ESC 2010 recap

Learn today. Design tomorrow. ESC

The biggest highlight from the this year’s ESC Silicon Valley show is to hear first hand from both vendors and customers that their businesses are really starting to pick up.  While an uptick is certainly welcomed, demand has caught some of the silicon vendors by surprise and lead times on many parts have been pushed out.  One company is quoting 23 weeks for availability on a popular processor!

The show in San Jose is still largely dominated by the bigger Silicon vendors, and the tool and operating system suppliers.  One of these companies, Mentor Graphics, was demonstrating a very interesting product, Inflexion UI.  If you have ever wondered how to create a rich, interesting graphical user interface for an embedded device, this tool fits the bill.  They have added support for Android and the presentation of this was quite impressive.  Whitepapers and videos here:

http://www.mentor.com/products/embedded_software/inflexion-ui/

Not everyone can afford a $40,000 logic analyzer with software protocol decoders.  CWAV was demonstrating very affordable solutions (starting at $149) that use your own PC for compute and display of logic level information and include i2c, SPI, and other bus decoders.  Other products allow mixed signal (analog and digital) debugging.  These are perfect for ‘midnight engineers’.

Embedded 802.11 wireless is definitely here to stay. Dualband (2.4 and 5 GHz), single-stream (one transmitter, one receiver – not MIMO) solution are beginning to be introduced including our own PremierWave EN.  Zigbee is still going strong but had less of an ‘in your face’ presence as previous shows.

All in all it was an encouraging show and we enjoyed reconnecting with many of our customers, partners, vendors and even a few blog groupies!