Super buzz at CES, ETT

January is always a very busy time. CES is going on in Las Vegas. Embedded Tech Trends follows less than two weeks later. I began the year with my annual trek to Vegas to see for myself what was new in consumer electronics. The show was bigger than ever with over 2.2 million square feet of exhibition space, way too much to see in the time available! I did my best by getting any early start on Sunday.

All I can say is I sure hope that the retailers like Best Buy and Fry’s Electronics do a great job of filtering out the chaff. There were a lot of products at CES that should never see the light of day. In today’s world of Kickstarter financing, there are a lot of dreams that might be better off if we never saw them again. That said, there was still plenty to catch my eye.

The curved 4K HD TVs were everywhere – makes me glad I bought mine last year. 3D printing has hit the big time with products of all kinds on display. Be careful what you eat in the future because it may not look like anything you are familiar with today! Printing food was not what I had in mind when I saw my first 3D printer at CES four years ago. Activity tracking was everywhere (I had 36,000 steps on my FitBit on Tuesday!); soon any mobile device – from watches to tablets will be able to monitor your habits. Smart appliances are getting more practical and useful. Computers of any type have almost disappeared from the halls. Wearables are where the action is now.

Figure 1: Jerry Gipper presenting at the Embedded Tech Trends conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
(Click graphic to zoom by 1.9x)

Next up was Embedded Tech Trends in Phoenix, Arizona ( where I was the host. This event is a business and technology forum focused on the critical and intelligent embedded systems industry. Sponsors and media representatives gathered to exchange thoughts that we will all get a chance to read about in the coming year. The theme this year was “Kickoff to Super Technologies,” coinciding with the Super Bowl frenzy in the Phoenix area. No NFL football players were spotted but you could feel their presence.

Fourteen sponsors participated in Embedded Tech Trends, meeting with leading media representatives, including yours truly. The list of companies is as follows:

  • ADLINK Technology
  • Artesyn Embedded Technologies
  • CES – Creative Electronic Systems SA
  • Concurrent Technologies Plc
  • Curtiss-Wright
  • Elma Electronic, Inc.
  • LCR Embedded Systems, Inc.
  • MEN Mikro Elektronik GmbH
  • Mercury Systems
  • Pentek, Inc.
  • TechwaY
  • TE Connectivity
  • Teledyne LeCroy
  • VadaTech

The agenda was packed with 21 presentations over the two-day event. The format is much like a TED Talk with short presentations at a very quick pace. Topics included:

  • Embedded Market Update with IHS 
  • Making the Cloud Tactical
  • Safe Communication for Inflight Systems
  • SWaP and Modularity: Extending VPX Concepts into Smaller Scale Using VNX
  • Communications Technology for Defense and First Responders
  • Advances in Digitizers Power Mil/Aero and High-Energy Physics Applications
  • How to Do Protocol Testing from SSDs to IoT
  • Impact of High Speed Serial Links (HSS) in Embedded Computing
  • VPX Optical Interfaces: Standards, Protocols, and Applications
  • Creating Better Access Networks for Improved Data Analytics
  • Critical Global Market Challenges: RoHS and Trusted Computing
  • Creating High Performance Clusters for Embedded Use
  • Looking Toward Next Generation VPX Optical Solutions
  • Open RF Plumbing: A Novel Approach to Overcome Decades of “Closed” Design and Integration Practices
  • Distributed Computing Goes Safety 3U-VPX Mission Computers
  • Ensuring Product Integrity with Truly Open Solutions
  • MTCS – Modular Train Control System
  • Update on SpaceVPX (VITA 78) and Introduction to Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA)
  • CERDEC C4ISR/EW Hardware/Software Convergence
  • Path to the Fleet
  • RapidIO Overview

I wrapped up the event with a quick update on VITA activities. The afternoon time was reserved for media-sponsor meetings to discuss new products, strategies, and editorial opportunities. Everyone left feeling a bit overwhelmed but satisfied. All of the presentations have been posted at the Embedded Tech Trends website:

Next stop for me will be the Optical Fiber Communication (OFC) Conference and Exposition in Los Angeles on March 22-26 to learn more about how optical fiber may impact the critical embedded computing industry (

Jerry Gipper