Embedded Tech Trends 2018 Wrap-up

In January, Embedded Tech Trends 2018 was held in Austin, Texas at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown. Just off 6th Street, attendees had walking access to the famous Austin music scene and wonderful BBQ.

They say the stars are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, and our technologies are also big and bright! In this spirit, the theme for 2018 was “Embedded Technologies – Big and Bright!” The focus and emphasis were on the biggest technologies and brightest solutions behind high performance computing problems.

Embedded Tech Trends is a small, but extremely effective forum where suppliers of components, boards, and system level solutions can meet exclusively with members of relevant industry media to discuss technologies, trends, and products. The small venue in Austin was great for true social networking, free from the stress of large venue events.

Despite the temptations of the Austin music scenes, the presenters were on their game for Embedded Tech Trends. The following are short synopses of the presentations:

Embedded Tech Trends: Market insights

By Brian Arbuckle, Senior Market Analyst, IHS Markit

Collecting shipments data in this sliver of the embedded computing market is difficult at best. Arbuckle presents a brief up date of the changes he has seen in the past year. Amazingly, VME is forecasted to hold strong while VPX is making slow progress. To no surprise, the U.S. defense market is leading the way. He concludes with a brief discussion on key issues that could impact his forecast.

Scalability and interconnect technologies

By Gérald Persaud, VP Business Development, Reflex Photonics Inc.

Complex embedded computing platforms must scale in performance and capability even faster than ever to stay viable. Optical interconnection is the most scalable technology available to enable quick upgrades with tight size, weight, and performance (SWaP) criteria. Persaud reviewed some of the design options that should be evaluated when considering optical interconnect technologies for developing scalable platforms.

Big and Bright: Security

By Nigel Forrester, Technical Product Marketing, Concurrent Technologies Plc

Improved security has finally become more important to several defense projects than backwards compatibility. Even tightly controlled, closed solutions need options to make them more secure. Forrester tells us that designers need to be flexible, that there are many possible solutions and that no one solution fits all cases. He reminds us that nothing is 100 percent secure, that there are Big security concerns but Bright solutions.

Innovative thermal management in HPEC VPX systems

By Thierry Wastiaux, Sr. Vice President of Sales, Interface Concept

Customer demand for ever increasing processing power in each High Performance Embedded Computer (HPEC) VPX systems are pushing the processing power envelope so it is essential to find new ways for extracting heat out of each system slot. Wastiaux explains how thermal management must not be an afterthought. He ­discusses how the VITA 48.1 standard for air-cooled VPX plug-in units can provide guidance to develop a cost-effective cooling strategy.

2018: The year certifiable multicore takes off

By Scott Engle, Director of Business Development, Mercury Systems, Inc.

Multicore processors are with us to stay and the industry’s understanding and comfort level is increasing. Avionics processing is struggling with multicore as it has changed the way computing systems are designed. Engle takes us through the problems unique to avionics in processor selection. He continues to discuss how all the pieces are coming together to ensure multicore certification for avionics applications.

Changing times need changing strategies

By Ethan Plotkin, CEO, GDCA, Inc.

Most of us are focused on the future roadmaps of our products, but in an industry where the life cycles of computing elements are measured in decades, life cycle management is a curse. Plotkin talks about how changing times need changing strategies. He reminds us that there are ways to effectively manage the long tail of embedded computing products.

Jumping hurdles: High expectations in a low power environment

By Christopher Fadeley, Software Engineering Manager, EIZO Rugged Solutions

Designing an embedded computing product for a rugged environment involves many challenges. Top of the list are performance expectations, cooling, bandwidth, and customization. Fadeley takes us through his thoughts on the art of supporting immediate needs while not preventing potential future needs

Where is VPX going and why?

By Michael Munroe, Technical Product Specialist, Elma Electronic

VPX started out as a simple concept but quickly became very complex. Interoperability in a complex environment is extremely challenging. Munroe discusses customer desires to maximize interoperability and what VITA and others are doing to meet the requirements.

High speed VPX signal integrity

By Ivan Straznicky, Technical Fellow, Curtiss-Wright

VPX is based on high-speed serial interfaces that are increasing in baud rate. Today’s technology can support 16 Gbaud, but what about the next speed step? Straznicky shows how we may not be that far from the next generation.

The worldwide OEM electronics manufacturing market

By Randall Sherman, President and Founder, New Venture Research Corp.

The embedded computing market is very complex and large. Sherman takes a high-level look at the global market with an emphasis on the role of electronic manufacturing services in the industry. He concludes that partnering between EMS and OEMs/Embedded Computing companies will seed technology innovation and be more synergistic in the future, emerging as the dominant business model for the future.

Meeting military data signal analysis imperatives

By Roy Keeler, Senior Product and Business Development Manager, ADLINK Technology Inc.

In 21st century electronic warfare, one of the most decisive factors behind victory is the ability to aggregate massive amounts of data and process those streams into insightful, actionable outcomes. Keeler digs into how data processing can distinguish between noise and a viable target, and the speed of that processing can mean the difference between real-time intelligence and missed opportunities.

