The third Embedded Systems Show (ESC) Brazil event took place last week at the Transamerica Expo centre in São Paulo. São Paulo is ‘the largest city in Brazil, the largest city proper in the southern hemisphere and the Americas and the world's seventh largest city by population’ (according to Wikipedia) and is often regarded as the entry point for a business that wants to expand into South America. It is certainly a busy city with lots of construction still taking place as the city expands. Many companies will have a regional office in São Paulo if they want to tap into one of the fastest growing markets. It’s not all good news though as on the first morning of the show, a news story described the 400kms of gridlocked traffic as commuters attempted to get to work!
The first morning started with a keynote from Jack Ganssle, who I had the pleasure of meeting personally at the show. Jack’s keynote, The History of the Microprocessor, was a history lesson of how the technology we use all around us today started off right up to the modern day technologies, with a reference to the ARM architecture and its relevance in modern day designs. Jack is legend in the world of embedded systems and I’d been looking forward to the keynote for a while, but meeting him in person was an honour. There were many facts and figures highlighted during the keynote but it was the fact that, according to Jack, an iPhone built with ENIAC technology (ENIAC is often described as ‘the first ever electronic general-purpose computer’) would be the size of 173 VABs (used for assembling manned launch spacecraft vehicles), weigh as much as 2500 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, need the power of 600 of the biggest nuclear power plants (like the huge one in Finland) and would cost 50 trillion US dollars!! This really highlights how far technology has progressed in the last few decades.
The second keynote by Bill Gatliff was titled Is Android the Answer for Embedded Systems – this insightful keynote highlighted the need to check all aspects of an embedded system for errors and exceptions before simply adding Android to the overall design, and to maybe use Android as a looking glass into the system rather than use it to control the whole system.
In his keynote on the second day, Chris Shore, ARM Training Manager, gave one of the most interesting and informative keynotes I have ever heard. In this session I discovered the full story of a little-known (i.e. it was kept top secret for many years after the end of World War 2) chapter of computing history: the Colossus , the world's first computer used by British intelligence to decipher the more complex encrypted messages sent by the German army during the second World War. A trip to Bletchley Park is now firmly on my to-do very soon list - there is a replica of Colossus, alongside a ‘wealth of other fascinating galleries and exhibits within the WW2 Code-breaking Huts and Blocks’.
Ronan Synnott and Guilherme Marshall gave a well-attended three hour long detailed class and workshop on the second day on using the ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5™) software tool chain, showing how to build, debug, and profile various software use cases.
A number of ARM Connected Community partners were at the show including Anacom, Atmel, Congatec, IAR Systems, KONTRON,Oracle Corporation, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments. Of particular interest last week were Atmel who alongside their demos of the ARM Cortex®-M0+ SAMD20 were Sensinode (now part of ARM, see press release here) as guests on the Atmel booth demoing their NanoService Internet of Things (IoT) lighting solution.
Zin Kyaw giving the demo
The Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) expo took place alongside the ESC show and there was a good crossing over of attendees between the two events. I expect to see more and more companies producing medical devices based on ARM in the upcoming years – it takes a certain amount of time to create products and then get the required medical approvals before they can be released in the medical domain.
The 39 exhibitors were host to 4875 attendees, up from just over 4000 the year before – a pretty good improvement in numbers in my reckoning. From the small event that started three years ago ESC Brazil is certainly shaping up to be a must attend event if you’re located in that region.
If you managed to attend the event let me know what you thought and what could be done even better for next year’s event.
Save the date - ESC Brazil 2014 takes place at the same location on 26 and 27 August 2014.