VPX ecosystem steps up

The first serious blast of winter just hit my area! It made me realize that we are not far away from the ninth annual Embedded Tech Trends forum. Scheduled for January 27 and 28 in Atlanta, Georgia, it promises to be an intense couple of days. I always look forward to the presentations and catching up with everyone. So much networking and information exchange happens so fast, it often takes a few days to decompress when I get home!

For those that are not familiar, Embedded Tech Trends is an industrywide forum where suppliers of component-, board-, and system-level solutions can meet exclusively with members of relevant industry media to discuss technologies, trends, and products.

The Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in Midtown Atlanta will be home for Embedded Tech Trends. The theme for 2020 is “Inventing. Connecting. Inspiring. Thriving.” We always choose a theme that ties into both the local area and our technology. The city of Atlanta has been marketing this theme and I think it fits our messaging as well.

The goal of Embedded Tech Trends is to educate the media covering the community of embedded computing developers in target vertical markets on the application of system, board, and switch fabric technologies. The forum also provides an outstanding networking opportunity between the media and ecosystems supporting the embedded systems computing industry. Ultimately, it’s all about inventing, connecting, inspiring, and thriving for the embedded computing industry.

The presentations are in the TED Talk style: short, with minimum slides (I hope!). I push the presenters out of their comfort zone a bit, but in the end, they understand the value of this format. Part of my mission with the presentations is to develop better voices and thought leaders for our ecosystem.

The media representatives in attendance love this event because in a very short time, a firehose-full of information comes their way, an efficient use of their time. This event allows them to develop plans with the sponsors and commit content for the upcoming year.

We have built a deep library of past presentations and videos of the presentations. I encourage you to check some of them out at the Embedded Tech Trends website (http://www.embeddedtechtrends.com). The presentations are posted at the completion of the event, with the videos to follow.

This year debuts a key event for the VPX ecosystem: Immediately following Embedded Tech Trends is the Tri-Service Open Architecture Interoperability Demonstration (TSOA-ID) – a new, exclusive event for the media, acquisition community, and industry influencers, hosted by the Georgia Tech Research Institute at the GTRI Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

This first-time event will have several keynote presentations from U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) department representatives discussing the importance of well-­supported open architecture computing solutions to their acquisition plans going ­forward. The DoD recognizes the acute need to move quickly with embedded computing and is trying to embrace the COTS strategy in the best way possible.

Live demonstrations will guide the audience from Systems Acquisition and Integration, on to Module Specification and Development, then Conformance (qualification), and finally, Open Systems Realization. Joining Tri-Service representatives in demos will also be industry vendors representing industry and government partnership with CMOSS, HOST, SOSA, and VITA standards development organizations.

TSOA-ID supports the tenets of the “Modular Open Systems Approaches for our Weapon Systems is a Warfighting Imperative” tri-service memo issued by the Secretaries of Air Force, Army, and Navy in January 2019. Demonstrations will reveal the ease of interoperability (exchange of hardware and software modules), faster incorporation of innovation, and delivery of new capabilities or replacement technology. It will demonstrate the maturity and acceptance of open architecture development.

The event will feature both hardware and software that is key to advancing the use of COTS technology. The DoD has invested in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs to encourage R&D that has the potential for changing the way open architectures are used. Of particular interest: configuration and testing software tools. I hope to be able to talk more about these after the event.

I have been involved in the planning of the TSOA-ID event for most of the past two years. It was driven by the need to both expand the ecosystem to fill gaps in the technology and to provide real proof that the open concept we preach is the best viable solution for today’s challenging technologies. Because of the audience with both media and key purchase decision makers, the suppliers have had to step up their game considerably. I look forward to participating in TSOA-ID.