2014 recap

We are rapidly approaching that time of year when we reflect on what has transpired the past 12 months and what we can look forward to in the next 12 months. My feature “Business Barometer” on page 12 goes into more details on my predictions for technology and business processes.

2014 was a big change in pace for me as I officially took on the role as Executive Director for VITA. I had been in training under the wing of Ray Alderman who held that position for – shall we say – “a long time.” Ray has been keeping a close eye on his baby, VITA, as it took off under new leadership. To make my new role even more interesting, longtime technical director John Rynearson, the “brains” of VITA, decided to retire in May. Shortly thereafter, the “heart” of VITA, Lollie Wheeler, turned over her role as well. I estimate that over 75 years of experience decided to pass on the reins; talk about pressure!

I was not sure how to replace that much knowledge and talent so I took the opportunity to step back and see what I could do to streamline the organization. We launched an online store for purchasing specifications before John retired. I brought in Jing Kwok, a longtime VITA activist, as the technical director. With John’s help, Jing and I launched a new web-based tool, VITA Workspace, to facilitate the process of standards development and collaboration. An updated VITA website with built-in membership and event management capabilities went live in June. We have since been fine-tuning everything, making adjustments where necessary. The support of the VITA membership has been superb, despite some of the disruptions of the new tools. Once up to speed, everyone has appreciated the improved communications and processes.

Looking forward to 2015 we need to make improvements in our product directory, become more aggressive in our marketing tactics, and continue the fine tradition of the development of standards essential to the critical embedded systems industry. It is here that I see all kinds of opportunities. We still have much work to do with VPX – as the technology has matured there are opportunities for added capabilities and enhancements. Small form factors continue to emerge as systems naturally get smaller. The FMC community has started work on the next generation of FPGA mezzanine cards to handle higher bandwidth. Optical interconnect technology moves forward as the need for bandwidth grows.

Now it is more important than ever to become involved with setting the next generation of standards for critical embedded systems technologies. If you want to make a lasting impact on the technology key to the critical embedded computing industry then get involved with a technology standards working group. You will be surprised at how rewarding the work can be.

Embedded Tech Trends 2015 is scheduled for January 19 and 20 in Phoenix. The sponsors are busy constructing an informative set of topics (www.embeddedtechtrends.com). This is sure to be a very informative forum for the critical embedded computing industry.

In 2014 we launched the VITA Technologies Hall of Fame. It is time to submit nominations for the class of 2015.

We have developed a simple nomination and selection process that is loosely based on the NFL Hall of Fame process. Any “fan” may nominate any qualified individual, team of individuals, company, product, or technology to the VITA Technologies Hall of Fame via the nomination form on the Hall of Fame website (http://opensystemsmedia.com/hall-of-fame/vita-technologies). The only restriction is that the nominee must have had a significant impact on the critical and intelligent embedded computing industry.

Our 2015 editorial calendar for VITA Technologies has been published. Take a look at the key topics we plan to cover in 2015 (http://opensystemsmedia.com/media-kits). Topics on the calendar so far include: ARMed and Ready about the impact of ARM processors, Software Defined Radios, SpaceVPX, Copper vs. Optical, FMC Steps Up, VPX interoperability, and Trends in SBC Functional Density, and much more.

For VITA Technologies, we will sift through the technology, finding information that we feel is important as you continue to build new products that are based on VITA technologies. If you have specific topics you would like to read about, please contact me to discuss.

I look forward to a great 2015.

Jerry Gipper, jgipper@opensystemsmedia.com