Figure 1: Daniel Mandell from VDC Research Group meeting with the LCR Embedded Systems team, Janis Cortese and Ken Brown at Embedded Tech Trends. Photo courtesy of Trevor Gipper.

Feeling the heat, solving thermal challenges in the “COTS, but” world

By Ken Brown, Applications and Program Manager, LCR Embedded Systems

Customers want the reliability, scheduling, and cost benefits of COTS, but they also want a system tailored to their exact, unique needs. Brown (Figure 1) goes through several factors to consider when a designer is faced with solving the ever-increasing thermal challenges of COTS, but there are unique needs.

The Importance of standardization in IIoT

By Jessica Isquith, President, PICMG

Internet technology is used everywhere. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) faces the lack of standardization as one of its top challenges to IIoT adoption. Isquith updates us on some of the current PICMG standards that are preferred by the IIoT industry.

SWaP-C solution using ATCA: A real-world application

By Rob Persons, Sr. Field Sales Architect, Artesyn Embedded Technologies

A stack of servers versus blades in a box is a balancing act. At some point each has their respective advantage. Persons show how careful system analysis is needed to make the right decision to optimize the SWaP and cost equation.

The Biggest and Brightest IIoT technologies and solutions in harsh environments

By Jarvis Wenger, Product Solutions Manager, MEN Micro

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is driven by big data and the resulting decisions that must be made after analysis. Wenger goes into the technologies that offer solutions for embedded computing platforms in IIoT harsh environments.

Signal integrity & simulation considerations in VPX backplane designs

By Ovidiu Mesesan, Signal Integrity Specialist, Elma Electronic Inc.

Today’s blazingly fast serial protocols are pushing hard on the physical limits of signal integrity. Mesesan dives deeply into best practices required to design a VPX backplane.

Use of COTS for space applications

By Doug Patterson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Aitech Defense Systems, Inc.

There is no question that COTS products are being used in space applications, but there are issues. Patterson takes us on an insightful flight into the challenges of using COTS in space across a range of typical space applications.

New initiatives and technologies brighten embedded software radio

By Rodger Hosking, Vice President and Cofounder, Pentek, Inc.

Software-defined radios of all types are the wave of the future. New initiatives and technologies emerge to help solidify the capability and role of these radios. Hosking goes through a checklist of requirements that a board vendor should utilize to ensure the best solution possible with today’s options.

Trusted computing: The convergence of trusted supply, safe, and secure

By Rich Jaenicke, Director, Strategic Marketing and Alliances, Mercury Systems, Inc.

Cybersecurity is a hot topic and trusted computing is the cornerstone. For defense platforms, commercial protection is not sufficient. Jaenicke discusses the components of trusted computing along the entire supply chain, including manufacturing.

Evolution of a 3U VPX slot interface

By Michael Walmsley, Global Product Management, TE Connectivity

The drive for functional density is what propels the embedded computing industry and designers want to put more in a smaller space with each generation of product. Walmsley shows what connector suppliers across many connector types used with VPX are doing to support this drive.

Easing the Warfighter’s burden: The CMOSS open standards initiative

By David Jedynak, Chief Technology Officer, Curtiss-Wright

Warfighters face incredible burdens. As technology advances, a pressing goal is to ease that burden by removing complexity wherever possible. Using his own father as an example, Jedynak illustrates how times have changed. He uses the Army’s CMOSS initiative to present a way to tip the balance back in the favor of the warfighter’s use of technology.

OpenVPX trends and updates

By Greg Rocco, MIT Lincoln Laboratory

OpenVPX (VITA 65) is a living standard that is evolving to capture the needs of upcoming programs. Rocco is the “Keeper” of the standard. He updates us on changes approved in 2017 and previews what is in the works for the next release of the standard.

Tri-service convergence: An open architecture for embedded system development

By Michael Hackert, NAVAIR

For the past four years of Embedded Tech Trends, we have talked about initiatives by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to drive wider acceptance of Open Standard Architectures. Hackert is the evangelist from NAVAIR responsible for the Hardware Open Systems Technologies (HOST) initiative. He brings news on the convergence of the tri-service efforts to define an open architectures under SOSA.

C4ISR/EW Modular Open Suite of Standards

By Greg Rocco, MIT Lincoln Laboratory

The Army’s C4ISR/EW Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS) is one of the pioneering initiatives to demonstrate the feasibility of open standards. Pinch-hitting for Ben Peddicord, who was unable to travel due to a brief government shutdown, Rocco provides an update on the activities and demonstrations plus the integration into the SOSA initiative.

Sensors Open Systems Architecture

By Dr. Ilya Lipkin, AFLCMC

The Sensors Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) initiative was originally an initiative under The Open Group. It was recently established as a consortium under management of The Open Group, leaving it able to establish its own direction more clearly. Dr. Lipkin is (Figure 2) the spokesperson for SOSA and he shares his vision for the organization.

All of these presentations, with video, are posted online. It is highly recommended that you view the videos to get the maximum information. For videos, visit website at www.EmbeddedTechTrends.com.