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VDC’s Report from ESC Boston 2007

Sep 28, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Embedded market analysts from Venture Development Corp. (VDC) attended the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) held in Boston earlier this month. This guest column presents VDC's summary of the event, extracted from the firm's latest Embedded Systems Bulletin.

VDC's Report from the Embedded Systems Conference, Boston 2007

by Steve Balacco, Matt Volckmann, and Chris Rommel

The ESC Boston event certainly seemed to draw a crowd of interested engineers, as the exhibitors that we spoke with generally expressed a level of satisfaction with show-floor booth traffic; however, some expressed dissatisfaction with the later opening of exhibit floor hours on Wednesday at 2PM rather than earlier in the day. This year's TechMash 2007 combined the Embedded Systems Conference, Software Development Best Practices, and RFID World, in an effort to expand the level of attendee participation and collaboration amongst these technology areas. CMP officials confirmed preliminary figures suggested an increase in attendance of about 14% from last year's ESC show.

The show's “Ebeddies” go to…

  • Best of Show: National Instruments, LabVIEW 8.5 — Officially announced in August 2007 at the NI Week event, NI's new version of its LabVIEW product offering provides a number of new additions and further extends the company expanding capabilities in the embedded systems development space. LabVIEW 8.5 includes graphical user interfaces for parallel dataflow modeling, a statechart design module, as well as a number of other advancements. VDC believes that the company's flexible set of system development solutions, which also include LabVIEW Real-Time and a new trace toolkit, will continue to draw interest from embedded development teams looking to rapidly build, optimize, and debug designs based on increasingly complex multi-core hardware environments. For more information, visit
  • Best Giveaway: GrammaTech offered exhibit attendees the opportunity to do some manual bug fixing without the help of an automated solution. At their booth, the company displayed a board of source code and any engineers able to identify a bug in the code won a free t-shirt. VDC gives points to the company for developing a product-related challenge that also doubled as a fun giveaway.

Walking the floor

Continuing to expand their toolset to address the application layer, Mentor Graphics announced a new Multimedia Feature Pack for their Application-Ready Platform, which includes the Inflexion and the Platform UI graphical user interface product for the Nucleus operating system. The Multimedia Feature Pack implements the new OpenMAX industry standard API, which has wide industry support on a range of silicon platforms and operating systems.

Microsoft featured a subset of new technologies that will be included in the next release of the Windows Embedded CE product (6.0 R2) as well as showcased Windows Embedded Partners in the booth including PHYTEC, Adeno, ICOP Technology, Avnet, and Cogent Computer Systems. In addition, Microsoft Windows Embedded General Manager, Kevin Dallas, delivered a keynote address at the conference outlining Microsoft's Windows Embedded vision for powering smart, connected, service-oriented devices.

LynuxWorks featured announcements that continue stress the company theme of open standards as key to the selection of LynxOS by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems for the Ship Self-Defense System (SSDS) across a number of U.S. Navy ships and a working relationship with TTTech Computertechnik AG in offering a combination of products including LynxOS and TTTech's TTP (Time Triggered Protocol) for flight safety-critical avionics systems.

Green Hills Software made several announcements at the show, including: velOSity support for Renesas SH726x and Super H RISC microcontrollers, Integrity PC support for Intel's vPro processor technology, enhancements to the company's Platform for Secure Wireless Devices, and a yet-to-benamed RTOS that is ThreadX compatible. As usual, the Green Hills booth continued to draw substantial crowds throughout the event.

Quadros Systems continues to build on the RTXC foundation with the announcement and availability of their graphical productivity design tool, VisualRTXC, for embedded applications based on the RTXC Quadros RTOS.

QNX Software Systems participated in the disruption zone and affirmed their recent announcement regarding the company's decision to publish the Neutrino Source Code as part of an open development process. They also announced at the conference that source code for its symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) capabilities was also made available as part of the QNX Neutrino source code repository.

RadiSys featured two demonstrations in the Intel booth as Intel Innovation contest finalists with their integrated Intel Core Duo solutions and RadiSys COM Express (Procelerant CE945GN) and mini-ITX (Endura TP945GM) products in a Robotics and Medical applications. Both demonstrations featured RadiSys's OS-9 RTOS and Linux running in separate partitions on top of VirtuaLogix's VLX platform. In addition, the company featured their Eclipse-based Microware OS-9 Multi-Core Development kit.

Express Logic announced the availability of its first host-based development tool TraceX with immediate support for use on Windows-based hosts and all target architectures supported by TreadX. The company also announced ThreadX and NetX support for Luminary Micro's new Stellaris LM3S1000 and LM3S8000 series ARM Cortex M3-based microcontrollers with support for ARM/Keil's RealView IDE from ARM as well as ThreadX support for Renesas SH-2A microcontrollers.

AdaCore featured several announcements at the conference, including: the GNAT stack, a static analysis tool for safety-critical applications; the GNAT Pro High-Integrity Edition for Servers; and the deployment of a mission-critical system for the U.S. Air Force T25 Simulator for the Electronic Combat Training (SECT) system using the GNAT Pro development environment.

