.

Some of our valued presenters are ESD columnists JackGanssle, DanSaks, and MichaelBarr; regular contributors to ESD and long time ESCparticipants David Kalinsky, WilliamGatliff, Christian Legare and JeanLabrosse of Micrium, David Kleidermacher of Green Hills, Dave Stewartof In Hand Electronics, James Grenning of Renaissance Computing, RobertOshana of Freescale Semiconductor, Caltech's David Hawkins, and IBM'sUML evangelist Bruce Powel Douglass.

A small sampling of the classes they will be teaching: firmwareflaws; coding Standards; RTOSbasics; adopting C++, managing firmware;structuring code for real time; product failures in the field; signalprocessing; software testing and muilticoredebugging.

There is also plenty to learn from ideas and strategies that a widerange of new lecturers and working engineers will be presenting,including:

ZigbeeSmart Energy Profiles (ESC-200),” taught by San JuanSoftware's Drew Gialason, which will cover the basics of the variouswireless Zigbee software stacks and Zigbee's Smart Energy Profiles, aswell as designing energy-efficient home and building network systems.

AgileSensor Design for the Smart Grid (ESC-240),” byRichard Newell, Senior Principal Product Architect at Actel whodescribes the design of an intelligent sensor based on a state-of-theart FPGA with embedded microcontroller for use in smart energy grids.

DesigningPower Efficient Motor Control (ESC-400),” a classconducted by Brad Landseadel, President, Power and Control Design, inwhich he will address the need to drive control efficiency up toimprove system-level efficiency while simultaneously driving componentcount, costs and complexity down.

Buildinga Connected Device With Open Source Software (ESC-347),” from Arlen Nipper, president and Chief Technology Officer of Eurotech,Inc., who will describe how to apply open source and Java-basedmiddleware tools to virtually any networked and connected embeddeddevice for fast development, quick time to market and an extendedproduct life span.

CommonMistakes and Lessons Learned in Software Testing(ESC-267),” taught by Mark Kraeling, Product Manager, GETransportation. He will detail some common mistakes and lessons learnedin embedded software testing, how to avoid these mistakes, and somereal-world solutions to these issues.

<>Fundamentalsof Testing Embedded Systems (ESC-404),” by GinaBonini, Technical Marketing Manager, Tektronix, Inc., takes attendeesthrough the latest debug techniques for complex embedded systems byperforming a series of guided, hands-on exercises, using a mixed signaloscilloscope to validate and troubleshoot operation of a 16-bitparallel bus and I2C serial bus.

7Deadly Sins of Slow Software Builds (ESC-303),” taught byUsman Muzaffer and Erin Curtis of Electric Cloud, in which theydelineate how to and how not to design build scripts and Makefiles formaximum parallel performance, covering what doesn't work, why, and howto make things better today without starting over (and without spendingmoney).

JustSay No: Compile-time Enforcement of Hardware Semantics(ESC-202),” presented by Stephen Dewhurst, President, SemanticsConsulting Inc., [on how to enforce extra-language andhardware-specific constraints at compile time, causing whole categoriesof common errors to simply disappear from your code. ]

BestPractices of Top-Gun Engineering Managers (ESC-406),” by Ronald Collett, CEO, Numetrics Management Systems, who goes intodetail on the methods and techniques engineering managers use todifferentiate their design team's execution-to-schedule excellence bycalibrating to best-in-class industry competition.

BoostMCU Performance with an RTOS & Middleware (ESC-203),” taught by Nilesh Rajbharti, Product Manager, Renesas TechnologyAmerica, which will be on the tricks of the trade he has learned toincorporate more functionality into a system and do so within a shorterschedule and a tight cost budget.

…And if that is not enough
Finally there is the FifthAnnual Multicore Expo , which will beco-located with ESC Silicon Valley and will provide Expo attendees withthree days of dedicated multicore technology training options andmulticore-related exhibits.

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