Top Innovators streamline embedded technology

As the embedded industry transitions from stand-alone, fixed-function devices to networks of fully interconnected intelligent systems, the new product development process is also changing. For each new project, the embedded designer must constantly evaluate the latest ideas and innovations to deliver the highest-performance, most cost-effective products in the shortest possible timeframe. To help with this process, this issue of Embedded Computing Design presents our Second Annual roundup of the top innovative products and embedded innovators that together are responsible for dramatic changes in our industry. Our editorial team selected the top innovators from multiple entries based on creativity, technical guidance, and unique contributions to the embedded industry. The winners of the 2013 Embedded Computing Design award for Top Embedded Innovator are:

You can read all the details about each winner and their contributions in the Top Embedded Innovator question and answer section of this issue. For the first time ever, this year we have also recognized the Most Influential Women in Embedded. These are women who are providing technical leadership, thriving in technology management roles, and making a difference in the embedded industry. The winners of the 2013 Embedded Computing Design award for Most Influential Women in Embedded are:

The three winners of our Top Innovative Products contest – one each in the Software, Silicon, and Strategies categories – will be announced in our August edition. (The nomination process is closed.)

In addition to the special embedded innovation coverage, this issue digs into the details of several topics including multicore processors, Electronic Design Automation (EDA) technology, operating system selection, and small form factor platforms. In the Silicon section, Markus Levy, Founder and President of the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC), describes the technical challenges faced by multicore developers and gives his projections on the power and performance gains we can expect over the next few years. Extending the Silicon coverage, John Goodacre, Director of Technology and Systems at the ARM Processor Division, answers questions on portable multicore tech and explains how ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture can deliver both higher performance and extended battery life.

In this edition’s Strategies section, industry experts take a look at some of the latest technologies at work to expand the performance levels and lower the cost of small form factor modules. With design flexibility in mind, Kevin Roth, an Electrical Engineer at Alpha Data, reveals how the increased processing power and reconfigurable I/O of the latest generation of FPGAs have extended the design possibilities with VPX architecture. Along with an objective of increasing student interest in computer science and engineering, Pete Lomas, Director of Engineering at Norcott Technologies and cofounder of the Raspberry Pi foundation, presents a case study of the design challenges his team faced in developing a low-cost, credit card sized single board computer.

In this edition’s Software section, a roundtable of embedded industry experts answered questions covering the technology trends, standards, and future projections in the EDA marketplace. Their responses included software and Intellectual Property (IP) for design verification, virtual prototyping, and a host of proprietary solutions. Participants in the roundtable are:

  • Wally Rhines, Chairman and CEO, Mentor Graphics
  • Brett Cline, Vice President, Forte Design Systems
  • Marc Serughetti, Business Development Director, Synopsys
  • Michał Siwi´nski, Director of Product Marketing at Cadence
  • Bill Neifert, Cofounder and CTO, Carbon Design Systems

Extending the software coverage of this edition, my article outlines some of the basic requirements and evaluation steps necessary in the embedded operating system selection process.

If you have ideas for future articles and coverage in Embedded Computing Design that would help in your development efforts, please let us know. We are always interested in contributed technical articles, guest blogs, or videos that would appeal to other embedded designers.