Aonix announced a joint seminar series on “Trends in Critical Systems” that will run from October 16 through December 6 at various locations within the U.S. and include presentations from Wind River Systems, Objective Interface Systems, and Verocel in addition to Aonix. The company also announced PERC support for Freescale's i.MX31 processor and MontaVista Mobilinux and ObjectAda RAVEN support for Wind River Systems VxWorks 653 environment for PowerPC.

Electing to take a “business-as-usual” approach ahead of the anticipated acquisition by IBM later this year, Telelogic continued to strongly promote its products at the show. The company highlighted its flexible Architecture Design and Integration Framework within the Rhapsody product line that allows for the integration of multiple design and application lifecycle packages including DOORS, Simulink, Statemate, SDL Suite, and other custom tools.

After releasing Enterprise Architect 7.0 in August of this year, Sparx Systems announced a number of enhancements with Build 817 of EA 7.0 that includes improvements in model load time, in the auditing SQL construction, and in the behavior of their reverse engineering option. ARM featured recent announcements including the ARM Cortex-M1 Development Kit for the Altera Cyclone III FPGAs and the company's investment in Embest Info & Tech as ARM's first joint venture in China.

IAR Systems announced added support within IAR Embedded Workbench for Luminary Micro's Stellaris microcontroller family based on the ARM Cortex-M3. The company also released an evaluation environment kit for the STM32 family of 32-bit MCUs.

Test automation technologies certainly continued to be a hot topic at the show. Static code analysis supplier GrammaTech announced the release of CodeSonar Enterprise. In addition to improved accuracy, faster execution, and support for additional embedded compilers, the new product allows distributed development teams to track and manage defects through a Web-based interface.

Also within the static analysis domain, a technical session hosted by Coverity drew substantial attention from engineers and industry participants alike. Meanwhile, Parasoft announced extended support for its C/C++ solution including the new static analysis capability in Parasoft C++test that offers developers the capability to identify runtime errors with running the application. LDRA and The MathWorks (formerly PolySpace) were also visible promoting the value of their popular test suites.

On the ESL front, both Virtutech and Carbon Design Systems were in attendance in an effort to reach out to the software engineering community. VDC has continued to see players in the virtual system prototyping space more directly target software and systems engineering teams in an effort to get to the key beneficiaries of their technologies.

In addition to showing off the newest version of LabVIEW just released last month (see above), National Instruments released a new RF vector signal generator product and celebrated the 10th anniversary of the PXI Alliance, of which NI is a sponsor member.

Advanced graphics/simulation hardware suppler and maker of iData HMI software, Quantum 3D, announced two new PCI Cards within the Sentiris 4110 series for advanced video capture and display. In speaking with VDC, the company also described some of the interesting partitioned HMI designs they had worked on based on collaboration with SYSGO AG's partitioned Pike OS product.

AMD made a number of new announcements at the event, including the release of three Athlon 64 processors for low-power embedded systems and the release of a triple-core product for the desktop market. The company also revealed a partnership with Freescale semiconductor to license its graphics technology, citing growing demand in the wireless market.

Datalight featured recent announcements regarding the company's approved patent for their file system technology, Datalight Reliance, as well as the improved performance on Windows CE 6.0 when Datalight Reliance and FlashFX Pro are implemented together.

On the embedded database front, the Embedded Business Group (EBG) of Hitachi America was also in attendance, promoting new enhancements to their Entier Embedded RDBMS database solution. The release of Entier 2.2 includes improvements around multitasking, database content updating, and complex word searching.

McObject featured recent announcements for eXtremeDB support for the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) application programming interface (API) and tested compatibility with MontaVista Software's Linux Carrier Grade Edition 4.0.

Professional services provider Embedded Systems Design was showcasing some of their custom-built advanced embedded computing systems. As examples of their core competence in the embedded space, the company has assembled embedded systems based on Xilinx FPGAs for advanced networking and communication.

Within the collocated SD Best Practices show floor were a number of lifecycle management focused companies, including AccuRev, Change Vision, IBM, Telelogic, Seapine Software, and many others. VDC stopped by the TechExcel booth to check out the latest versions of their various ALM-oriented solutions that have been adopted by many leading embedded systems companies.

The “Disruption Zone” was again a featured part of the show. Software and hardware companies showcased included: Amphenol TCS, Handshake Solutions, Lattix, National Instruments, Nilar, and QNX Software.

Other vendors in attendance at ESC included American Arium, Atmel, Black Duck Software, CMX Systems, CodeSourcery, Intel, KLOCwork, Lantronix, MKS, NXP, Perforce, Lauterbach, Texas Instruments, Trolltech, IBM, Seapine Software, STMicro, and many others.

Copyright (c) 2007, Venture Development Corp. (VDC). All rights reserved. Reproduced by with permission.

Note: This guest column is derived from VDC's “Embedded Systems Industry Bulletin — September 2007,” which is published as part of VDC's Embedded Software Strategic Market Intelligence Program. VDC has been providing embedded systems market intelligence for over 20 years.

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